Sunday, 9 March 2014

Evolution of Headphones [Individual project]


The Evolution of Headphones

   We have been in the comfort and pleasure of it for more than a century now but I can find no exact date when headphones were created as far as my research is concerned. Still, there have been traces where one of the first pairs of headphones originated somewhere in Britain. Assumption where made that probably
 headphones were invented in military where most technologies originated.

    Headphones today have been used for various reasons. Some use it for private listening and to avoid disturbing others. Some use them for office works especially when answering phone calls. They can be convenient when writing something down while speaking to someone - hands-free usage, as what the benefit headphones give. Some, if not most, use them for music. No matter what the reasons are, their would would always that one purpose - listening. Of course, there are other media that can be used for listening but when it concerns for private listening, headphones are the best device I can think of.

    If we are to compare the earlier sets of headphones from the ones we use today, we can differences among them ranging from levels of comforts to designs. Starting from the year 1919, headphones were just a simple earpiece making being it the only way to listen electrical from electrical audio signals until Nathaniel Balwin made the first successful set. It was initially for radio-signalling purposes. It was connected to a battery which caused discomfort because of mild shocks added that the sound quality was poor. Starting from 1958 to 1979 was the take over of Koss. John C. Koss was a jazz musician who first developed the fist stereo headphones good for listening music in homes. As his invention progress, his inventions provided less distortion of sounds and lightweight headphones. In 1979, the ''Portable Era'', comes the walkman developed by Sony. In this era also comes the addition of circular paddings on the headphones. From those headphones with large, circular lobe-coverings comes the invention of earbuds. It is just the common headphone that we use - a small circular piece only covering the holes of our ears. Because of Apple's iPod, these earbuds became popular but another one that which is better in isolating the sound and minimizing the interference from the outside are earbuds that transformed into ones with soft-rubber attachment on it that could comfortably be put in the ear canal.

  Modernity did only bring better technologies, but made way for fashion to collaborate with. Today, it is quite evident that one way for producers to increase consumer demands for their products is to accompany them with celebrities or any popular person. Beats by dr. dre, created by Monster, is one example. it is endorsed by celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Headphones for sports were also created and endorsed by famous players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.

   The headphones we have are so far different from what the earlier people use. Now we get used to the convinience brought about modern headphones. We enjoy their comforts together with style.


1. Fenlon, Wesley. 2013. How Headphones Have Evolved since the 19th Century. Online publication/ March 1, 2014.

2. Dahud, Hashim. 2012. The Evolution of Headphones [INFOGRAPHIC]. Online. March 1, 2014.

3. Silent Storm. 2012. The History of Headphones. Online. March 2, 2014.

4. Grayson. 2012. The Evolution of headphones [infographic]. Online. March 2, 2014.

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