Hearing-Aids Timeline


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Circa 1820

King Goa 4th of Portugal has a throne made where people speak into the lion-shaped arms and their voices are amplified through a tube which runs through the chair to the king’s head.  Started a bit of a trend among the high and mighty.


The invention of the Clarvox Lorgnette trumpet in France. This lightweight ear trumpet was made of tortoiseshell and hung down from one side of a pair of spectacles.


Miller Reese Hutchison patents first practical electrical hearing aid.  Not that convenient – so large it had to sit on a table handily placed beside the user.


Vacuum tubes introduced, but battery size still made them awkward for anyone who had to move at all during the course of their everyday lives.


The invention of the Bone Conductor. USP: sent sound through the bone behind the ear.  Pros: Ace name.  Cons: Caused massive headaches.


Thanks to the invention of the transistor in 1948, transistor hearing aids hit the scene.  Sonophone even designed some petite models which could sit on your spectacles.


Over-the-ear or Behind-the-ear aids became available.  The first of this group were known as at-the-ear hearing aids because they were visible, protruding slightly as they did, but the later versions were increasingly more and more the products of better design for easy concealment.


Digitalisation of the hearing aid.

21st Century

Lyric hearing aids provide the next step in audiology.


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