Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum
Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum

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Click on the "General Information" button (top button above) for an overview and general information on this category of hearing aid.

 

Conversation Tubes

Mears (Medresco) Model OL-380 Conversation Tube

The Mears Model OL 380 A conversation tube was made by Mears in the UK and was distributed to people in the UK by Medresco, the British health service.

This model was made at least from 1949 through 1952 and likely longer based on dated versions of this model.

The overall length of this conversation tube is 42½". It weighs 5.2 oz.

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Close-up of the mouth of the Mears conversation tube. The diameter of the bell is 2½". Both the bell and the earpiece are made of a beautiful reddish plastic.

 

 

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Side view of the bell of the Mears conversation tube. The bell is 3¼" long.


 

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Close-up showing the name and model of this conversation tube. It reads, "MEARS  OL 380  A".


 

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Close-up of the earpiece of the Mears OL 380 conversation tube. The earpiece is 5½" long, while the right-angled bend is 1⅜".

The earpiece terminates in a white plastic ear tip. This ear tip can screw off for cleaning or replacing if it broke.

A somewhat unusual feature of this conversation tube is that the earpiece has a swivel base so you can adjust it to fit your ear without having to "roll" the tube itself.
 

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Top view of the Mears conversation tube showing the taper as the tube goes from the bell to the earpiece.


 

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Close-up showing the differences in the diameter of the tapered conversation tube. The tube diameter going into the earpiece (upper) is ⅜" while the tube diameter going into the bell (lower) is ¾".

Tapered tubes were commonly used in conversation tubes to compress (amplify) the sound waves as they traveled to the earpiece.

 

 

 

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