Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum
Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum

The Hearing Aid Museum

Hearing Aids of all types—Ear Trumpets, Carbon Hearing Aids, Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids, Transistor Hearing Aids, Body Hearing Aids, Eyeglass Hearing Aids and much more!

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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.

 

Body Type Transistor Hearing Aids

Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid

The Maico model MT-2A portable desk hearing aid was a "lunch box" model made in 1961 primarily made for use in the classroom.

This model seems to be a bit of an anachronism as by 1953 transistorized hearing aids were small body worn units and contained 3 transistors, not a "lunch-box"-sized hearing aid only containing 1 transistor and using large headphones rather than small ear molds.

Here is the brochure explaining the use of this desk hearing aid and giving its specifications.

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Front view of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid. The other side looked exactly the same.

This large desk-top unit measured 7½" by 4¼" by 3½". It weighed 2 lbs (916 g) without batteries and 3 lbs, 11 oz. (1.676 kg) with batteries.

 

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Inside view of the electronics of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid showing the single transistor this aid used (left), the yellow vertically-oriented T-coil (right) and the large cream-colored microphone (near top between the 2 posts and the T-coil).

The top of the transistor "can" is marked "RAY  2N361  6152".

 

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Hidden under the right end of the carrying strap was the microphone grill (4 slots) of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid.

 


 

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View of the near right corner of the top of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid showing the "MIC-MAG" switch shown in the microphone position. The "MAG" position was for using the built-in t-coil so this hearing aid could be used in classrooms with room loops. Yes, special classrooms were looped back in 1961.

MAG is the abbreviation for "magnetic" referring to the magnetic field that the coil picked up. For some reason, Maico used this abbreviation rather than just a "T" commonly used for indicating a "T-coil".

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Left end view of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid showing the on-off switch/volume control.

 


 

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Right end view of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid showing the binaural balance control (left) and the headphone jack (right).

The binaural balance control let you adjust the relative volume between your ears if your ears had a different degree of hearing loss. That way you would hear at the same level in each ear.
 

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Right end view of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid showing the phone plug plugged into the headphone jack.

Using a stereo plug and a four-wire cable allowed each headphone to have a different volume.


 

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Close-up view of the headphone ¼" phone plug of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid. Note that this is a TRS stereo plug with tip, ring and sleeve.


 

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Front view of the earphones of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid showing the large rubber cups. (Not the most comfortable things to wear as they fit tightly over your ears.)

The ear cups measured 2 11/16" (6.9 cm) in diameter.

The headphone cord was relatively long at 8' (203 cm).
 

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Rear view of the the left headphone of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid. This earphone was color-coded blue for the left ear.

 

 

 

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Rear view of the the right headphone of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid. This earphone was color-coded red for the right ear.

 

 

 

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Side view of the headphones of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid.

The headphones were heavy—weighing in at 14.7 oz. (416 g).

 

 

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Bottom view of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid showing the "barn door" access to the battery compartment here in the locked position.

Note the identification information stamped into the right door (see below).

 

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The picture at the right shows the information stamped on the battery door.

Notice that there weren't too many of these models made as this serial number is only 4527.

The USA Copyright Office in their Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series: 1961 under "Current Registrations" p. 455 has this entry:

"Model MT-2A Maico portable desk hearing aid. © Maico Electronics, Inc.; 7Feb61; A489228." ["A489228" is the copyright registration number.]

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Bottom view of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid showing the shiny metal plate rotated 90° to its unlocked position, and with the right battery compartment door partially opened.

 

 

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Inside (bottom) view of the Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid with both "barn doors" fully opened revealing the large battery compartment inside.

 

 

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The Maico Model MT-2A Portable Desk Hearing Aid used two Eveready No. 276 9-volt carbon-zinc batteries.

This battery measured  2" x 2½" x 3⅛" high (5.2 x 6.5 x 8.0 cm).

 

 


 

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