Brief History of the Microphone

How does a microphone work? When was it invented? Why do we use them today during just about every live event? See below to find out the answers while we dive into a brief history of the microphone.

How Does It Work?

Sound waves need to be converted into electrical voltages and then converted back into soundwaves so an audience can hear the message through speakers. The microphone is a device that makes this all possible and they were first used with early telephones and radio transmitters.

How Did It All Begin?

Sir Charles Wheatstone was the first person to coin the phrase “microphone” in 1827 but it wasn’t until 1876 when Emile Berliner invented the first microphone used as a telephone voice transmitter. Soon after, the Bell Telephone company purchased the patent from Berliner for $50,000.

In 1942, the first ribbon microphone was invented for radio broadcasting and in 1964, Bell Laboratories received a patent for an electret microphone. This revolutionized the microphone industry with close to one billion produced each year. As technology continued to advance, more dynamic microphones were created which leaves us with the clear sound we hear today!

Have questions about microphones? Feel free to leave us a comment or give the experts at CitiView Audio Visual a call today at 212-632-5196.