“The first mode is the normal every day in-ear design that all headphones offer,” Purcher reports. “The second mode is where the fun comes in. It will allow users to rest their headphones on a table or other surface and kick them into true speaker mode with a full amplifier so that they could share their music with others in any room or other social setting.”
Purcher reports, “Because the headphones may need to provide a louder output in a speaker mode, the headphones could include an amplifier that may be used to amplify audio signals in the speaker mode. The amplifier could be bypassed or turned off in an in-ear mode.”
Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, in the full article here.