Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum
Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum

The Hearing Aid Museum

Hearing Aids of all types—Ear Trumpets, Carbon Hearing Aids, Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids, Transistor Hearing Aids, Body Hearing Aids, Eyeglass Hearing Aids and much more!

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History of Various Hearing Aid Manufacturers—Phonak

Phonak History & Product Milestones



Exélia micro offers the full life experience – more than you would ever expect from a micro!

Exélia Phonak expands the new paradigm in hearing excellence with the introduction of the Exélia micro. Exélia, a unique combination of cutting-edge technology, audiological expertise and wireless connectivity, delivers unprecedented hearing performance and user interaction together with easy access to modern communication and entertainment systems.

Naída SuperPower: the high-performance solution - now available for all degrees of significant hearing loss

Naida The launch of Naída SuperPower neatly rounds off the Phonak power offering. These new, smaller models extend the unique benefits of the Naída high-performance solution to individuals with moderately-severe to severe hearing loss. With the new iView, a sophisticated system status monitor, Naída SuperPower is also the perfect solution for children.


Audéo III: completing the PCA family



The rollout of the Audéo Personal Communication Assistant (PCA) from Phonak in 2007 was a watershed in the history of hearing devices. Now, with the launch of Audéo III in the economy class, the PCA range offers a device for any budget.



Audéo – Personal Communication Assistant

Audéo Audéo Personal Communication Assistant is a break-through for living life to the fullest – a perfect balance of state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge design. Stylish, discreet and packed with leading technology, Audéo offers a new generation of clients the performance they demand in a look they will embrace.

Una – The 1st in its class


Una is Phonak’s newcomer in the entry-level class of hearing instruments offering excellent sound quality at an affordable price.

Una feels comfortable right from the start and ensures an immediate user acceptance.


SaviaArt – The masterpiece of hearing performance

Savia Art by Phonak


When you choose a high-end hearing system make sure it is Savia Art. Savia Art is the high-end hearing system with the most innovative solutions designed to improve your quality of life.


In October, the Phonak Group acquires a controlling interest in CAS Produtos Médicos, the current market leader for wholesale and retail of hearing instruments in Brazil. In March, the High-tech hearing system Savia with Digital Bionics is launched at the European Space Agency. The event included an appearance by Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon and an enthusiastic Savia user. Savia wins the 2005 Medical Design Excellence Awards competition. Phonak additionally introduces miniValeo, microSavia and eXtra.


Savia – The greatest revolution since the introduction of digital technology

Savia Savia is the first hearing system to implement the unique capabilities of biological systems using state of the art digital technology – we call it Digital Bionics. Savia is packed with an impressive list of revolutionary bionic solutions like SoundNavigation, Real Ear Sound and digital SurroundZoom, all inspired by Nature’s wisdom. Savia state-of-the-art digital technology allows natural, effortless hearing.

SoundPilot2 and KeyPilot2 – The elegant remote controls

SoundPilot2 These are the new remote controls in palladium/black design for all remote-controllable Savia, Perseo, Claro and Supero hearing systems.

CROSLink – Designed for superb hearing from all directions

CROSLink_120 The wireless technology of CROSLink enables significantly improved communication when one ear is unaidable. It satisfies CROS needs when the other ear is normal, or BiCROS needs when the better ear is impaired.

iLink – Hearing performance with integrated FM technology

iLink is a communication device which combines the best features of a hearing instrument and of FM: the best of both worlds.

miniValeo – minimized to perfection

Phonak miniValeo BTE miniValeo, with a size 10 battery, has all the wonderful benefits and flexibility of the Valeo product line. Hearing care professionals can now offer the best sound solution in an extremely attractive miniature design.


Perseo Open – meeting the challenge

Perseo Open with OpenSound technology and the BTE Fit’nGo Kit addresses occlusion issues and delivers the optimal Perseo sound quality, excellent performance and wearing comfort.

SmartLink SX – The new benchmark in wireless communication

SmartLink SmartLink is the first communication device to incorporate three solutions in one instrument

– Advanced FM features
– Hearing instrument remote control
– Bluetooth link for mobile phone use

PowerMAXX – The power to hear well

PowerMAXX With PowerMAXX, Phonak has succeeded in integrating maximum digital gain and output into a miniaturized housing. PowerMAXX features BassBoost, a unique automatic low frequency boost feature.

EduLink – The Link to Learn

EduLink Device EduLink is a miniaturized FM system that Phonak has developed especially in the context of specific performance deficits (e.g. Auditory Processing Disorders).

Valeo with 3x3 SoundSelect – The freedom to design the best sound solution

Phonak launches Valeo, the new digital product line in the mid-level segment.
Valeo with 3x3 SoundSelect brings unprecedented flexibility. It offers almost limitless setting configurations, and the vast product range ensures the right system is available for every wearer and hearing need.


Opening of a distribution company in Japan, as well as a new manufacturing facility in China. Perseo with PersonalLogic, the new flagship line of Phonak Hearing Systems is introduced, followed by MAAX, Phonak’s first digital offering in the economy class.


Perseo – personalized hearing with PersonalLogic

Perseo WatchPilot2 Perseo is the first hearing system with customized automatic operation, as opposed to operation based on factory set, unchangeable rules. Perseo responds intelligently to the situation-specific hearing preferences of all wearers enabling them to appreciate sound their way.

MAXX – The right to hear well

MAXX is the digital line designed for maximum value without compromising sound quality. MAXX features signal processing that assures the correct loudness and listening comfort in every situation. Its additional user benefit features make it an ideal solution for pediatric fittings.

WatchPilot2 – the new WatchPilot

WatchPilot2 Four new discreet and convenient models of the WatchPilot remote control are available as options for all remote-controllable Savia, Perseo, Claro and Supero systems.

MLxS – The breakthrough in miniaturized multi-frequency FM

The digital frequency synthesizer is the heart of the revolutionary multi-frequency MLxS. This technology breakthrough, the result of years of meticulous development work, offers totally new communication possibilities.


CEO Peter Pfluger leaves Phonak. New CEO Dr. Valentin Chapero Rueda joins the company on October 1, 2002.

Supero - Designed for Power

Supero 413 AZ Supero is the only digital product line specifically designed to meet the needs of people with a severe to profound hearing loss.

In the development stage of the power Supero line, Phonak designed a special housing, a dedicated microchip and a unique package of solutions to enable communication even in difficult listening situations. The result is a product line dedicated to audibility, comfort and reliability.

Particularly with children in mind, Phonak developed RECDdirect, a groundbreaking technology that provides instant access to Real-Ear-to-Coupler Difference (RECD) measurements with Supero. RECD measurements are widely recognized as the key to safe and accurate fittings.

Discrete and robust, a mini KeyPilot remote control is available for use with Supero.

Aero - Easy listening

Unrivalled value makes Aero unique. Sophisticated digital technology and a full range of user convenience features offer benefits for all lifestyles.


TelCom – For combined television and telephone reception

  TelCom is the first stationary FM transmitter for combined use with television (also radio, personal computer, CD-player) and telephone. Although the television can be heard loud and clear, the telephone ringing signal can be heard simultaneously . When the telephone is picked up, TelCom automatically switches from the television to the voice on the telephone.

Campus S – Top marks in FM Communication

Campus S FM transmitter The Campus S is a state-of-the-art FM transmitter specially developed for use in schools, universities, and speech therapy. Thanks to its advanced synthesizer technology, Campus S is extremely flexible when it comes to multi-classroom applications.


Peter Pfluger takes the place of Andreas Rihs as CEO of the Phonak Group.


Claro dAZ FM

Claro dAZ FM is the world’s first digital hearing computer with design integrated FM receiver. The two most advanced systems for signal processing and FM signal reception now form a perfect combination of function and design. The result is optimized speech understanding in all adverse conditions involving distance, reverberation and noise.

WatchPilot – The remote control on the wrist

The first remote control integrated into a wristwatch, is unique in both design and convenience. Discreet and comfortable, it is always at hand to control all functions with push-button ease. This is high tech elegance in a variety of attractive styles. The remote control WatchPilot opens new perspectives in hearing instrument control.

SoundPilot – The handy Claro remote control

Provides easy and discrete access to all programs, FM functions and volume control.


Presentation and market launch of the revolutionary, fully digital Claro hearing computer system.


MicroLink MLx – The open platform for Phonak and other brands

The first self-contained receiver with a standard interface enabling connection to all Phonak instruments and most other behind-the-ear hearing instruments.

Claro – Digital Perception Processing

claro The first high-tech digital hearing system that analyses and responds to sound in the same way as the human ear. With advanced noise control features and clear comfortable sound quality, Claro takes digital hearing computers into the next generation.


PowerZoom P4 AZ

The first digitally programmable power hearing computer with Phonak's unique Audio-Zoom technology. Combines maximum gain with excellent sound quality. Case colors range from discreet to cheerful. PowerZoom functions can be controlled discretely with the elegant DHC-4 SlimLine remote control. Also compatible with MicroLink.


DHC-4 The Digital Handy Control DHC-4 Slim Line can be used for a discreet operation of digitally programmable hearing instruments (Sona P2, MicroZoom, Piconet2 P2 AZ, SonoForte2 P3 AZ, PowerZoom P4 AZ).


Opening of the new Technology Center in Stäfa.
Beda Diethelm, technical director (COO) and co-founder of the company, withdraws from operational activities. He is succeeded by Peter Pfluger.


E-PROM NovoForte

This high-gain hearing instrument is the first programmable instrument specifically for children, designed to fit small ears. NovoForte features include a choice of signal processing. Flexibility and many other special features help ensure optimal fittings.


The Digital Handy Control DHC-3 is used with NovoForte digitally programmable hearing instruments.

MicroLink - Radio signals direct to the ear

The world's smallest radio receiver fits neatly into an audio shoe and is compatible with any Phonak BTE. Wires and cords are replaced by high-tech.


Acquisition of Phonak Stephensen in Norway.


PiCS Mark 2 – Hearing Computers with Multi Dynamic Compression Control and DHC-2 remote control

Non-linear and linear amplification strategies are combined in one hearing computer with multiple listening programmes. The DHC-2 remote control enables a discreet and detailed operation of the devices with the possibility to operate the left and right hearing instrument individually or both simultaneously.


PiCS hearing computers with AudioZoom become established in the global markets.



For the first time, Phonak Group sales exceed CHF 100 million.
Going public (November 1994); approximately 20% of the shares are made available to the public.


MicroVox - FM for a high-tech generation

Phonak's first FM system, at this time the smallest of its kind in the world. Compact and light, MicroVox transmits signals with guaranteed acoustic transparency.


Highly successful worldwide launch of PiCS hearing computers. Founding of Phonak Communications in Murten for the expansion of activities in the field of cordless communications.


PiCS Hearing Computer - Digitally programmable hearing computers with remote control

Combined with AudioZoom, the system guarantees an optimal signal-to-noise ratio where FM systems would be impractical (e.g. playgrounds). PiCS Hearing Computer can be operated with the Digital Handy Control DHC-1.


Founding of a Phonak distribution company in the USA.



Move into new premises ("Phonak House") in Stäfa.


PicoForte - High-gain instruments

PicoForte3 SC-D Black-box and thin-film technologies facilitate the development of the smallest high-gain instrument ever, anatomically designed to fit children's ears.


International recognition; Phonak wins a public tender from the Australian government (NAL) with its second generation of SuperFront instruments.


Following the death of Ernst Rihs, his shares are taken over by his two sons. Beda Diethelm becomes a shareholder with equal rights.


SuperFront PP-C-L

Technology provides extended gain in the low frequencies while maintaining gain in the high frequencies. A characteristic of all future low-frequency-emphasis, high-gain instruments from Phonak.


Founding of the first foreign distribution companies in Germany and France.


SuperFront PP-C - Phonak establishes its international reputation for children's solutions

First generation SuperFront, a very successful, high-gain BTE instrument. A new type of audio input is also introduced, which produces a stable frequency response curve and provides optimum support for children.


Color cocktail – Farewell to the prosthesis

The world’s first hearing instruments in a choice of cheerful colors.


Cooperation with Phonic Ear, manufacturers of FM systems

Radio signals overcome distance, noise and reverberation.

FM systems used with hearing instruments bring about a revolution in schools, institutes of further education and in the workplace.


Phonette - Integrated circuits vastly increase component density on chips

More electronics packed into smaller cases. To be more precise, active filter technology is coupled with compression limiting.


Acquisition of all shares by Ernst Rihs. Beda Diethelm enters the company, followed by Andreas Rihs and some years later by Hans-Ueli Rihs. A new business era begins.


Founding of "AG für Elektroakustik" with its head office in Zurich by a Franco-Belgian group of investors.


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