The Historical Background of Microphone

The microphone also is known as “Mic” or Mike is the device that can convert the acoustic power into electric power. But that power must have the similar wave characteristics to make that conversion possible.

In the other word, we can say that microphone is a device that converts sound to electrical voltages.That electrical energy again turns into sound wave through speakers. This method was first used in the early telephone and after that in the radio transmitters. In this article, we will discuss the historical background of this electrical device.

Early age of the invention of microphone

In the year of 1827, Sir Charles Wheatstone a famous English physicist and inventor first used the word “microphone.” In 1837, Charles Wheatstone and his partner William Cooke co-invent an electric telegraph. The Wheatstone-Cooke telegraph was the first telegraph in Great Britain, and it was activated and put up in operation in London and Blackwall Railway. Wheatstone-Cooke this initiative was the first step of the invention of our modern microphone.

After that in 1877, Emile Berliner invents the carbon-button microphone. It was one of the first ever created and by far the most usable receiver in that period. Though at that time there are also other different types of microphone available in the market the Emile Berliner’s microphone was more robust than the rest. Alexander Graham Bell was so impressed with the carbon-button that’s why he bought the rights from Berliner for $50,000 because he wants to use it in his telephone prototypes.

The era of coil microphone

With the invention of the carbon microphone, the sound quality of the telephones increased significantly. Philipp Reis contributed a significant part to invent this coil microphone. In early 1861 he introduced his “telephone” to the public.  His invention was able to produce a functioning electrical telephone connection at that time, and that was the first coil microphone idea in that time

Henry Henning’s advance microphone

After some decade later of coil microphone, Henry Henning’s come up with a new idea to Grains of coal replaced the existing fuel. His original plan helps to realize the world that an even better result is possible. He invents his microphone using this innovation. Using this technique, the carbon microphone was used until the 1940s

Georg Neumann contribution to improving the coil microphone to condenser microphone

In 1923, the German inventor Georg Neumann improved the coil microphone. Before he presented his condenser microphone in 1928, the band microphone was invented at the beginning of the 1920s in the 19th century.  Dr. Walter H Schottky and Erwin Gerlach were the main contributors for this invention. A few years later Dr. Harry F. Olson advanced the invention. Through the use of coils and permanent magnets, he succeeded in the next step.

Over the decades, new versions of this microphone have been invented.

The next microphone invention was the condensation microphone. The physical principle of this mic is that a capacitor is used here. Two plates are placed close to each other, and the distance changes when sound enters. These constant motions produce capacitance, which is converted into electrical impulses.

Condenser microphones are still in use today and are the most popular microphones for the sound studio. The German Georg Neumann contributed a great deal to the invention of the condensation microphone. Georg Neumann founded his company in 1928, which today is one of the leading microphone manufacturers worldwide.

Electret microphone invention

The next level was the invention of the electret microphone. At the same time, it is by far the most significant share of the market. Electret microphones are very cheap to manufacture and orient themselves firmly on a condensation microphone.

In 1962, James Maceo West and Gerhard Sessler invented the electret microphone. Today electret microphones dominate the market. Whole 90% market share stands alone are for Electret microphone. About 20 years later Gerhard M. Sessler and Dietmar Hohn researched at the TH Darmstadt. Through their research, they succeeded in inventing the silicon microphone.

Microphone today

If microphone were not invented, then the radio would probably not exist. Telephones, let alone mobile phones would not be conceivable. What is self-evident for us today, people have been enthusiastic about it. Since the microphone was invented, new applications are emerging.

Who knows, maybe a new one will soon be invented, and our modern condenser microphone then will become an old model. So for today hopefully this section is enough. In my opinion, we should be very grateful that the mic was invented. You can check modern microphone here.

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