History of Hearing Aids


As we are revolutionising the hearing care industry for a better future, it’s important for us to understand the history of hearing care and the problems that we solve. The discrete, high-tech hearing aids that enable our customers to hear well today have origins in giant conical ear trumpets and bulky table-top hearing aids!

We’re inspired by innovation every day, which is why we have a small museum in our Berlin office dedicated to progress in changing lives with better hearing. Let’s take a look!

Ear Trumpets

By collecting sound waves and focusing them into the smaller area inside the ear, the ear trumpet helped people on their way to better hearing without amplifying the sound. They were made from a variety of materials such as sheet metal, animal horns, wood, even snail shells!

Can you imagine having to lift a large, funnel-shaped piece of wood to your ear to be able to hear better? Thankfully, the next exhibit in our museum was a bit less uncomfortable…

Table-Top Hearing Aids

Large, “lunch box” style hearing aids assisted those who were hard of hearing that were sitting around a table. They were used in meetings and classrooms and weighed around 1.8kg, which made them useless on-the-go, being so clunky and heavy.

In an attempt to make them more inconspicuous and suitable for active people, there were attempts to disguise them as handbags and radios. However, the uncomfortable headsets meant that they weren’t suitable for constant use. It was soon necessary for progress to be made to provide better hearing to active people.

Pocket Hearing Aids

A much more convenient solution! Hearing aids with multiple transistors such as this model had a longer battery life than the previous electronic models and could be used outdoors… in dry weather.

They were small enough to fit in a jacket pocket or worn in a harness, but still weren’t very discrete. While the electrical device could be hidden, the thick wires and bulky earpiece continued to be too conspicuous for those with a minor hearing loss.

Also, the microphone was unable to differentiate between sounds– the microphone brushing against your clothing in your pocket sounded just as loud as someone shouting at you! In-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids quickly overtook the pocket devices in popularity and, once digitalised, had many of the functions we expect from hearing aids today!

Horizon Hearing Aids

Finally, its time to forget about hearing loss. Horizon hearing aids are an easy-to-use solution that can be seamlessly integrated into all aspects of life.

At audibene, we offer a device with all of the problems of the predecessors solved:

Almost invisible design: The hearing aids are so small that they are almost invisible.

High quality sound: With natural sounding audio and acoustic motion sensors, sounds aren’t just amplified. Sounds are processed with authentic depth and detail to a provide flawless listening experience.

Speech focus mode: Horizon hearing aids can sense voices with crystal clarity, even the smallest whisper. Speech focus mode ensures an optimal experience for any situation.
Meeting friends in a cafe or restaurant? Speech Focus means that you can be active in the conversation, not distracted by the ambient noise of others moving around you.

Innovative technology: Built for all connections, whether they are in person or online. Using Bluetooth connectivity, calls and media such as TV and music can be heard directly through the hearing aids. Hearing loss no longer impacts any listening experience.

Find out more about the features of our Horizon hearing aid here, you try it out for free!