Hearing Aid History

Manufacturer History

Oticon hearing instruments founded in 1904 is owned by holding company William Demant located in Denmark. William Demant is an umbrella company which also owns Sonic Innovations and Bernafon- both manufacturers which have similar technology to Oticon. Oticon has a history of producing excellent hearing aids, and is credited with building the world’s first fully digital hearing aid. Oticon is reputed to build very “smooth” sounding hearing aids, with a good balance of base and treble, allowing for a natural listening experience. Oticon is a highly recommended brand by audiologists worldwide.

Phonak hearing instruments founded in 1947 is owned by Swiss holding company Sonova. Sonova also owns Unitron, and recently purchased Lyric. Phonak is well known as the leader in pediatric hearing solutions, but has state-of-the-art products for adults as well. Phonak claims many firsts, including creating the first hearing aid to facilitate the direct wireless use of Bluetooth mobile phones for hearing aids. Phonak is one of only two brands that builds hearing aids capable of forming directional microphone arrays, which means they are excellent at focusing on sounds you want to hear, and eliminating competing noises you don’t want to hear.

ReSound hearing instruments have roots back to 1943. ReSound headquartered in Ballerup, Denmark is part of the GN ReSound Group, one of the world’s largest providers of hearing instruments and diagnostic audiological instrumentation. ReSound draws from a vast pool of resources at technology centers located in over 80 countries around the world, where researchers work to apply technology to real human situations. ReSound provides excellent sound by offering innovative hearing solutions that combine original thinking and design with solid technology – all based on deep audiological insight and understanding of hearing aid users. ReSound is one of the world’s largest producers of hearing aids.

Siemens hearing instruments founded in 1847 is a German technology company with branches in many industries. Siemens also owns Rexton hearing aids, and shares technology with Miracle Ear. In late 2014, Siemens’ hearing aid division was sold to a Stockholm-based private equity investment firm, and the name was changed to Sivantos. Like Phonak, Siemens hearing aids are capable of forming directional microphone arrays, which means Siemens hearing aids are some of the best at reducing unwanted noises and clarifying speech. Siemens was also the only manufacturer to build a completely waterproof hearing aid. Like ReSound, Siemens is also able to pack a ton of features in their hearing aids, which makes them very versatile hearing aids.

Starkey hearing instruments founded in 1967 by William F Austin. Starkey is based in Eden Prairie Minnesota.  Starkey is a world leader in manufacturing and delivering advanced hearing solutions. Starkey features substantially similar hearing aids under the brands of Audible, MicroTech, and NuEar. The Starkey Hear Now Foundation has given away over 1 million hearing aids to people around the world. Hear Better Live Better!

Unitron hearing instruments founded in 1964 is a Canadian manufacturer owned by Sonova, which is the parent company of Phonak (another leading manufacturer). Unitron is a very patient-centered brand, and they make unique offerings to the marketplace that no other manufacturer does. For instance, Unitron’s flex:trial program allows patients to try hearing aids at different technology levels, absolutely risk-free, and with a simplicity that no other brand can match.

Widex hearing instruments founded in 1956 is a Denmark based manufacturer with worldwide distribution. Widex is the only big six brand that doesn’t own any other brand. Widex is the leader in tinnitus treatment hearing aids, with it’s groundbreaking Zen hearing system.  Widex has forged a reputation as one of the most innovative manufacturers in the industry. Widex created the world’s first digital in the ear hearing aid, as well as their own revolutionary wireless technology. Widex hearing aids promote the most advanced natural sounding hearing aids on the market making them popular among musicians.  Helping people hear is our business!