HR’s annual corporate review of events and new products from the industry’s perspective, and what may be in store for 2012.

The year 2011 brought many new products, events, and turning points for the hearing industry. As the year comes to a close, The Hearing Review asked several companies to comment on what they viewed as their major achievements, milestones, and corporate highlights during 2011, and what products, services, and announcements might be expected from them during 2012. Here’s a look from their perspective on the past year and the year to come. Additionally, the “HR Headlines” provide a sampling of just a few of the news items, announcements, and related articles that made it onto the pages and online offerings of HR during 2011. For more information on these companies’ products and services, use the contact information at the end of each company entry.


Looking Back at 2011…

A highlight of the year was AHAA’s 15th annual convention in Las Vegas where we announced our major new consumer Web site ( It gives the hearing impaired and their families solutions to hearing health concerns and is quickly becoming a compelling source of leads for AHAA Associates.

AHAA continues to enhance its comprehensive business methodology, All the Right Things™. The program emphasizes proven activities and processes that drive business growth and organizational development. In support of the program, AHAA will conduct 400+ training events in 2011, all across the country for practice owners and their teams. This training and our Navigator website represent a comprehensive “how to” guide for running and growing a business along with managing and developing staff.

In addition, AHAA’s Preferred Network continues to provide noncompeting groups of Associates opportunities to meet in small groups within their local areas to discuss key issues common to their practices. Meetings and topics focus on doing All the Right Things with improvements in organizational design, hiring, training, tracking, operations, and finance.

In addition, AHAA’s Preferred Network provides small, noncompeting groups of Associates opportunities to meet regularly in their local areas to discuss key issues common to their practices. Meeting and topics focus on doing All the Right Things with improvements in organizational design, hiring, training, tracking, operations, and finance.

Moving Forward to 2012…

AHAA will hold the 2012 Convention February 1-4 in Orlando. More than 400 are expected. Themed Connect-Learn-Grow, the focus is on strategies, industry trends and information, and peer sharing activities that help Associates grow their businesses.

AHAA is the industry’s leading provider of business and marketing planning services. Founded in 1995, we offer our nationwide network of more than 2,000 independent hearing health care professionals business management expertise and guidance. Contact AHAA today to join our dynamic network.

American Hearing Aid Associates (AHAA)

Chadds Ford, Pa
(800) 984-3272


Looking Back at 2011…

ClearSounds introduced a new smart line of amplified telephones designed for enhanced stability on residential digital telephone lines. Just like the transition from analog to digital hearing aids, telephone lines have gone through a similar transition, which means you need a product you can rely on. The new ClearSounds corded and cordless models will stay in your patients’ hands and complement their hearing instruments. ClearSounds also identified a huge gap in the market for instrument wearers wanting to better utilize multi-line business telephone systems and designed the PONS (professional office neckloop system) to help those users. In 2011, ClearSounds was instrumental in bringing the popular Hearing News Network to North America and continues to partner with industry insiders to deliver contextually relevant content directly to your patients.

HR Headlines

Moving Forward to 2012 …

ClearSounds will be introducing a number of Bluetooth solutions to make communication, in multiple environments, far easier. Integration and affordability will be our key to improving adoption rates. As seniors delay retirement and remain in the workforce longer, the need for connectivity solutions will increase. ClearSounds will continue to be the leader in manufacturing amplified devices that complement the use of hearing instruments. We plan to expand our workforce solutions and grow our line of smart and innovative telephones, which will ensure that your hearing impaired patients maximize the use of their instruments, and more importantly continue to communicate more effectively.

ClearSounds Communication

Naperville, Ill
(800) 965-9043


Looking Back at 2011 …

October 1, 2011 marked the second-year anniversary under the William Demant Holding (WDH) ownership for Grason-Stadler (GSI)—another year of streamlining operations and building further momentum toward our target of setting the clinical standard. Through our commitment to honor our profound heritage and show our strong leadership in the clinical market, GSI continued to strengthen its organizational growth through Product Management, Research and Development, and the investment into the current and future product portfolio.

GSI supported the needs of the contemporary clinic this summer by releasing two new software solutions, GSI Suite and Audera V2.7. GSI Suite now provides Electronic Medical Records (EMR) compatibility with GSI TympStar and GSI 61. Audera V2.7, featuring CE-Chirp and CE-Chirp Octave Band stimuli, maximizes Wave V amplitudes as much as two times the size of Wave V amplitudes achieved with a standard click stimulus. GSI also has been aggressively strengthening industry partnerships by bringing additional support programs to market. One example of this success is with the launch of the GSI CEU Training Modules, which produced 10 hands-on trainings sessions around the United States..

GSI also has been aggressively strengthening industry partnerships by bringing additional support programs to market. One example of this success is with the launch of the GSI CEU Training Modules, which produced 10 hands-on trainings sessions around the United States

Moving Forward to 2012 …

2012 will be a pivotal year for the GSI brand globally in developing and releasing best-in-class service, products, and support programs for audiometric assessment instrumentation. GSI will continue to strive to set the clinical standard in the audiometric industry.

Grason-Stadler Inc

Eden Prairie, Minn
(800) 700-4402


Looking Back at 2011 …

As 2011 ends, Hansaton USA celebrates the completion of a successful second year in the US market. With the spirit, enthusiasm, agility, and transparency of a small entrepreneurial company—and the backing of a well-established, family-owned German firm, and the backing of a growing customer base—Hansaton USA enjoyed a very successful year.

Hansaton’s new AQ X-Mini Rechargeable RIC quickly established itself as the gold standard for rechargeable instruments. With unparalleled digital processing, elegant RIC design, and Hansaton’s patented rechargeable system, the AQ X-Mini RIC and AQ Custom ITE offer unprecedented performance: operating time of 20+ hours per charge with no battery memory issues and a 5-year battery guarantee. Available in three technology levels, the AQ’s have a full array of modern digital features.

Overcoming limitations that rechargeables have faced for 3 decades, the AQ X-Mini lifts rechargeable hearing instruments out of the niche market and into the mainstream. Your patients never have to see or touch batteries again! Hansaton also introduced the miniMedia Remote, which adds several signal input channels to the existing Bluetooth capability in a device small enough to clip to your pocket.

Hansaton USA won the Best in Show exhibit award for small to midsized companies at the AudiologyNOW! Convention in Chicago.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

In 2012, Hansaton will continue to serve its customers through integrity, responsive customer service, transparent pricing, world-class technology, and innovative marketing tools. We look forward to partnering with you for many years to come.

Hansaton USA

Plymouth, Minn
(888) 984-7432


Looking Back at 2011 …

In 2009, Interacoustics introduced the Titan middle ear analyzer (pictured), a fully clinical computer-integrated impedance device in a sleek and portable handheld design. Interacoustics has now reintroduced the Titan, which for the first time combines impedance testing with automated ABR and DPOAEs into one portable device.

The DPOAE module of Titan2.0 allows for frequency selection from 500 to 10,000 Hz and features both a DP-gram and DP-I/O function. The automated ABR module is an infant screener featuring the CE-Chirp® stimulus that reduces test time by as much as 50% compared to traditional click stimuli. The values for sensitivity and specificity using the CE-Chirp® are 99.9% and 96%, respectively. Three transducer options are available to meet the needs of multiple patient requirements and a variety of clinical settings. Existing Titans with clinical impedance can be upgraded with the new DPOAE and automated ABR modules.

For a complete clinical solution, combine the Titan with Interacoustics’ Equinox, a PC-based audiometer. The Titan and Equinox platforms share a report template, which allows for complete customization of reports and seamless integration into electronic medical records.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

Our partners and end users around the globe will see numerous innovations in products & services during 2011. We will be launching new earmold styles and materials in the first quarter. Our accessories department is flexing its muscles for new products.

The highlight of 2012 will be the launch of the new AD629 Hybrid Audiometer and the Callisto portable dispensing system. The AD629 combines familiar audiometer hardware with true Hybrid capability, which means true two-way PC communication. Operate from the hardware or the PC, it makes no difference, and save the results to NOAH or OtoAccess. The internal memory of the AD629 lets you take it out on call without a PC and store an almost unlimited number of evaluations for later retrieval. The Callisto is strictly PC based, but a highly portable solution for dispensing practices that need full audiometry and Real Ear validation. The underlying software programs are identical in functionality, providing uniformity in reporting and printing.


Eden Prairie, Minn
(800) 947-6334


Looking Back at 2011 …

2011 has been an exciting year for Captioned Telephone technology, marking the 10th anniversary of providing CapTel captioning service for telephone calls. This year saw the release of numerous CapTel apps, allowing people to get captions during their mobile phone calls. Our expanded Web capabilities allow CapTel users to talk on any phone they want, all while getting the benefit of captions over the Internet. Also key in 2011, CapTel Customer Service expanded its hours to now be available round the clock, 24/7. With CapTel models for various types of phone services (including traditional landline and new digital cable/VoIP options), the support available to “unlock” the telephone for people with hearing loss is unprecedented.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

The field of speech recognition technology, in general, is advancing at a tremendous pace, and CapTel Captioned Telephone is leading the way to bring those advances directly to people with hearing loss. Look for CapTel to continue expanding the ways and opportunities for people to get captions during their conversations in 2012.

Hamilton CapTel
(866) 576-1991


Looking Back at 2011 …

The 2011 AHAA convention marked the launch of the Hearing News Network in the US market. Hearing care professionals gravitated instantly to our unique approach to the “Digital Waiting Room” with our eclectic array of Edutainment and Infotainment piped directly into their clinics through high speed Intranet. To date, HNN has over 100 subscribers who benefit from increased awareness, revenue, and overall customer satisfaction. HNN has partnered with industry insiders: ClearSounds, Unitron, Unite, Beltone, Educated Patients, and Counsel Ear to deliver contextually relevant content, product information, and general hearing care news on a real time platform.

HR Headlines

Moving Forward to 2012 …

Hearing News Network will introduce a real time “video testimonial” uplink, enabling any clinic to showcase success stories at the local community level. HNN will continue creating new strategic alliances with manufacturers and other service providers as we address the social media side of the market with DemandStreet, a company that specializes in growing your practice through Facebook. The entire HNN platform will undergo cosmetic changes and continue to add the latest media platforms throughout the year.

Hearing News Network

Naperville, Ill
(877) 999-4483


Looking Back at 2011 …

MedRx Inc has now entered its 18th year of serving the global hearing care industry with advanced PC-based testing and diagnostic solutions. 2011 was a year of continued growth internationally and domestically for the company. As hearing aid fitting verification continues to gain traction in the audiological market, MedRx invested in a radical new design, introducing the AVANT™ REMsp device—a comprehensive probe microphone system that is the size of a small flash drive. In addition, the company developed a new small PC-based HIT Chamber—possibly the smallest most portable system in the industry. In August 2011, the company was acquired by a major hearing care provider with strong ties to the audiological industry.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

MedRx is poised to enter a number of new international markets in 2012 and will focus on extending its global presence through new and established distribution channels. The company plans continued evolution of its software platforms to ensure testing, fitting, and measurement tasks are easy and fast, and reflect the current needs of the professional. MedRx is also exploring related hearing care markets to expand into new applications of measurement technology in emerging markets.


Largo, Fla
(888) 392-1234


Looking Back at 2011 …

In 2011, Oticon focused on helping hearing care professionals to better educate, prepare, and motivate new users for a higher success ratio during the counseling process. With insights gained from internal research, external studies, and practitioner and user feedback, Oticon developed The Now Effect, a holistic approach to first-time user acceptance. Oticon also introduced Oticon Intiga, an innovative, new hearing solution developed to meet the core needs and demands of first-time users and to improve user acceptance from the first fitting.

Intiga features an ultra-small size, sleek, ergonomic design, powerful RISE 2 sound processing, and a fast adaptation strategy proven to facilitate rapid acclimatization for first-time users. In a study at Towson University and The Hörzentrum, Germany, first-time users reported that Intiga delivered immediate and obvious benefits (see Meeting the First Time User Challenge of this edition of HR). Within the study’s first week, the majority of participants indicated that they could see themselves as long-term hearing instrument users.

Additionally, Oticon’s audiology, counseling, and marketing teams created a series of research-based white papers, patient education brochures, and support tools to strengthen practitioners’ ability to attract, engage, and empower first-time users and accelerate their journey to better hearing.

HR Headlines

Moving Forward to 2012 …

In 2012, Oticon will continue to provide insight-based technological leadership and dedicated services and business support from the company’s new 164,000-sq-ft, 5-story office complex. “Our new home enables us to expand our facilities, our staff, and our support to better serve the evolving needs of hearing care professionals and their clients,” says Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. The central location combines Oticon’s state-of-the-art production facilities, administrative offices, and new multimedia training center.


Somerset, NJ
(800) 526-1220


Looking Back at 2011 …

2011 marked an exciting chapter to our commitment to the hearing industry. Panasonic introduced the 4 Series RIC, which is a stylish, discreet hearing instrument, and the JZ Series, which is a programmable hearing instrument with ear-level microphones. Both hearing instruments received the prestigious seal of approval by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. Panasonic hearing instruments are designed to deliver user-friendly features for comfortable use and functionality.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

In 2012, Panasonic will continue to provide innovative and userfriendly hearing solutions. The new JZ Power will offer a broader fitting range, durability, and amazing sound quality. Our new line of products promise to be stylish and revolutionary, and deliver the quality and easeof- use patients expect from the Panasonic brand. Our ongoing commitment will be supported by incorporating ideas for life and understanding the patients’ needs and making a difference in their daily lives. Look for the newest addition to the Panasonic in early 2012!


Secaucus, NJ
(888) 422-6309


Looking Back at 2011 …

2011 has proved to be a very memorable year for Rayovac, the world’s leading manufacturer of hearing aid batteries. The year was filled with industry-leading technical advancements, as well as international awards for product innovation.

In the first half of the year, Rayovac announced its “Best Battery Ever” with marked improvements to ProLine Advanced Mercury Free hearing aid batteries. The improved performance design delivers a significant capacity advantage over other Mercury Free products, and is the World’s Longest Lasting. In addition, this latest generation provides a higher voltage of 1.45 V, allowing maximum performance in high-demand aids, as well as faster power up.

Later in 2011, Rayovac brought the market its “Best Ever” Cochlear Advanced product. Rayovac’s improved performance Cochlear Advanced batteries deliver 48% more power than the previous product, and are designed specifically to meet the requirements of even the most demanding cochlear devices. Recent innovations in cell design and chemistry also allow for optimal performance over the life of the battery. And it’s Mercury Free!

Rayovac was also recognized with two international Stevie® Awards in 2011. Rayovac hearing aid batteries received Top Honor for Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year in the United States and Canada. In addition, Rayovac was given a Distinguished Honoree title for its Mercury Free hearing aid batteries in the Best New Product or Service of the Year—Health Products &#amp; Service category.

HR Headlines

Moving Forward to 2012 …

n the coming year, Rayovac will continue to push the limits of hearing aid battery technology with product improvements designed to meet the demands of today’s devices. Contact us for more details on all of our products and programs at (800) 356-7422 or (800) 567-5530 in Canada.


Madison, Wis
(800) 356-7422


Looking Back at 2011 …

2011 was a banner year for Siemens. At AudiologyNOW! 2011, Siemens introduced Aquaris™, the world’s first digital waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant hearing instrument. The company also expanded its popular Pure® line with the longerlasting Pure® Carat, Pure® Special Edition, and most recently the Pure® Limited Edition (LE)— with proceeds of each Pure LE supporting the Alzheimer’s Association. Siemens also released its super-small miniTek™—a Bluetooth®-enabled remote control and streamer with DAI, while penetrating the custom market with the invisible iMini™.

This past fall, Siemens expanded its line of ITE products with the Motion® CIC Special Edition, Motion® Mini, and Motion® EZ, enabling the company to offer the largest selection of ITE instruments in the industry. In 2011, Siemens also launched its industry-leading Aspire Rewards Program, offering members various patient and practice value added benefits such as the Aspire Online Portal, cooperative marketing programs, business development strategies, and an exclusive Customer Quality Assurance Guarantee.

HR Headlines

Moving Forward to 2012 …

In 2012, Siemens will continue to build upon its legacy of innovation by providing the most comprehensive product portfolio and practice management services to help customers grow their business. This includes smaller, more technologically advanced instruments featuring clinically proven* BestSound™ Technology, enhanced online and in-person educational programs, and through-business development workshops for Aspire members.

*For study, visit The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG Inc, and any use of such marks by Siemens AG is under license.

Siemens Hearing Instruments

Piscataway, NJ
(800) 766-4500


Looking Back at 2011 …

Throughout 2011, we introduced you to the NEW Sonic, a revitalized company with new leadership, and a fresh new approach to hearing solutions. In June 2011, Sonic launched the Simplicity business rewards program to its US independent customers, providing customers simple, straightforward benefits that provide growth opportunities for their practice.

As far as new products go, Sonic started the year strong with the release of the Varicom product line in the United States and the global release of the Groove microCIC. With the addition of the Flip miniRIC in December, 2011 closed on a high note for Sonic.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

2012 will see a continued emphasis on delivering products and services that deliver on our 4S Foundation strategy:

  • Sound that’s natural;
  • Speech understanding in noise;
  • Simplicity in everything we do; and
  • Style that stands out.

We are excited to share our future with you, and remain dedicated to making Everyday Sounds Better!

Sonic Innovations

Somerset, NJ
(888) 423-7834


Looking Back at 2011 …

2011 was one of the most exciting in Unitron’s company history with the launch of Era™, the Quantum™ and Moxi™ product families, and the new, intuitive TrueFit™ fitting software.

Era—Unitron’s next generation sound processing platform—offers massive computational capability and new signature features including:

  • Automatic performance with SmartFocus™;
  • Pinna effect;
  • Natural sound balance;
  • Automatic adaptation manager; and
  • Best in class wireless.

The Quantum and Moxi product families leverage the power of Era to deliver incredible advances in automatic performance and speech understanding in noise. Quantum’s full range of ITE and smaller BTE products, and the Moxi canal receiver technology (CRT) products, offer three wireless technology levels (20, 12, and 6).

HR Headlines

These new products are supported by Unitron’s new TrueFit fitting software. It features intuitive, easy to navigate screens that provide hearing healthcare professionals with all the tools they need for a successful fit.

To spread the word “Hearing matters,” Unitron launched the “Favorite sound” program. Hearing care professionals were invited to share their “favorite sound,” and with each “sound” submission, Unitron donated a financial contribution to a non-profit organization established to provide guide dogs for deaf and disabled Americans.

Opportunity to sharpen business skills was extended to Unitron’s Unite™ loyalty program members in the first “Business Accelerator” workshop. This workshop, hosted at Unitron’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, focused on using Key Performance Indicators to help grow their businesses.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

In the coming year, Unite program members have additional opportunities to participate in Business Accelerator workshops. Unitron will continue to listen closely to people with hearing loss and the professionals who support them, to identify gaps and opportunities, and to respond with purpose-driven solutions that connect your clients to what matters.


Plymouth, Minn
(800) 265-8258


Looking Back at 2011 …

2011 was another busy year for us here at Westone. It was filled with many new and exciting developments and product introductions.

Slick-Sil® AM, our anti-microbial finish for silicone earpieces, was introduced in late 2010 but continues to amaze us with its popularity. We’ve developed new styles of Receiver-In-Canal earpieces including products specifically designed for the Phonak® Spice platform and the Widex® Clear Fusion line of hearing instruments.

We saw a significant increase in the demand for ACCES®, our military communications product. It’s being adopted by more and more US Air Force crews and is also being evaluated for use by other branches of the military.

Our clinical supply business continues to grow with the addition of new products for the hearing healthcare professional, as well as patients. A new and updated Westone Product Catalog will be available in early April, and as always, our customer service folks are here to help with any questions you may have.

2010 also saw the introduction of the award winning Westone 4, our four driver universal-fit earphone, and the amazing ES-5, the ultimate custom-fit product for both performing musicians and audiophiles. We also added a new line of lower cost, custom-fit in-ear monitors—the AC1 and AC2. The Custom Art Shop offerings for our custom-fit music products were completely revamped, and we developed a new, permanent application process for our faceplate artwork.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

2012 promises to be a great year at Westone. And as always, we’ll be working hard to provide you and your patients with the most innovative, up-to-date hearing healthcare products and services.

Westone Laboratories

Colorado Springs, Colo
(800) 525-5071


Looking Back at 2011 …

2011 has been an exciting and eventful year for Widex USA.

CLEAR and FUSION hearing aids have been tremendous successes, offering patients excellent performance in noise, excellent hearing of soft &#amp; distant speech, and wireless connectivity in three levels of technology and benefits.

With a slew of advanced InterEar features like the Zen Program for tinnitus relief, InterEar active feedback cancelling system, and more, Widex wireless hearing aids set a strong benchmark in 2011.

Widex assistive listening devices such as the M-DEX, TV-DEX, and RC-DEX also proved to be very popular in enhancing patients’ listening experiences. M-DEX helps patients hear cell phone conversations and their favorite music more clearly. And the FreeFocus feature even lets you select the direction you want to hear. TV-DEX is a unique breakthrough for TV listening. Both TV-DEX and M-DEX stream sound directly through a patient’s hearing aids. And the RC-DEX is a keychain-sized remote control for discreet adjustment.

The company released a 64-page catalog of marketing materials—including patient, audiologist, and physician testimonials—to help professionals educate their patients and promote wireless hearing aids and accessories.

Moving Forward to 2012 …

Under the leadership of their President Jake Haycock the revitalized Widex USA will continue innovating and offering additional products and accessories to help you let even more of your patients enjoy the Widex experience in 2012 and beyond!

Widex USA

Long Island City, NY
(800) 221-0188


Looking Back at 2011 …

The Hearing Review was again the leader in providing the industry’s most-important articles, news, and information. For example, in February, HR published the first-ever EuroTrak, a look at consumer hearing aid use, preferences, and satisfaction in three European countries. Several HR articles in 2011 focused on: the link between cognition, dementia, and hearing; the practical necessity for using real-ear measurement; open-fitting strategies; pricing and consumers’ access to hearing care; business benchmarks for private practices; hearing aid and CI use in children with ANSD; aural (re)habilitation methods; different compression strategies for different languages; wireless phone and TV solutions; tinnitus and amplification considerations; and much more. In November, HR introduced our first-ever regular feature column, a collaboration with industry veteran David Kirkwood and the authors of The Blogs at

Moving Forward to 2012 …

Under the leadership of new HR Publisher John Riester, who joined the HR team in late summer, we will be expanding our offerings further in 2012 to bring our readers the best in hearing healthcare information.

The Hearing Review/Allied Media

Los Angeles, Calif
(310) 642-4400