Hearing is one of the most crucial parts of your life. Whether it is taking instructions for an order or listening to a conversation with your significant other, hearing influences are perceptions of the world. However, not everyone is able to have proper hearing levels, which has given rise to hearing aid devices. These hearing aids have gone through many changes in technology to get to the level that they are today. To put this in a better perspective, we are going to take a closer look at the past models of hearing aids.
Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids
Before there were any electrical hearing aids, there was the vacuum tube. This hearing aid was a battery powered device that used phone parts to be a useful addition to hearing. The sound would be picked up by the receiver device and then transferred to the vacuum tube. At this point it would be translated into electrical pulses and then translated back into sound once again. This sound would be amplified at a rate that was loud enough to allow the person to hear conversations and was one of the first models that was mobile.
Carbon Hearing Aids
One of the most important steps between hearing aids and the rudimentary devices was the carbon hearing aid. These devices were an amalgamation of other components like batteries, magnets, and metal diaphragms. They work by using a carbon microphone to pick up sound and then use that sound to transfer carbon throughout the device. These pieces are drawn across the magnetic piece and then crash against the diaphragm producing sound in the process. This simulates sounds in many cases, but not at the same frequency at which it was originally spoken.
The other possible reasons that this was not a successful hearing device were that it was much too large and heavy to be mobile. Also, the sound quality was not good enough to emulate naturally spoken sounds in most cases, limiting its usefulness.
The earliest form of hearing devices that existed for over thousand years was the ear trumpet. These devices only needed to be hollow and have one large end, and another that would be able to fit in or be pressed against the outer ear. The sound would be gathered by the flared end of the trumpet, and then travel directly into the ears of the user. It could be pointed at people or events to capture specific sound. They were immensely popular but only limited in their ability to help because they were not able to increase the volume of the spoken voices.