The much-rumoured Sonos headphones are tipped to work over wi-fi as well as Bluetooth.
If true, it could be game-changing; wi-fi headphones should be able to receive music directly from the internet, rather than relying on a Bluetooth device such as a mobile phone.
Of course, a patent doesn't always lead to a product. Plus, Sonos seems to be facing some major design hurdles – namely that the human head has a tendency to block out wi-fi signals.
The answer, according to the patent, is to insert two antennae – one in each earcup. That creates a problem in itself, though, as a thick connecting wire has to be inserted along the headband.
"A cable assembly containing each of the required conductors for the improved wireless headphones... may be greater than 4 mm in diameter," reads a translated version of the patent. "This is almost twice the diameter of a typical headband cable in a Bluetooth-only headphone.”
Last year, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence promised "a relentless focus on innovation... and experimentation". The rumoured wi-fi headphones would certainly fit into that ethos – not to mention the firm's wi-fi multi-room audio systems.
Other rumours suggest that any Sonos headphones will have the same 'Swap' feature as the Sonos Roam Bluetooth speaker, which provides uninterrupted listening as you leave the house.
We're also expecting all the usual bells and whistles to feature: voice assistant control (as seen on the firm's multi-room speakers and soundbars, like the Beam), volume slider, playback controls and a mic for hands-free calls.
There's no word on a release date yet, but – wi-fi or not – we'd hope to see the rumoured Sonos headphones launch at some point this year.
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