Oticon Alta

Siemens

Contributed by , President of Healthy Hearing

Siemens is a global company with a long history of innovation - more than 165 years, to be exact. The company operates in a vast array of markets, including automation technologies, energy, transportation, communications, lighting and medical solutions.

While Siemens is successful on a global scale on many fronts with hundreds of products, it is also the largest hearing aid manufacturer in the world with a history of hearing innovation. In fact, Siemens has focused on hearing loss for more than 130 years, and one out of four people worldwide who wear hearing aids use a Siemens device. 

Overview of company history

The company was founded as Siemens and Halske in 1847 in a small workshop in Berlin. The owners, Werner Siemens and J.G. Halske, built an installed telegraphic systems. The company garnered many contracts and was successful in the next 30 years. 

Siemens headquartersWhen Alexander Graham Bell developed the first telephone in 1877, Siemens and Halske jumped on that invention, developing an improved version. They also began making power generating equipment and electrical lighting - Siemens had discovered the dynamo electric principle in 1866.

In the following years, Siemens evolved and ventured into more markets. Siemens' two sons opened subsidiaries in other cities around the world that focused on electric power engineering and automatic telelphone exchange. When World War I began, civilian orders trickled off, but Siemens survived as a company by adapting to the times - it began producing communications devices, gun locks, explosives, aircraft engines and fire control systems for ships for the German military.

The company lagged during World War II - many of its buildings were destroyed and it lost 4/5 of its profits. But by 1945, its manufacturing plants were closed in Berlin and moved to other areas of the world and its headquarters was moved to Munich.

In 1966, the three Siemens brands re-united under the name Siemens AG to keep a stronghold on the global electrical market. The move paid off as Siemens was very prosperous during the 1970s. During the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Siemens was the official supplier of data processing and telecommunications equipment. In the late 1970s, Siemens centered into the microcircuit technology industry.

In the 1980s, Siemens pushed for even greater global expansion, especially into the Asian and South American technology markets. After all, telecommunications devices were the perfect segue into harnessing benefits from the powerful globalization happening around the world in the 1980s.

In 1992, Siemens formed a partnership with Toshiba and IBM in Japan to advance microprocessors to have the power of a supercomputer. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, Siemens began to hone in on IT, Communications and Industry as its global focus. The company was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001.

Siemens's hearing innovations history

While Siemens is well accomplished in various industries, its hearing devices are particularly noteworthy. Siemens has perpetually been at the forefront of nearly every new technology in hearing.

In 1878, 30 years after the company's founding and only one year after Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone, Werner von Siemens invented the Phonophor - an improvement on the telephone receiver that used a horseshoe magnet to amplify the sound, making it more usable for people with hearing loss.

Then between 1910 and 1913, Siemens produced its first line of hearing instruments that used carbon microphones to supply more or less electricity to the listening device depending on what level of amplification was needed. In 1914, Siemens and Halske harnessed the flexibility of electricity to develop a small telephone device that had an attachable speaker worn in the ear.

In 1924, Siemens patented its compact carbon microphone and amplifier for hearing aids with an in-pocket device. It would take 25 more years to make use of the technology, but in 1949, Siemens introduced the Phonophor Alpha -  the first pocket-sized hearing aid in the world. It was extremely flat and discreet, although the microphone was a bit sensitive. The company improved upon the pocket hearing aid with the use of transistors in 1953. It was the first in the world and led to the decline in size of hearing aids.

The late 1950s and 1960s was a time of innovation in the actual size, shape and location of the device. The year 1959 saw the first behind-the-ear hearing aid in the world, made by Siemens: The Auriculette 326. The company introduced another version in 191 that used a directional microphone positioned on the front of the device for better hearing. In 1966, Siemens produced the first in-the-ear hearing aid - the Siretta 339 - which could be partially hidden in the ear canal.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Siemens developed and took full advantage of new technologies. the company produced the first noise suppressing technology in 1985 and the first remote-controlled hearing aid for its Telos behind-the-ear model in 1987. The first line of hearing aids with a programmable digital chip was introduced in 1994, and the first fully digital hearing aid with multiple microphones and voice-sensitivity processing followed in 1997. Siemens was at the forefront of improved speech recognition. The company produced the first tinnitus control instrument on the market in 1999.

The 2000s saw many more innovations as hearing aids stayed current with rapidly developing technology. There was the first wireless hearing aid in 2004, the in-office digital earmold impressions scanner in 2005 and the 2011 waterproof digital hearing aid.

Siemens today

Today, Siemens remains a leader in hearing aid and assistive listening device technology. The company makes a full-range of devices, from several lines of nearly invisible in-the-ear hearing aids to classic behind the ear options with a range of technologies and hearing loss solutions depending on individuals' needs. Siemens focuses on helping people improve their lives through better hearing and understanding, and in turn, helping people empower themselves for personal development through being able to connect easily with others.

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

Siemens Hearing Aids News

Siemens professional tools help practitioners grow

Monday, March 24th 2014

Siemens Audiologist Helps Children of Guatemala

Monday, October 1st 2012

Marathon Runner Seeks to End Hearing Loss Stigma

Monday, August 27th 2012

Hearing Loss Didn't Stop this Dance Finalist

Monday, December 19th 2011

Siemens Hearing Instruments Renews Quota Partnership to Give the Gift of Hearing to Children and Young Adults in Need

Tuesday, December 8th 2009

Siemens Unveils New Hearing Loss Options at SPLASH: ADA's 2009 Convention

Thursday, November 5th 2009

Don't Miss a Sound: Let's "Hear" It For the Latest Hearing Aids

Monday, September 14th 2009

A Partnership Offers Hope, Help to Children with Hearing Impairment

Monday, June 8th 2009

Older Americans are in Denial about Their Hearing Loss, New Study Finds

Sunday, June 7th 2009

Siemens Promotes May is Better Hearing and Speech Month on America's Largest Stage

Sunday, May 31st 2009

Siemens Hearing Celebrates 10th Annual National Women's Health Week

Wednesday, May 20th 2009

Siemens Promotes Math and Science Literacy at Dallas Elementary School by Day and Raises Money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation

Tuesday, April 28th 2009

Siemens Introduces LIFE and Motion Hearing Aids

Tuesday, April 7th 2009

Siemens to Donate Hearing Instruments Through Second Annual Partnership with Quota International

Saturday, March 28th 2009

Siemens Renews Quota Partnership to Give the Gift of Sound to Children in Need

Friday, March 6th 2009

Hearing Aids for Life in Motion

Monday, February 16th 2009

A Business Winner is Given an Award

Thursday, January 22nd 2009

Siemens Introduces LIFE, an Open Fit Hearing Instrument that is Beautiful, Smart, and Discreet

Wednesday, November 19th 2008

Siemens Launches Motionâ„¢, A Complete Product Portfolio for Mild Through Severe Hearing Loss

Friday, November 14th 2008

Pure and Tek, Be One With Your World

Monday, August 4th 2008
Frequently Asked Questions

Hearing Aid Battery Tester

Is there a device that is more accurate for testing batteries? The battery testers now seem to give the same information on the same batteries.


Future Trends in the Baha System

What are the future trends in the Baha system? How successful are they and what modifications are we likely to see in them?


Airport Screeners, Tanning Beds and Hearing Aids

I wear a digital hearing aid and I am going on a trip overseas and was just wondering if I could go through the scanner at the airport with my aid on and also when I go on a tanning bed should I take my hearing aid off?


Cochlear Implant Batteries

I used to buy hearing aid batteries by the box. I purchase them thru the internet and noticed that RAYOVAC 675 has different packaging, gold, blue and black. Among the 3 kinds of RAYOVAC batteries, which one best suit for cochlear implant users? For the


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.


Ideal Age to Receive a Cochlear Implant

What is the ideal age for a deaf child to receive a cochlear implant?


Adhesive Left on Battery from Tab

Sometimes when patients pull the tabs off the back of the hearing aid battery, its sticky and hard to remove. Is this normal?


Resources for Children with Hearing Loss

We recently found out, after an ABR that our 4 year old son has a hearingloss in his right ear. This came as quite a surprise since his hearing tests at 8 months and 18 months were ''normal''. I had a normal pregnancy and delivery, no hearing loss in


If I start wearing hearing aids and wear them everyday, will I become dependent on my hearing aids?

Most people who are fit with hearing aids enjoy hearing sounds again and find that they do not want to be without their hearing aids.


What causes sudden hearing loss?

Though the cause is often unknown, sudden hearing loss can be a result of viral infections, inner ear trauma, and other factors.


Are all hearing aids the same?

All hearing aids are not the same. There are huge differences in technology, price, application and results! Please see your hearing healthcare professional (audiologist or...


How will I know if my child's hearing aids are working properly?

Parental involvement is very important when it comes to successful hearing aid fittings for children.


How Do I Clean My Hearing Aids?

I wear In-the-Ear hearing aids. How should I keep them clean? I know I am not supposed to get them wet, but can I use hand wipes?


Hearing aids and telephone use

I have difficulty hearing on the telephone. Will hearing aids help me hear better?


Lyme Disease and Hearing Loss

Do you know of any relationship with Lyme Disease and Tinnitus? Or Lyme Disease and hearing loss?


Letting a Hearing Aid Battery 'Power Up'

How critical is it after pulling the tab to wait a minute or so before putting the battery in the device?


Beta-Carotene and Tinnitus

What is known at this time about massive doses of beta-carotene in reduction of tinnitus?


Clicking Sound

Recently, I have started getting a clicking sound in one ear when my head moves up-and-down (e.g., while walking). I do not hear the sound when still. Is this a form of tinnitus?


Delayed Speech and Language in a Two Year Old

My 2 1/2 year old son has delayed speech. I'm in the process of getting his hearing checked out, but he seems to hear fine. Could he have normal hearing, but just hear sounds differently from the rest of us?


Should I wear my hearing aids all day?

Successful hearing aid wearers tend to wear their hearing aids for all waking hours. Once you're used to hearing sounds again, you'll probably find you don't want to be without your hearing aids; however, there are certain situations you should take them off.


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!