Oticon have been manufacturing hearing aids for over 100 years, and were founded in 1904 by Hans Demant, who made it his mission to improve his hearing-impaired wife’s quality of life. Oticon hearing aids employ an ‘open sound’ approach which allows the wearer to hear all sounds in their listening environment, not just sounds from the front like traditional hearing aids often do. Oticon’s ideology about ‘brain hearing’ suggests that providing more sound to the brain allows the brain to make better sense of sound, therefore giving the wearer a more realistic sound scene.
Phonak has been helping the world to hear better for more than 70 years, and now has customers in more than 100 countries. Phonak’s latest technology, the Phonak Audéo Paradise, was a winner at the recent CES 2019 Innovation Awards in the Accessibility Category.
The Audéo Paradise is one of the first universal Bluetooth hearing aids that can support direct stereo steaming from both Android and iOS phones. This enables wearers to better experience high-quality sound when on the phone, listening to music, or watching video. Phonak Paradise also has on-board motion sensors in their rechargeable hearing aids, allowing for ‘tap-control’ whereby clients can answer calls, stop or start streaming, or activate their voice assistant with a tap of their ear.
Unitron produces both behind-the-ear and in-ear hearing aids, which are available with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Their latest product incorporates an accelerometer into the rechargeable battery to enable ‘tap-control’ to answer phone calls and activate voice assistants. Unitron’s earlier product, the Moxi Now, is the world’s smallest wireless Receiver-in-Ear (RIC) hearing aid, enabling wearers to look great and hear in comfort. It was also the winner of the 2017 reddot award for ‘best of the best’ making it a popular choice for many consumers.
Sivantos Ltd, producers of the Signia, Rexton and Siemens branded hearing aids, are one of the biggest producers of hearing aids in the world. One out of every four hearing aids produced worldwide come under the Sivantos umbrella, and they have customers in 95 countries around the world. Signia are constantly updating their product portfolio to suit the ever-changing needs of clients. Signia is one of the first manufacturers to allow for their invisible-in-canal hearing aids to be controlled using a smartphone app.
Widex, a family-owned company from Denmark, is another large hearing aid manufacturer. They have a history of delivering innovative new approaches and technologies and were the first company to produce in-ear hearing aids. Their latest products claim to be the world’s first “smart” hearing aids. When you adjust your hearing aid, the hearing aid learns. It remembers the settings you use in different environments and uses this information to adjust itself for a better listening experience. Additionally, this data is sent back to Widex anonymously, helping them to fine-tune their hearing aids to the benefit of every Widex customer.
Founded in 1964, Starkey has a long history of helping users access high-quality hearing solutions. Starkey has long been at the forefront of hearing aid innovation; they were the first company to produce an iPhone app and the first to use both digital and nano-technology. Their Livio AI technology is the first hearing aid on the market to track both body and brain functions; it provides a ‘body score’ which is a combination of steps and body movements, as well as a ‘brain score’ which measures social engagement and hours of active listening. The Livio AI also has a ‘falls detector’ which alerts loved ones if it detects a fall by the wearer. Starkey has also led the way for many years in manufacturing high-quality custom ear plugs.