Who Invented The Headphones?

This is not very hard to find in google Who Invented The Headphones? Bigger, smaller or of the most varied models, headphones became an important article, they are as present in our lives as the music itself is.

Undoubtedly, the introduction of these into society was one of the novel inventions that caused shock in the history of mankind.

This event took place at the end of the 19th century and it was the French engineer Ernest Jules Pierre Mercadier who was responsible for such creation. Currently producing them is not such a complex task, its structure allows it, but, becoming popular is even easier.

Today these headphones appear according to your preferences and possibilities, colors and models, you just have to choose. If you are interested in knowing a little more about this particular, know, Who Invented The Headphones?

What Are The Headphones?

A headset is also known as hearing aids, one is used in each ear, so the term is used in the plural, headphones. In this article, we try to know in details Who Invented The Headphones?

Hearing Aids: History And Evolution Of This Creation

Ernest-Jules-Pierre-MercadierErnest Jules Pierre Mercadier: In 1891 the French and electrical engineer Ernest Jules Pierre Mercadier Who Invented The Headphones first time.

This creation was intended to be used only in telephone communications seeking to improve connections and achieve privacy and comfort. This is how they created the first headphones in the history of mankind.


Nathaniel Baldwin:nathaniel_baldwin He was another of the first creators of this amazing invention, his vocation for electronics led him to his university education was aimed at electrical engineering. Once he graduated he worked in hydroelectric plants.

One day in the middle of a meeting, he noticed that the speaker was not heard and in this way he devised a way to amplify the audio, using a compressed air sound amplifier.

Baldwin’s work was directed, from that moment, on the development of an amplifier to produce more sensitive receivers, and he succeeded. Something that went against the novelty of the invention of hearing aids, is that it was a bit difficult to win fans who bet on the feasibility of an artifact that was unknown until then. From then on, the marketing strategy began to be the pending task for Nathaniel Baldwin.

After the engineer Baldwin tried, find investors for the project within the wealthy and some companies in the area, in one of those attempts, the sample of one of the prototypes of this invention was sent to the US Navy office, definitely Commander AJ Hepburn after checking the device, assimilated the usefulness and potential of hearing aids, immediately commissioned 100 units of this useful device.

In this way, the first business action was produced with a product that was just born. This fact served as the basis for what would later become The Baldwin Radio Company, the small consortium Nathaniel Baldwin that sold the Baldy Phones, as these products were known.

In 1937 the German company Beyerdynamic developed the first dynamic headphones, it is the DT 48 model, which had a cable coil that connected the two headphones.

Koss Hearing Aid Company:

In 1958, the first modern hearing aid emerged, it was John Koss, who would later become the manager and founder of the Koss hearing aid company.

Until that moment the headphones that the restless Baldwin had brought to the market were used, while the radio and telephone operators still used it with the novelty and functionality of that time, Koss designed his own version of a headset but this had the sole function of listening to music and that it was compatible with stereo sound.

The first hearing aid designed by Koss was named SP/3, which was widely accepted in the world, especially in the music industry. Seeing the reception that his invention had, the businessman decided to bet on more and thus invested more capital to improve the technology of hearing aids, so in 1960 he achieved a series of improvements.

This type of SP/3 design used a single cone-shaped speaker made of paper, simple mini-speakers covered with cardboard and filled with mattress sponge, its structure was simple, but they caused great impact.

In this way, Koss dominated the decade of the 60s with the arrival of the turntables. The supremacy of these did not last as long as others were imposed with even more surprising improvements.

In the year 1962 and having as experience the deficiencies of the previous model, the entrepreneur undertook a more ambitious project, which I call the Pro/4 which would have an additional attachment, incorporated a transducer microphone, which offered a lot of audio quality headphones.

Each year meant a step forward in the development of hearing aids, in search of improvements they undertook new actions, who led the company Koss was convinced that it was the way to cope with the competition.

In 1968 the people of Koss introduced what would be the first model of electrostatic hearing aids, which used a set of stator plates for each ear, which made air molecules vibrate to generate sounds, much more novel and sophisticated than Previous models were those that were just released, although it was quite large and heavy feature that made them little manipulable.

In the year 1979 the famous Walkman marked a before and after in the way of consuming portable audio, they were small equipment that allowed users to listen to quality audios regardless of place or time, together with these came the MDR-3L2 model headphones from Sony that became popular immediately and were compatible with several computers.

It was not until the 80s when smaller models and portals came to light, simple when handling them and above all they were of a lower cost, compared to traditional or circumaural models, which were prevailing in the society and which had a large set of cushions that covered the entire ear, however, these new models, the supraaural ones, only went above the ear and a small sponge that covered the microphone, was very practical, given this functionality People could listen to music for long hours without being affected by any discomfort.

However, connoisseurs of the matter and musicians preferred circumaural because they had better acoustic properties considering that their rather hermetic design, on the other hand, the supraaural design was preferred by the rest of the people, especially those of low income and took a lot of strength due to its low cost.

The technicians who worked on the improvements of these simple but functional artifacts did not give up their efforts to provide improvements in their structure and functions.

Who Invented Hearing Aids For The Deaf:

Who Invented The Headphones

People with disabilities or hearing loss or what is the same with deafness, as it is popularly known, also had the first hearing aids created for the deaf, their design adapted to alleviate these needs, although first, they were very rudimentary introduced by the French mathematician Jean Leurechon and was working on a kind of trumpet ear, which could be found in different shapes and sizes. The material with which it was made was metal, so they were a bit uncomfortable.

The material together with the size of the devices generated discontent to those who needed them and opposed their use. For this reason during the following years they were evolving towards more aesthetically decorated, beautiful and better performance models, thus appearing complement models similar to a jewel, pendants or headdress.

By means of vacuum tube technology, they were soon a utility for people with severe deafness and thus they became more sophisticated and revolutionary every year.

The evolution of hearing aids continued to rise and already in the 80s when the microchips were introduced that allowed great improvements in size, sound, programming or noise filters. Digital hearing aids undoubtedly improved the hearing ability of those who needed it.

Almost at the same time the well-known canal phone arose, this type of headphones did go inside the ear’s canal, a fact that solved the problem of having to listen to them at high volumes, since the external sound was blocked, so that it was the perfect solution, were compared with the action of covering the ears with the fingers.

Undoubtedly, the audio quality was much higher than the others, but the problem was when I wanted to share the sound with another person because you were exposed to sharing bacteria and earwax.

A New Era For Hearing Aids

The first hearing aids were large heavy boxes that occupied almost a briefcase, nothing similar to the small digital hearing aids we have, those that are inserted in the ear and offer an almost perfect reproduction of the sound.

In the 90s of the last century, the traditional hearing aids that commonly accompany us on trips or in our bags, that small equipment that is inserted in the ear, finally appear. This type of hearing aid was also cheap, small, very functional and fit anywhere as small as it was since its cable could be wrapped and did not affect at all.

These hearing aids had a deficiency and it was that they were not able to block outside sound and in order to avoid external noises people had to turn up the volume to a very high and dangerous level that affected our ear.

The variety as headphones of this type, especially those related to music is dissimilar, for example, headphones with surround sound, which employ more than one speaker per ear to create the illusion of a directional sound.

The noise-canceling headphones were those that were powered by the pathetic earbuds they distributed on transatlantic flights, Dr. Amar Bose introduced, although in principle it was a helmet designed for pilots. Waiting for improvements in this model, it took a few years for it to enter the commercial world, it was just with the arrival of the 21st century that the Bose Quiet Comfort (QC1), a new model that was much more sophisticated and that, of course, maintained invariably its main feature, the noise cancellation.

21st Century Headphones

With the beginning of the 21st century the beginning of a new era was supposed, the era of technologies was imposed with the appearance of more and more innovative and sophisticated articles, internet, online video games and the consumption of the most varied and prolific music, all this favored in this way the production of hearing aids that even new partners emerged.

Although Apple does not openly identify itself as one of the creators of hearing aids as such, once they launched the iPod in 2001, they shot sales and created milestones in the history of headphones. Well, since that day Apple has managed to sell more than 600 million of its first generation of headphones, proving to be competition for its commercial rivals that since then remain in expectation.

Another of the well-known models of hearing aids, which are even considered to be included in the lists of essential items of so-called fashion or fashion kings, is the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre. These come from the hand of a popular rapper known as Dr. Dre, who became very popular in the 1990s and then returned in 2008 to reinvent the hearing aid industry with this legendary model.

In their beginnings, they were excessively expensive, because their success was immediate, their characteristics, the attractive colors and the quality of the material with which these artifacts were made keep them until today as one of the best models that renewed the ways of listening to music.

Just a while after Apple’s success, and of course the famous Dr. Dre models, the partners of this Apple consortium decided to buy the Beats Electronic, one of the largest headphone manufacturers and in turn a provider of music online in a large sum of 3 billion dollars, which is considered the most expensive acquisition made by the famous company of manzanita, a fact that shows that it would be an expensive, but well thought out investment, nothing like sustaining the consumption of Portable audio would be like an all-inclusive.

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