Evolution of Head Phones

Today headphones have become a common thing. It has contributed a lot to an individual’s privacy and listening to things without disturbing others. We are now using earphones with some great facilities like noise cancelation, Bluetooth and so on.  When it comes to headphones, it took more than a century to reach where we are now. Today almost everyone just takes the wire plug it in our mobile and forget what is happening around us. But the development in headphones was not that easy and quick. It was a very slow and gradual process.

Any discussion about headphones will be like which studio headphones are good to mix music and which the most expensive headphone and so on. Here we will discuss the evolution of headphones.



The beginning

It was at the beginning of the 1980s that headphones came into existence. Back in the days, it was a huge speaker that was held near the ears. These headphones were very much dedicated for communication purpose. A few years later it was transformed into electrophone. It was connected to a switchboard. People all over London were able to hear some live performances. This was the first subscription method in the entertainment industry. The cost was five pounds a year.


It is hard to believe that for nearly two decades nothing much happened. But many say a lot of people were involved in research to make some modifications in the headphones. In the year 1937 Beyerdynamic which was manufacturing microphones and speakers came up with first headphones. These headphones were totally dedicated to personal listening.

It was Beyerdynamic that created a wider reach of headphones among the common people. Until then the headphones were very much confined to the upper class of the society. The DT 48 was an on-ear headphone with a metal band and cables.

In 1939 AKG came up with K120 Headphones. It is one of the highest selling headphones of all time. It had great sound quality and also looked good.

The Jazz-Koss revolution

The world-renowned jazz musician John Koss is one the main reason for the survival of headphones. Koss came up with his own design and invented Koss SP 3. It was the first of its kind with stereo over-ear headphones.  It came with a soft cloth wrapped around it.

During the 1960s and the ’70s, Koss had absolute dominance in the headphone sector. It had eighty percent share in the US market and more than sixty percent share in the world market. One of the biggest names that were associated with Koss was the Beatles.

The beginning of the modern era

In 1979 Sony came up with a masterpiece called the Sony Walkman, which was a portable audio cassette player.  The device came with the headphones packed with it. This laid the strong basement in for Sony to be a strong contender in the audio manufacturing industry.

Soon after that many brands such as Phillips and Onkyo entered the headphone market. Their headphones were of good quality at an affordable price.

The Fashion Factor

Since there was a heavy competition in the industry, people not just wanted headphones with the good quality they also demanded something that would look good on them. Sony was the first brand to introduce the behind the neckband in headphones. Sennheiser came up with open back head transducer headphones.

The Pro League

There were certain brands like Bose and Beyerdynamic that were dedicated to meet the needs of professionals. Bose came up with this amazing technology of noise cancelation. These brands became very common among the professionals because of the quality that they offered.

The new kids in the block

There were a lot of brands emerging in the market in the late 1990s and at the beginning of 2000 that offered good quality and looked cool. Brands like Skull Candy, Boat and Beats were targeted more on the young generation. They gained instant popularity because of the connection that they were able to make among the people.