Science + Tech

Headphones, Past and Present

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.


Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-2018. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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