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Sonic Innovations' ION™ Hearing Aids Beat Competition in Head-To-Head Moisture Tests

Salt Lake City- Sonic Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNCI), the only U.S.-based publicly traded manufacturer of digital hearing instruments, has released results of moisture resistance testing on the company's ionTM hearing devices. When placed in a salt fog chamber, Sonic Innovations' ion products have outperformed four major competitors in resisting moisture. In a test conducted at Sonic Innovations' Salt Lake City corporate headquarters using an industry- standard protocol (known as ASTM Standard B117-03), the ion products lasted more than twice as long as the nearest competitor.

The testing was headed by Sonic Innovations Vice President of Auditory Research and Director of the Center for Amplification and Hearing Research Michael Nilsson, Ph.D. Nilsson indicated that four different competitive off-the-shelf hearing aids that have been marketed as moisture resistant and an ion product were tested in a salt fog chamber that is typically used for accelerated environmental testing. In the test, the devices were subjected to extreme conditions by being submerged in a distilled water fog containing 5 percent sodium chloride at a temperature of 95 degrees to simulate heavy perspiration or sweat.

Nilsson said, "The products were checked once a day for performance failure. One of our competitors' devices failed when checked at 25 hours, and the other three failed when checked at 42 hours. The ion actually lasted 96 hours before the salt solution caused problems."

"The extended performance in ion was due to several features specifically designed to resist moisture: elastomeric seal to keep sweat out of the battery compartment, hydrophobic membranes to protect the microphones, gold-plated battery contacts, and ports to allow moisture and condensation a path to exit the device. ion was really designed for active lifestyles and our tests prove ion is one of the best active lifestyle products on the market today," Nilsson added.

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