Apple could be looking at headphones that double as speakers so you can switch between an intimate listening experience and a party in a pinch.

Headphones are just small speakers designed to sound good quiet and close to your ears. A new patent from Apple shows that they might be taking advantage of that fact for a unique design on upcoming headphones.

A patent secured by Apple this week states it is for “Dual mode headphones and methods for constructing the same. The patent essentially says that it is for headphones that can be reversed and used loudly as speakers, interchangeably.

With the attached figures it seems that the headphones would work reversible ear cups that can be turned away from the inside. When turned outside they will switch their circuit modes to output music louder when they’re tilted outwards.

Apple headphones that can be turned into speakers

This should mean that there is no chance of the headphones working at speaker volume when placed against your head, which will be a very important safety feature if Apple follow through and create this product.

It’s not the first time the concept has been raised. Apple secured a patent for the same concept in 2017, however it has been slightly refined this time around.

Whilst the concept would be interesting, and if created well with quality sound would likely be highly sought after, Apple’s stagnancy on the product suggests that they are just securing the rights to it rather than having a focused push on making it happen.