We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is a Megaphone?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated: May 16, 2024

Also known as a bullhorn, blowhorn, or a speaking trumpet, a megaphone is a handheld device that makes it possible to amplify the human voice by directing it in a specific direction. With an origin that is often traced back to the 17th century, a traditional megaphone is in the shape of a cone, and is constructed of lightweight materials that allow the user to hold the blowhorn to the mouth with relative ease. Both the traditional and electronic versions of the device are in common use today, often at sporting and entertainment events, as well as at political rallies. Law enforcement officials and some fire departments also often use the blowhorn as part of their emergency equipment.

A traditional megaphone is a simple design that is unencumbered with any type of electronic gadgetry to help amplify the voice. These acoustical models rely on the shape and the choice of materials to amplify sound, and direct the voice within a given direction. The body of the megaphone is shaped like a cone, with an opening at the smaller end that is held directly in front of the speaker’s mouth. Sound travels through the body of the device, and emerges at the larger end of the cone. A simple handle made it possible to use one hand to move the body of the device into position. While traditional bullhorns of this type were once made using metal components, many today are made using a combination of metal, plastic and even various types of wood fibers.

The acoustic megaphone was for many years a staple with various types of stage productions, especially during the early 20th century. Vaudeville performers often relied on the megaphone when singing to larger audiences. Narrators and comedians also utilized the device for a number of years, until microphone technology and the installation of sound systems in clubs and theaters became more common. Many politicians would use this type of sound trumpet when holding outdoor rallies during campaigns, while policemen often used the device to communicate with suspects who had barricaded themselves within a structure, refusing to surrender to law enforcement officials.

Over time, electronic technology was used to enhance the function of the basic megaphone. Circuitry within the device allows users to adjust the volume and modulation of the voice, using either a keypad or a set of switches located on the side of the device. Today, law enforcement officials, politicians, and others who make use of this type of sound amplification equipment will use the electronic version rather than the traditional acoustical megaphone. However, the older version is still in common use at school events like pep rallies and cheerleading during a sporting event.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including EasyTechJunkie, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.