People today are listening to music on their headphones and earbuds nearly everywhere; on trains, planes, and many more. But only 100 years ago, headphones didn’t exist yet. The first technical headphones were made in 1895, called the Electrophone and it allowed subscribers to listen in on live performances over phone lines and cost, in today’s dollars, around $800 a year.
The first real headphones, however, were made in 1910, by Nathaniel Bladwin, who sold the first 100 pairs to the U.S. Navy, and in 1937 the Beyerdynamic DT-48 was the first dynamic headphones available for home use, and remained in production until 2012. The Bose QuietComfort became the first noise cancelling, commercially available headphones, in 2001, the iPod reinvented portable and digital music, and finally in 2017, Airpods, despite initial ridicule, became a cultural phenomenon and are widely used today all over the world.
Find out the challenges of future headphones and how they affect workers here.