The Hear-story of Hearing Aids

Would you believe that once upon a time hearing aids were the size of trumpets and that they only lasted for a few hours. Yup, your read that right. There even came a point when they had to be worn around the neck for it to be “portable.” And just imagine how difficult it is to using hearing aids without electricity.

The evolution of hearing aids is really an interesting one. The way it has developed when it comes to its function, design, and most importantly, size is a great work of art and science. Take a peek at this awesome invention, and how it has come to what we see now as invisible and smartphone-ready hearing aids.

1550. This is the year of the believed earliest record of hearing loss in Ancient Egypt.

1700s. This was the era of ear trumpets. These inventions came in various shapes and sizes but they all had the same principle and function. Back then, electricity has not yet been discovered, so the only way it could be used was to attempt to capture, amplify, and direct sound into the ear canal. This was very useful for people who had mild hearing loss but was almost useless for conditions that are moderate and severe.

1800s. This was the time when people started to try concealing hearing aids. They were merged inconspicuously into clothing, collars, headwear, and even hairstyles. The want and struggle to hide them was so real that it was sometimes covered in flesh-colored coating, and hidden in beards. The royal family even had these placed in their thrones.

1800. Ear trumpets now had speaking tubes, thus making it able to help in amplification. It was portable although still bulky and had to be supported physically from below.

1898. It was Miller Reese Hutchison who created the first electronic hearing aid that used a portable carbon transmitter that took weak signals and turned it into a strong one. He called it an “akouphone.”

Frederick Alt created something very similar but was bulkier and heavier. It helped amplify sounds up to 15 decibels and was very useful for people who had moderate hearing loss.

1900s. The 19th century is the era of electric hearing aids. These versions of hearing aids were expensive and had limited portability. They were worn around the neck and had wires that were visible, plus a heavy battery that only lasted for a few hours. When it was needed to work for extended hours, battery packs that were heavier were worn on the body.

The invention of silicon made it possible for transmitters to become smaller.

1920. By 1920, Earl Hanson invented the first vacuum-tube hearing aid. This device turned speech into electrical signals using a telephone transmitter. Once converted, the signal is amplified. Although it was able to tend to severe cases, it needed two batteries which was pretty costly at that time.

1930. Vacuum technology was eventually merged with hearing aids. This immediately became outdated because hearing aids with transistors were invented in the 1950s.

1930s – 1940s. These devices got smaller but the downfall of it was that they were still very large and they did not last long. Also, only mild to moderate conditions were helped by it..

1948. These transistors required less battery, were small, and created less distortion and lesser heat than its predecessor.

1950s – 1980s. Hearing aids eventually got smaller and smaller as the years passed by—being able to be placed over the ear, inside the ear, inside the ear canal, even be placed completely hidden inside the ear canal.

Implants in the cochlea existed since the 1980s. The first successful implant happened in 1972.

Today. Hearing aids have become so small they’re practically invisible. They’ve also become compatible with our smartphones.

The hearing aids have definitely gone a long way since becoming a very large, bulky, heavy, and noticeable trumpet, to a lightweight, stylish, compact, almost invisible digital hearing device. Who knows what lies for its future? We are all lucky to be living in an era where all these possibilities are handed in a silver platter. Don’t let this opportunity to gain back your hearing pass by. Check out our wide variety of hearing aids today!

About The Listening Lab

Listening Lab is a home-grown company whose mission is to help our clients restore their hearing to enjoy the life that they desire. Experiencing hearing loss can be detrimental to one’s quality of life. Hence we commit to providing high-quality hearing solutions.

Our hearing solutions include hearing tests and treatment and prescribing hearing aids. Clients may come to get their hearing checked, and we will assess whether hearing aids are required.

If hearing aids are required, clients can choose from a variety of the best hearing aid brands we provide. Each of the products offers unique features that complement daily use and perform well in helping our clients enjoy the life that they desire.

What Do Our Customers Say?

Person in charge nice and helpful with warm smiling face. Should you have hearing problem, can seek for her advise.
Catherine Tang Yap
Your service is marvellous! Patient and friendly. Mr Ching has been a customer of The Listening Lab since 2018. We have been attending to him for his follow up reviews and we are glad to see his progress!
Mr Ching
My husband purchased a Siemens Pure 7PX in 2016. We wish to appreciate Listening Lab for their ongoing attention and professional help they have been providing to us.
Mr & Mrs Sriram
madam Low
My mum has hearing loss for many years. Consultant of Listening Lab helped her fitted with Resound hearing aid. His patience and professionalism was greatly appreciated as the hearing aid enable her to hear and communicate with the people around her especially her grand children. We are happy with the services rendered by consultant. Keep up the good work!!
Madam Low
The Voice of two Generations in Singapore radio, Mr Brian Richmond, has chosen The Listening Lab to be his audiology and hearing services provider. We could not be prouder!

Brian is the definitive household name in English Radio since the early years of Singapore's founding, starting with Rediffusion followed by Radio One and now with Gold 90.5FM as well as Vintage Radio Singapore. His honeyed voice and selection of music filling our ears as we lived the bustle of our daily lives.

Soccer fans from the Malaysia Cup era of soccer will never forget his heart-pounding commentary from "live" matches, as we experienced the ups and downs of the Singapore Lions in the 1970s to 90s.

Our Executive Director Kelvin Lee is proudly beaming ear-to-ear in this photo with Brian. But you wont be able to see it through the masks!
Brian Richmond
I started experiencing loss of hearing sometimes in 2010 (41 years old) owing to some medical issue. I was having difficulties hearing conservation especially in meeting. Thus, giving me the fear in attending meeting.

Initially I started with Phonak hearing aid. It helps amplified the sound and I could hear better then. Somehow, my hearing loss deteriorated further that in late 2012 (43 years old), there was profound loss of hearing on my right ear. Even digital hearing aid could not help. On my left ear there is still about 50% to 60% hearing with hearing aid. I was lost at this point of time. I was considering learning sign language. I went to see my ENT specialist and my audiologist Mr. Bala advised me to go for an CI as an alternative to my hearing loss.

I also thank God for Engineer and Scientist, giving them the knowledge to create such a complex and sophisticate device to help those with hearing loss like me. It will be all perfect if the cost is affordable too.
Jonathan Po
madam goh
I took my mum to Listening Lab at Simei to get her hearing aid fixed, during our first visit, she patiently explained the whole procedure to my mum and also explain to my mum why she really in need to fix the hearing aid. She is very knowledgeable, and friendly, and we are encouraged to ask questions. she is also very patient with old people which is the most importance. Also her after service is superb so I highly recommend.
Mdm Goh
My mum, Madam Kek (73 year old) had the Cochlear implant (CI) done on her left side in 10th September 2019. Thereafter, thanks to the subsequent auditory verbal therapy, evaluation from SGH ENT team, as well as, the support from AB's and Listening Lab staffs; Madam Kek was able to hear, comprehend sound and music from her Cochlear implant, Naida CI Q90, and hearing aid (HA), Naida Link UP, for her right side before end year. We are happy that both the CI and HA have improved mum qualify of life. Now Madam Kek is looking forward to work again to pass her time as she can hear and better communicate with others.
Madam Kek
Titus was implanted when he was 18 months old. He is a happy, talkative 6.5 years old now. AB has been with him for 5 wonderful hearing years and we are looking forward to a bright future that lies ahead for him. AB’s Naída CI sound processors are reliable and the technology is constantly evolving and upgrading. When Titus was introduced to Naida Link CROS, his life was enriched. The wireless network established between his Naida CI sound processor and a Naida Link CROS transmitter allows him to hear from both ears. This changes Titus’s life and the way we interact with him. We are also very pleased with the prompt response and service provided to us. The staff in AB genuinely cares! We want to thank AB for making Titus’s hearing journey an enjoyable and a relatively stress free one!
Titus Pang
mr tan
I have been living with progressive hearing loss for more than three decades. Socially, I find myself fearful of communicating with people and at home, watching 'soundless' television programs is a norm.

An unforgettable experience. Trying on a pair of Resound GN hearing aid, I was energized and revitalized and overwhelmed with emotional tears of joy. The Resound GN is truly remarkable and uniquely equipped with three-friendly-user environmental modes that provide hearing comfort wherever we are.

In particular, I like to extend my utmost gratitude to Hearing Consultant. With her profound compassion and wisdom in guiding me, I am confident that I can forge a formidable partnership with the Listening Lab; So that I can rebuild a new chapter of a happy and value-creative life and simultaneously, leaving behind the painful memories of the past three decades.
Mr Tan

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