Raidio headphones were the first headphones ever created. The history of raidio headphones all started with the telephone. Headphones in the early 1900s consisted of moving iron transducers. Sound was carried across the telephone lines in the form of electrical impulses, making the iron transducers move at the receiving end, transmitting sound. Moving- Iron headphones were so successful that they were adopted by the radio industry, where they reigned until the 1950s.
Headphones, radio, metal/Bakelite/leather/fabric, [England], 1930-1940
Pair of headphones, metal band with circular Bakelite and meal earphones, twisted fabric covered cord, Admiralty Pattern : 4968 Pat. No. 29833-10.
Although stereo was invented in the 1930s, it wasn't commercially available only until the mid-1950s. Raidio headphones were large and not easily adjusted, making them extremely uncomfortable, which made them easy to replace when stereo became the dominant form of electronic audio.
New Sterio Headphones
The advent of stereo ushered in an era of change for the history of headphones. Early stereo headphones replaced raidio headphones with plastic cones. From there, John Koss invested in refining stereo headphones, moving the technology along to a microphone transducer and eventually to the first pair of electrostatic headphones. Advances in technology during the 60s, specifically by John Koss's company, Koss, made it possible to develop smaller headphones that had better quality audio playback.
The walkman Changes Headphones in the 80s
In the 1980s, Sony developed the Walkman: a portable music device you could carry with you to listen to your favorite tunes. Since the Walkman was portable, stereo headphones evolved to become smaller and more easily transported. The completely enclosed circumaural design faded away, to be replaced by a supra-aural design that sat lightly over the ears, with only a little foam padding to protect the ears.
Next Type of Headphones
The changes didn't stop there, though; in the 1990s, the earbud headphone came to light; a small headphone that fit inside the ear instead of sitting over it. Canalphones also came along in the 1990s, providing sound directly into the ear canal for superior sound quality and the combined effect of earplugs to prevent outside noise from leaking inside. Today's experiments in noise-canceling headphones are just the latest chapter in the history of headphones.