The evolution of headphones in 10 models that made history

Born in the 19th century and forgotten, the headphones exploded when Sony launched the Walkman. Today, they are miniaturised and wireless, but the function remains the same.

Turning music into a personal experience with an entire concert hall for a single spectator. The history of headphones is a curious one, a device created in the late 19th century to listen to musical instruments and forgotten for almost half a century. The invention has its origins in the Electrophone, a British service which, in exchange for a subscription, allowed people to listen to concerts remotely via a reversed headset. It did not have a headband and did not sit on the head (the hairstyles of the time would not have allowed it) but the earcups were mounted on a Y-shaped structure to be held in the hand. After that first idea it opened as a caesura. Military research and the ever-closer war made headsets shift towards professional services, they were used by radio and telephone operators and it was not until the 1950s that they returned to the original concept that still remains today. Although the product itself has changed, miniaturised, lost its wires in many cases and adopted innovative materials, in reality the function has remained the same: having your own orchestra wherever you are.

Latest News

Latest on Domus

Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram