Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph for the first time on November 29, 1877. The audience perceived the invention as magic, leaving Edison with the nickname “The Wizard of Menlo Park.” As sound recording gradually developed with the rise of the electrical, magnetic and finally the digital phase, technology become more and more precise and made copying and mass production easier. Each phase and invention revolutionized the music and film industry in its very own way. In the past decades technology has also learned to listen, not just to repeat: speech recognition was invented and put into commercial use. Now we can enjoy huge online databases of digital recordings, sound editing software and virtual assistants who understand almost all our words.

Take a glimpse at the past 140 years with our infographic.

140 years of audio technology

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