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Title: Buzzer  
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Subject: National Academic League, Miljoenenjacht (Netherlands), Vehicle horn, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, Beeper
Collection: Bells (Instrument)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Electronic symbol for a buzzer

A buzzer or beeper is an audio signalling device,[1] which may be mechanical, electromechanical, or piezoelectric. Typical uses of buzzers and beepers include alarm devices, timers and confirmation of user input such as a mouse click or keystroke.


  • History 1
    • Electromechanical 1.1
    • Piezoelectric 1.2
  • Type of Buzzers 2
    • Electromechanical 2.1
    • Mechanical 2.2
    • Piezoelectric 2.3
  • Modern Applications 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5



The first electric buzzer was invented in 1831 by Joseph Henry. They were mainly used in early doorbells until they were phased out in the early 1930's in favor of musical chimes, which had a softer tone.[2]


Piezoelectric buzzers, or piezo buzzers, as they are sometimes called, were invented by Japanese manufacturers and fitted into a wide array of products during the 1970s to 1980s . This advancement mainly came about because of cooperative efforts by Japanese manufacturing companies. In 1951, they established the Barium Titanate Application Research Committee, which allowed the companies to be "competitively cooperative" and bring about several piezoelectric innovations and inventions.[3]

Type of Buzzers


Early devices were based on an electromechanical system identical to an electric bell without the metal gong. Similarly, a relay may be connected to interrupt its own actuating current, causing the contacts to buzz. Often these units were anchored to a wall or ceiling to use it as a sounding board. The word "buzzer" comes from the rasping noise that electromechanical buzzers made.


A joy buzzer is an example of a purely mechanical buzzer. They require drivers.


Piezoelectric disk beeper

A piezoelectric element may be driven by an oscillating electronic circuit or other audio signal source, driven with a piezoelectric audio amplifier. Sounds commonly used to indicate that a button has been pressed are a click, a ring or a beep.

Modern Applications

While technological advancements have caused buzzers to be impractical and undesirable, there are still instances in which buzzers and similar circuits may be used. Present day applications include:

  • Novelty uses
  • Educational purposes

See also


  1. ^ "buzzer - definition of buzzer by The Free Dictionary". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "The History of the Doorbell by". Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  3. ^ "Piezo Systems: History of Piezoelectricity". Retrieved 2015-07-12. 

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