History Of The Hearing Aid

Hearing aids like many things in life have progressed over time. Technology advances over time so new and improved versions can be released to the world; until the next big development springs along.

But how did hearing aids first come about?

Originally, they were horn-shaped trumpet style; bulky, uncomfortable transistor radio-style devices.

They advanced over years becoming smaller and some modern hearing aids are now available in-the-ear and in-the-canal and even implantable; making them invisible.

In decades of expansion, from the 1800s, now many hearing aids can be worn discretely behind-the-ear.

This has truly shown how far the technology has come, as nowadays it is harder to realise someone has a hearing impairment because it is hardly even noticeable that they are wearing an aid.


It can be argued as well as the technology, attitudes towards aids have changed too, reflecting the advances and trends in society.

Although many people still associate wearing a hearing aid with someone being old, in present times they are so small you can’t even see them.


To maintain the history of hearing aids, many museums have been established across the world with examples of old and new devices.

Such exhibitions include;

Oticon, Eriksholm Museum, Denmark

– Center for Hearing and Communication (CHS), New York City

– John Q. Adams Center of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Alexandria, Virginia

Other hearing aid history museums exist online, so anyone can check them out;

– Deafness in Disguise, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri America

– Hugh Heatherington Online Hearing Aid Museum

– Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, America