Could the iPhone 7 score better speakers?

Apple wants a thinner phone, but not thinner audio fidelity

Apple's latest patent suggests the company is looking at a new way to boost the audio for the next generation of iPhones, which could include the iPhone 7.

The patent, as reported by 9to5Mac, hints at a system that uses the entire phone as an audio chamber. Using the whole phone's interior increases the amount of air that can pass through the speaker system, boosting the volume output as well the audio quality.

Apple appears to be aiming for an speaker solution to keep up with its increasingly-slimmer smartphones, according to the patent.

"As portable electronic devices get smaller and thinner, there are increased difficulties in providing the same or greater functionality in a smaller area," claims the patent's background. "The one or more speakers [of this new system] can produce audio sound that can be directed (e.g., by way of one or more acoustic chambers) to one or more audio output openings."

The wording of the patent, verbose as it is, also hints at audio input also being improved, meaning that the microphone may get a boost alongside the speakers thanks to audio chamber technology.

Apple's pursuit of thinner, lighter phones hasn't been without controversy, with rumors of the next iPhone ditching the headphone jack having consumers split. However, the promise of improved audio quality would make saying goodbye to 3.5mm an easier pill to swallow.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.