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Bernafon

Contributed by , President of Healthy Hearing

Bernafon is a global brand with roots in Bern, Switzerland, that prides itself on being a pioneer in the field of hearing health technology for more than 60 years. It operates from a vantage point that hearing is a basic need and, without good hearing health, individuals and societies suffer. Bernafon's digital hearing aids cover the spectrum - including hearing aids for seasoned wearers and those for people new to using hearing aids - and they encompass the full range of features, from basic to much more technical. Though under a different company name at the time, Bernafon made the first commercially available hearing aid in 1946, and, 42 years later, it produced the first digital hearing aid - a truly revolutionary product in the hearing industry.

History of Bernafon

Bernafon has gone by several names, yet its commitment to helping the world hear more clearly has always remained the same. Before Bernafon, there was Gfeller AG - an electromechanical device company founded in Flamatt, Switzerland, in 1924. In Switzerland in 1946, Gfellar AG introduced the first hearing assistance device that regular people could buy. The company continued to grow into the hearing aid market in the region for the next 40 years. In 1986, Gfellar AG seized on its first international opportunity - the purchase of well-established hearing technology company Maico, Inc., in Minneapolis. Later that year, the company merged with Autophon and became part of the Ascom Group as Ascom Audiosys AG.

Bernafon started in SweedenIn 1991, Ascom Audiosys AG made a move that propelled the company irreversibly into the international market: It won Australia's government contract to supply hearing aids to Australian Hearing Services. In 1992, the company took over Robert Bosch GmbH's hearing aid devices sector in Berlin. The company was the first in the world to produce a digitally programmable hearing aid in 1988.

William Demant Holding, a Danish company, purchased Ascom, established its headquarters in Bern and renamed the company Bernafon in 1995. The company also began serious research and development work. By 1996, Bernafon had sales companies in Denmark, Sweden and Japan.

Bernafon continued to expand and, by 2006, it celebrated its 60th anniversary and had expanded to both the Netherlands and Poland, as well as purchased Canada's Dahlberg Sciences, Ltd. Today, Bernafon now has sales companies in the Netherlands, Korea, China, Finland, Spain and Turkey, as well as a base in Iberica, Spain. Today, Bernafon hearing aids are available around the world.

Bernafon hearing aids

Bernafon offers hearing aids for the entire spectrum of hearing loss, that include behind-the-ear, in-the-canal, completely-in-the-canal and receiver-in-the-ear options. Bernafon has a line of premium hearing aids as well as more economical options, depending on one's needs and wishes. For example, the Bernafon Acriva 9 and the Chronos 9 have 10 style options and 10 different neutral color options. It also have a wide range of technical and personalization features, including Bluetooth capabilities. Other people will be content with Bernafon's cost-effective, basic Neo model, which is perfect for anyone who wants directional microphone technology and built-in FM capability to use with hearing loops. Another cost-effective option, the Icos line, is good for those with active lifestyles because it has an excellent system to help filter out environmental noise. This can be useful if you're outside at a sporting event or playing a game of golf with friends.

What sets Bernafon apart?

Bernafon is a long-lasting pioneer in the hearing aid industry. What most sets it apart is its use of Swiss engineering, which is known the world over for its high quality, superior functionality and esthetics. is through Swiss engineering initiatives that Bernafon has improved the miniaturization of its hearing devices, developed more advanced digital signal processing and designed more innovative programming with a complex range of benefits for hearing aid-wearers. In 2002, it pioneered the ChannelFree® hearing system for better signal processing, and it's now a feature of nearly all of its hearing aids. 

Bernafon has made many contributions in the advancement of hearing aid technologies in the past 60 years and it's likely to remain a strong force in the assistive listening device technology market. As Bernafon has distributors in more than 70 countries worldwide, the company is able to provide its customers with immediate service, no matter what corner of the globe the customer calls home.

This global company puts hearing in the forefront, operating under the premise that hearing is a basic need and right. Bernafon is a longtime leader in the hearing aid industry and it will likely continue making waves in the hearing technology industry with its superior products.

This content was last reviewed on: July 7th, 2014

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