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Siemens Pioneers Wireless Communication Creating the World's Only True Binaural Hearing System

e2e wireless' technology synchronizes both hearing instruments to create the best possible listening experience for individuals with hearing loss

PISCATAWAY, NJ., November 30, 2004 Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. - the leader and pioneer of wireless synchronization in hearing technology - announces the availability of ACURIS, the worlds most technologically advanced binaural hearing system that can deliver remarkable hearing performance with a new level of ease, simplicity and comfort to the more than 28 million Americans with hearing loss.

For the first time, ACURISs cutting-edge, proprietary ear-to-ear (e2e) wireless? technology enables the left and right hearing instruments to communicate with each other and function as one binaural hearing system, thereby creating a level of synchronization never before possible in hearing instruments. Included within all ACURIS models, e2e wireless synchronizes the systems advanced digital processing and wearer controls.

Previously, individuals wore two hearing instruments that functioned independently of each other which lead to additional effort on the wearers part, said Dr. Thomas Powers, Chief Research Officer at Siemens Hearing Instruments. ACURIS is the first truly binaural hearing system because the instruments in both ears communicate and exchange vital information to optimize instrument settings, such as volume control and listening program, for the wearers listening environment.

About 80% of people with hearing loss would benefit from hearing instruments in both ears. According to the American Academy of Audiology, hearing sounds with both ears, called binaural listening, is superior to monaural (one-eared) listening. When individuals with hearing loss are fitted with a hearing device in only one ear, the quality of hearing is often compromised. ACURISs synchronous binaural hearing instruments give the wearer improved hearing performance resulting in better sound quality, localization ability and speech understanding.

Unlike independently operated hearing instruments, ACURISs e2e wireless technology controls the processing between the left and right hearing instrument to deliver the benefits of binaural hearing. This technology enables the instruments to exchange vital information about the wearers noise surroundings and automatically adjust for optimal hearing in any situation. The two hearing instruments constantly work together to make decisions regarding speech and noise settings to ensure that the wearer receives the best sound from both instruments similar to that of natural hearing.

ACURIS automatically adjusts itself to the wearers listening environment, but if desired, synchronized controls allow wearers to adjust the volume or program for both ears with a single adjustment to only one instrument. For In-the-Ear custom-made models, this allows the manufacture of smaller instruments because volume and program controls can be separated between the two instruments making it easier for the wearer to distinguish between the controls when making adjustments. This is particularly important for hearing instrument wearers with dexterity problems or decreased touch sensitivity.

In 2003, the global hearing instrument market was estimated at $2 billion. Long-term revenue growth for the industry is estimated at 4-7% according to Piper-Jaffray research analysts. According to The Hearing Journal, the number of hearing instruments sold in 2003-2004 was up 11.8% from the previous year. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) dominated hearing instrument sales, accounting for 79.5% of all devices sold in the first quarter of 2004, up from 58% in the first quarter of 2003.

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