Invention of the microphone



The invention of the microphone is an interesting and complex historical process. The term “microphone” was first accepted in 1827 and the device was named as such by Sir Charles Wheatstone.


The first use of a microphone as a telephone transmitter is dated back to 1876 and the invention is credited to Emile Berliner. Emile Berliner sold the patent for the microphone to the Bell Company for $50,000. This was a major acquisition of the times and thus the microphone became a popular item in society as it was implemented into many fields of work. The invention of the microphone was truly a great step forward as far as communication channels are concerned and it was one of the decisive steps in the development of telephony.

The development of different microphone models

The invention of the microphone was seen as a huge success and a major breakthrough in the communication field. David Edward Hughes took the basic elements of the microphone and invented the carbon microphone in 1878. For 30 years or more the carbon microphone was in development, with increasing sound quality and smaller sizes. In fact, we might even say that the 1878 invention has been under a continuous improvement process and today we are using improvements of that same basic idea. Radio broadcasting microphones were developed in parallel with the breakthroughs in radio technology.

1942 saw the invention of the ribbon microphone, used mainly in radio broadcasting. The electret microphone was the next major step in the invention of the microphone, created in 1964 by the Bell Laboratories. Almost a billion electret microphones were manufactured each year as this cheap and high sound quality microphone proved to be very successful with all sorts of applications.

History of the Microphone

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