Tesla Might Be Getting Into Headphones

Elon Musk might be designing some headphones, if a new Tesla patent trademark application is any indication.

The electric automaker’s application covers a range of audio products, including headphones, earbuds, microphones, and um, megaphones(?). Spotted by Electrek, the application was submitted earlier this month and is currently pending.

It includes:

Microphones, headphones, earphones, digital audio players, sound transmitting apparatus, audio speakers, subwoofers, earpads for headphones, audio interfaces, audio equalizer apparatus, horns for loudspeakers and megaphones.

We don’t know what Tesla is up to, but the company would have some options should this application go through. It could be as obvious as making a Tesla-branded in-car speaker system, or we might see the EV maker expand into the consumer tech industry with its own headphones, earbuds, and speakers. Then there’s the mention of megaphones, which would probably be the most on-brand device. But companies are often granted trademarks they don’t end up using for actual products, so don’t be surprised if nothing comes of this.

Still, it’s worth speculating given Tesla’s history of selling everything from gags like the “not a flamethrower” flamethrower to more practical products that are unrelated to cars, like surfboards, tequila, and portable powerbanks.

Musk tends to make whatever is on his mind, and there is no doubting his love for music (the CEO recently released his own EDM single). It would also seem the company has the necessary talent to put out products that might compete against Bose or Apple. Tesla’s speaker systems, particularly the 22-speaker setup in the Model S, are widely praised, and Musk has previously attributed the sound quality to audio engineers who come from the luxury brand Bang & Olufsen.

As Electrek points out, Tesla’s lead audio engineer, Markus Koch, previously worked for Harman and B&O, two brands that make both in-car audio systems and consumer products, and Tesla recently poached from Jawbone and Amazon Lab126, a subsidiary responsible for Echo speakers.

So far, these folks presumably helped make an obnoxious feature that turns the external pedestrian speakers of a Tesla into a boombox while letting you change your horn sound to the sound of farting or a bleating goat. Perhaps this trademark application will give Tesla’s sound engineers more useful applications to work on.

Whatever Tesla is thinking of making, one thing is certain: People will buy it. Much like Apple and its overpriced polishing cloth, Tesla could sell vaporware on its brand alone. With that in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised if the company partnered with an established audio brand (maybe a company like Nothing?), fine-tuned the sound signature, and charged a premium for each Tesla logo on the ear cups.

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