This particular patent was awarded to Apple for a “Detachable wireless listening device”, where it will detail a headphone that is capable of receiving audio signals through a standard cord in one mode, while doing the same in a different mode – be it Bluetooth or some other wireless protocol.
There are design cues which are not too different from that of a regular pair of earbuds, including a main audio cord which will end up with a couple of leads, obviously one for each ear, but in reality, the invention would fall back on a couple of separate cables. One of these will hook the stereo headphones together in order to form a listening subsystem, while the other would tether said subsystem to a host device.
The magnetic attachment mechanism is also an important point to take note of, as it helps to connect the listening device, along with the earbuds and accompanying cable, to the host cord so that the battery can be recharged, as well as cater for wired audio signal transmission. Once the earbud-side cord is detached, the system knows this has happened, stopping the charging process while kicking off wireless communications, how cool is that?