Hearing aids can be considered one of the most important inventions of the last century. Thousands of people have been able to recover partial hearing or even optimize their hearing because of these technological marvels. However, there are many people that do not realize how far hearing aids have come since they were initially designed. In this article, we will take a look at some of the earliest models of hearing aids so that we can pay homage to the technology that has changed so many lives.
Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids
One of the latest hearing aid designs to be created before the first electrical and digital hearing aids were vacuum tube. These hearing aids utilized parts of the telephones of the time to make sure that people could hear well. They used the receiver box, a vacuum tube, and a head output set. The receiver would take in the sound waves and turn them into electrical impulses. They would then be amplified and then fed through the output end much louder than they were initially. This led to better hearing as well as enough interest from researchers to make new hearing aids in the future.
Carbon Hearing Aids
These complex machines were a step between the old and the new, which may be why they were never very popular. They required a carbon microphone, a magnetic receiver, as well as a transistor built specifically for this purpose. The sound waves would be picked up by the carbon microphone and then cause the carbon filaments to strike against a diaphragm, generating sound impulses at a loud rate that could be heard by the user. This was good for allowing hearing to occur, but it also had many different drawbacks. One of the first drawbacks was the fact that it had to be used in the home only. It also required the individual to be laying down or sitting upright in a chair. Most importantly, it sounds that it made were very scratchy and unclear. Still, it was an important step in hearing aid tech.
The first type of hearing aid that was ever made to help people with hearing loss was the hearing or ear trumpet. These were hollow metal tubes that had one end small enough to fit into the ear and the other end large enough to draw in sounds from the surrounding areas. As a result, people will be able to gather more sound from the environment and channel it into the ear. As valuable as this is, it came with the drawback of not being able to amplify sound.