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The History Preceding Our Digital Hearing Aids Part 2

Throughout history, man has labored to bring convenience and superiority to the human race. Innovations in the medical field help to restore lost capabilities or faculties. Early audiology consisted of crafting assistive listening devices that isolated and enhanced wanted sounds. Although primitive, these aids were effective in starting the progress that has led us to our current level of sophistication. If you’re in need of a modern digital hearing aid, we can help! ION Hearing is a provider of HD hearing aids and can help you find the perfect fit for your lifestyle. 

Last week, we checked into the humble beginnings of audiology. While these early prototypes were useful, they had a plethora of drawbacks attached to them. Today, we’ll continue our journey through the progression of hearing enhancement. 

Using Science To Succeed 

The 20th century started with a vigorous focus placed on hearing devices. A product of three decades of work, the vacuum tube hearing aid began production for the public in 1921. A modern feat of technology, the Vactuphone essentially used a carbon transmitter to convert a person’s speech into electric signals. These signals would be converted in the machine and then transported to the receiver and amplified. While this invention was a feat of human engineering, it was not practical and gained little momentum when being offered to the general public. 

Vacuum tube hearing aids did gain momentum as their designs were upgraded and downsized. England saw the introduction of the first wearable listening device to fight hearing loss in 1936. The United States was quick to follow, bringing an increase in popularity to the states. The 1920s and 1930s were ripe with leaps and bounds for assistive listening devices. However, the advances of technology through World War II pushed the envelope even further for state-of-the-art hearing aids. 

Transitioning With Transistors 

The 1940s ended with major improvements to hearing technology thanks to the progress made by Bell Laboratories. A semiconductor device that offered amplification technology along with hearing increases, the transistor hearing aid was the next product that would remedy the inconveniences of the vacuum tube aids. The beginning of the 1950s saw the quick rise and fall of these transistor assistors due to their absolute lack of durability. Often lasting only a few weeks, many citizens saw these devices as a waste of money. 

Fixes were implemented in order to rectify the downfalls of the advanced new hearing aids. Zenith was the first to remedy dampness issues that often caused permanent damage to listening devices. Texas Instruments invented the silicon transmitter in 1954, which brought numerous benefits to its users. However, transistor hearing aids would quickly meet their doom four years later. 

The progression of hearing aids through history is fraught with innovators pushing the limits of science. People would pay handsomely for products that were not properly tested before mass production would happen. If you’re in need of a modern hearing enhancement tool, our professionals can help. ION Hearing offers a variety of digital hearing aids and payment plans to ensure that all patients in need can succeed. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!