Make a homemade hearing aid

Make a homemade hearing aid

How do we hear?

Sssh. Can you hear something? We can tell the difference between loud sounds and quiet sounds. You can even tell the difference between your mum's voice and your teacher's voice. But how do we hear?

Movement of the air - vibrations - are the basis for all sounds. Different sounds and voices cause different vibrations in the air. Your ears collect these vibrations and convert them to nerve signals. These nerve signals are sent to your brain. Your brain works out what the signals mean - it converts the signals into sound.

What if we could collect MORE sound waves?

Would we be able to hear even more sounds? Try this and see:

  1. Roll a large sheet of paper into a cone shape. One end should be as large as possible. The other end should have a hole about the size of a penny.
  2. Sellotape the paper so the cone doesn't unravel.
  3. Hold the narrow end of the cone to your ear. Don't put the cone in your ear - your ears are very delicate and you don't want to damage them!
  4. Walk around your house - what can you hear? Are the sounds louder? Can you hear sounds you haven't heard before?

Your homemade hearing aid works in the same way as your ears - it collects sound waves in the large end of the cone and funnels them into your ears. Because the cone is bigger than your ears, more sound waves can enter your ears. You should be able to hear quiet sounds much more clearly. Try it and see!

Curriculum information

  • Summary


    Curriculum key wordsOther web links
    • 5
    Science Curriculum Links
    National CurriculumCurriculum for excellenceNorthern Ireland Curriculum