383 years ago

1634

In 1634, the Ear Trumpet was invented. These devices worked by collecting sounds and funneling them into the ear

227 years ago

1790

The Ear Trumpet becomes more common, and is seen in every-day-use

217 years ago

1800

The first company to begin commercial production of the ear trumpet was established by Frederick C. Rein in London in 1800

205 years ago

1812

The first bone conduction hearing aid is invented. Sound was conducted by a wooden rod placed against the teeth of the speaker and listener. Vocal vibrations were passed down the rod and picked up by the cochlea of the listener

164 years ago

1853

A London surgeon develops the first implantable artificial eardrum

138 years ago

1879

One of the first patient testing audiometers is developed by David Hughes

132 years ago

1885

Alternative conversational tools are developed with the Duplex Conversational Tube being a popular product. The device allows the hearing impaired listener to hear their partner, as well as their own voice

125 years ago

1892

The first electrical hearing aid is developed. The Akouphone was the first device to utilise electricity to convert a weak signal into a stronger signal

113 years ago

1904

Oticon is established in Denmark as a hearing aid distributor by Hans Demant

107 years ago

1910

Siemens begin manufacturing hearing aids

105 years ago

1912

The first volume control is introduced into an electrical hearing aid

97 years ago

1920

The first hearing aid to use vacuum tubes is invented. The Vactuphone was battery-powered and employed a single triode. A large hearing aid, this device was bigger than a box camera, therefore not particularly portable

94 years ago

1923

The first electrical bone conductor is invented and quickly implemented into audiometers for better diagnostic testing

91 years ago

1926

Halsey A. Frederick receives the first US patent for custom made earpieces

87 years ago

1930

An early, pre-war, crystal microphone hearing aid

85 years ago

1932

The first wearable bone conduction hearing aid is introduced by Sonotone

83 years ago

1934

Vacuum tubes are successfully miniaturised allowing for smaller wearable vacuum tube hearing aids

79 years ago

1938

Telex release a small werable vacuum tube hearing aid

73 years ago

1944

Ardente bone conduction body worn hearing aid is invented

71 years ago

1946

Samuel Ruben developed a balanced mercury cell which was useful for military applications, such as metal detectors, munitions and walkie-talkies. After the WWII, the battery system was adopted to small electronic devices, such as hearing aids

70 years ago

1947

Beltone announce the launch of the “audio-selectometer” - the first electronic master hearing aid for hearing aid programming

67 years ago

1950

The revolutionary transistor technology is employed by hearing aid manufacturers. Transistor devices have lesser voltage requirements, and are much smaller than vacuum tubes. This allows for significant miniaturisation of hearing devices. This technology paves the way for behind-the-ear and spectacle worn devices

63 years ago

1954

The first commercial spectacle hearing aids are launched

62 years ago

1955

The first so-called "in-the-ear" hearing aid, the D-10 Magic Ear is released – it concealed all electronic components in a shell snapped onto an earmould

56 years ago

1961

Amplivox Secret BTE hearing aid is launched

48 years ago

1969

The first hearing aid to utilise directional microphones is introduced

47 years ago

1970

Qualitone release their new Spectacle Hearing Aids

42 years ago

1975

Invention of the Phonic Ear HC527 Rechargeable Body Aid

40 years ago

1977

The Zinc-Air battery is invented. This battery is smaller and has a greater capacity than mercury batteries. This allows for further miniaturisation of hearing aids and allows for manufacturing of ITE hearing aids

39 years ago

1978

Launch of the Super Front, Phonak's first superpower BTE hearing aid

35 years ago

1982

Widex Audilens ITE modular aid, originally designed for German market, is released

35 years ago

1982

American Resound company produced the first pre-digital remote control for their BTE and ITE instruments

33 years ago

1984

Craigwell released the first fully automatic twin-channel BTE hearing aid

31 years ago

1986

Phonak launch a remote control for the 1st twin microphone BTE/ITE hearing aids

30 years ago

1987

The first models of digitally programmable hearing devices are introduced by Bernafon/Maico (1987) and Widex (1988). Using conventional analogue circuitry, they can be programmed electronically from a specially designed computer and software. The Widex Quattro system features a user-operated remote control which can also be used to program the instrument

29 years ago

1988

The launch of Solar Ear's first solar-powered rechargeable pack, with conductive charging or cells within the hearing aids

27 years ago

1990

GN Resound manufactures a dynamic range, multi-band, compression system. This allows for separation and different amplification for soft and loud sound inputs

26 years ago

1991

Oticon release the first fully automated hearing aid. The “Multifocus” had no volume control or program button, and was the first hearing aid that required no input from the wearer

25 years ago

1992

Danavox release the first hearing aid to use digital feedback suppression

24 years ago

1993

Phonak PICS - first twin microphone hearing aid

23 years ago

1994

The first programmable CIC with volume control and program button is released by Maico Electronics

21 years ago

1996

Widex Senso is the first fully programmable digital hearing aid to be successfully commercialised

21 years ago

1996

Widex Senso Programming Unit is launched for the first digital signal processing hearing aids

20 years ago

1997

Siemens release the first digital hearing aid to utilise dual-microphone technology

19 years ago

1998

The first Phonak digital BTE, the Claro emerged on to the market, with a remote control

19 years ago

1998

Hansaton produced a built-in rechargeable cell hearing system for both BTE and ITE hearing aids, using induction charging

17 years ago

2000

Sonic Innovations were among the first to manufacture standard CIC digital instruments

16 years ago

2001

Oticon develop an innovative speech focused algorithm called “Voice-Finder”. This processing allows full prescription amplification when speech is present, but reduced comfortable volume when speech is absent. The Oticon Adapto was the first to utilise this technology

14 years ago

2003

The first RIC/RITE is invented

12 years ago

2005

90% of hearing aids provided in the UK are now digital

11 years ago

2006

Oticon launch their first RIC hearing aid the Delta

6 years ago

2011

Siemens launch the Aquaris, the first waterproof hearing aid

3 years ago

2014

GN Resound launches the Linx “the world’s smartest hearing aid” which enables users to control and stream media to their hearing aids from their smartphone.

12 months ago

2016

Oticon presents the OPN, the world’s first hearing aid to communicate with the internet