Oticon Alta

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

Bernafon Hearing Aids News
Frequently Asked Questions

Are there hearing aids made specifically for children?

Some hearing aid manufacturers have developed hearing aids for children, such as the Oticon Safari.


Musicians and Hearing Loss

What are the most important recommendations for musicians to protect their hearing during performances?


What are invisible hearing aids?

Recent developments in deep-fitting hearing aids have made them less visible and more discreet than ever.


Auditory v. Language Processing Disorder

What is the difference between an auditory processing disorder and a language processing disorder?


Athletics and Earpieces

I am trying to locate some sort of soft earpieces or inserts for people who wear hearing aids while participating in sports. Do you know of anything on the market that would reduce the risk of injury from a mild blow to the ear? I hate my hard acrylic ear


Do I Need Hearing Aids?

The first step in determining whether or not you have hearing loss is to have your hearing evaluated at a hearing center.


How Can I Tell if I'm Losing My Hearing?

My family is telling me I need to visit a hearing center and get a hearing test, but I'm not sure. How can I tell if I have hearing loss?


Treatment for a 5-yr. old with CAPD

I have a 5 year old daughter, just diagnosed with CAPD. The audiologist started to do therapy on her only three times, he then said she wasn't ready for therapy? I asked why and he said we should be further in progress that where we were, doing sounds.


What is a speech and language disorder?

Speech and language disorders refer to problems in communication and related areas such as oral motor function.


Digital Frequency Compression Reduces Feedback

I have a precipitous high frequency sensorineural hearing loss, and have suffered from almost constant feedback in my hearing aids. What solutions can you suggest?


Can a Faulty Microwave Deprogram Hearing Aids?

Can a faulty microwave deprogram my aids? Both of my hearing aids seemed to have lost their programming at the same time. I had them both reprogrammed a couple weeks ago. Then, a few days ago, BOTH went nearly dead. I have been near a microwave, which


Purchasing Hearing Aids on the Internet

I have had my aids for 2 weeks. I bought them on the internet and they were factory programmed. They work fine, but the feedback is hard to control. What am I doing wrong? Have you ever heard of Precision Ear aids?


Extending Hearing Aid Battery Life

What can I do to make my hearing aid battery last as long as possible?


Relationship between BPPV and Meniere's Disease

I am just 32 years old and have suffered BPPV at least twice. Those two times happened to be severe enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. My father had Meinere's disease and my mom has genetic deafness. Could I be next?


Do Ear Canal Changes Occur with Aging?

What are the anatomic and physiologic changes in the human ear canal due to aging?


Allergy and Hearing Loss

At least once a year, I experience profound hearing loss that seems to be a result of allergies. My ears seem ''stopped up'' and the consequent hearing loss goes on for days. My primary care physician has ruled out ear infection or sinus infection, and


How Do You Care for Hearing Aids?

Hearing aids are simple to care for. Most hearing aid repairs are due to moisture and earwax accumulating in the hearing aid. The vast majority of these repairs are preventable....


How can hearing aids help?

Hearing aids serve different purposes and needs. The goal of most hearing aid fittings is to make more speech sounds available to the listener. However, simply making sounds...


Chronic Candidiasis (Yeast Infection) in the Ears

For many years I've suffered from yeast infections in my ears. No matter what my doctor does, including antibiotics and other eardrops - it still itches. It also interferes with wearing a hearing aid comfortably. What can I do?


Refitting A Custom Hearing Aid to Another User

Is it legal to fit one person's custom made hearing aids for another person. That is, if a husband has ITEs and he passes away, can those ITEs be fit for his wife, brother etc.? I have heard conflicting information about this and have been unsuccessful i


Preferred Professionals Near You
See More Preferred Professionals

Clinics above not close enough?
Search with your zipcode below.

Sign Up for Our eNewsletter
Our free eNewsletter is delivered to your inbox every two weeks - it’s the best way to stay informed about what’s new at Healthy Hearing!