From Clumsy to Comfortable: The Evolution of Hearing Aids
While hearing aids are now extremely comfortable with efficiency at the forefront, technology has come very far in the last two centuries thanks to lots of forward thinking and advancements. Those devices you’re wearing weren’t always so versatile and efficient: you’ll have to thank all the inventors over the last 200 years for their part to advances in technology spanning the last two centuries. Consider that millions of people each day (about 17 percent of the population) wear hearing aids, realizing that hearing aids started out so rudimentary.
Ear Trumpets Make the Scene
The first hearing aids, known as ear trumpets, actually looked quite a bit like trumpets that you would play in a band. The the first of their kind, these earliest hearing devices didn’t do the best job of amplifying sound. Instead, they were quite cumbersome and only provided only the most basic level of amplification, so people with true hearing impairments didn’t really benefit from them. Boasting virtually no size uniformity, the incremental acoustic improvement was great for those with limited hearing loss by capturing and amplifying sound. Filtered to the inner ear where it would be interpreted, sound came out of the large end.
Carbon Hearing Aids Make Their Move
Those with limited hearing loss were the only ones to reap the rewards from this new technology, which offered only the bare minimum of sound quality due to the carbon moving through the hearing aid, carbon hearing aids could only detect a few frequencies. As such,. With the advent of the late 19th century hit, this device took a lot from Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone invention to inspire the establishment of the carbon hearing aid. It worked through the use of a carbon microphone along with a magnetic receiver and battery to send sound to the outside of the microphone, where the carbon pieces were redirected. They then crowded against the diaphragm in accordance with how much sound came out in a similar way to sound waves.
Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids
These first came about in the 1920s, but they were later adjusted by Bell Labs thanks to the invention of the first transistor that could be used to operate hearing aids. Amplified sound would generate as it motioned through the receiver end. First, the telephone transmitter changed sounds and gathered them into electrical signals. This truly unique discovery spurred electronic hearing aid design – despite the fact that it weighed seven pounds. This didn’t stop people from becoming excited about the possibility of helping the hearing impaired. Before the advent of the hearing aids we know today, vacuum tube hearing aids were the popular choice.

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