Evolution of Speakers – From Analog to Bluetooth Speakers


Speakers have evolved a lot ever since Ernst Siemens patented the first loudspeaker in 1877. The speaker that everyone knows today was first manufactured in the 1920s. It utilizes a magnetic field to move a magnet or coil that is connected to a part called a diaphragm. And throughout the years, the evolution of speakers resulted into the modern models that are found on the market today including Bluetooth speakers under 100 dollars.

The 1800s

Ernst Siemens was one of the first individuals who have filed a patent for a speaker. Little did he know that his contraption will evolve into Bluetooth speakers of today. Thomas Edison, the famous American inventor, also developed a stylus and diaphragm device that was used in the first talking pictures but not with great success. The machine was known as the Wee Small Voice.

Early 1900s

Cinema owners in France placed speakers made by engineer Leon Gaumont at the back of the screen. They carried the speakers as required by action on the screen. By the year 1919, Gaumont developed the Eglephone speaker that can amplify sound to around four thousand people. And during Woodrow Wilson’s presidential address in 1919, they used Magnavox, which was a moving coil speaker. Instead of speaking into a microphone, President Wilson spoke into two large horns that were placed over his head.

1920s to 1950s

The development of audio speakers was in full blast between the two World Wars. Researchers from Bell Laboratories and General Electric were developing electrostatic and direct radiator speakers. It was in the mid-1930s when stereo sound was developed. Then in 1940, Walt Disney launched Fantasound, which was a sound system that utilized three audio channels, as well as 54 speakers. For home users, bookshelf speakers were launched, and the gramophones were replaced by woofers and tweeters.

1960s to the Present and the Future

It was in the 1960s when the consumer electronics became mobile. It was during this period when turntables became portable and have built-in speakers. Pocket radios were also released during this era. In 1965, Philips launched a compact cassette tape that utilized a low fidelity monophonic speaker.

During the 1970s, Dolby developed a noise reduction technology that became the world standard in noise reproduction. And new at present technologies such as Bluetooth speakers and NFC speakers. They have become smaller and more portable, and yet they provide high definition sound.

As you can see, speakers have evolved through time. From the large and clunky units, consumers can now buy Bluetooth speakers that can fit in their pockets. And the best thing about it is that the speakers of today provide clearer and better sound compared to the days of Wee Small Voice.

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