Oticon Alta

Siemens

Contributed by , President

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

How long does it take to get accustomed to hearing aids?

It takes time....People learn and adapt at different rates. Some people need a day or two to learn about and adjust to their hearing aids, most people need a few weeks and others...


Do hearing aids make things sound clearer or just louder?

Hearing aids can be adjusted to provide amplification specific to a wearer's hearing loss, rather than just turning up all sounds.


How Do I Reduce Hearing Aid Background Noise?

Do ''noise reduction'' programs in hearing aids work? The background noise is terrible!


Speech Language Therapy Needs for Cochlear Implant Recipients

I have questions about the ''quantity'' of speech and language therapy needed for a four year old who has had a cochlear implant for two years.


Keeping Pediatric Earmolds in Place

My son is 3 and half years old and hearing impaired. He doesn't let me fix his earmold inside his ear; I am consistently trying but he repeatedly removes it. Please give me some suggestions.


Cell Phones and Hearing Aids

Do you have any recommendations for the best cell phones for use with hearing aids? Is this different for every style of hearing aid (i.e. BTE, ITE, ITC, CIC)?


Where Can I Buy Low-Cost Hearing Aids?

Due to advancements in hearing aid technology, there are now hearing aids available to fit most budgets.


How often do I need to change hearing aid batteries and when will I know it is time to change them?

Typically hearing aid batteries last 5-14 days based on 16 hours per day use cycle. Generally, the smaller the battery size, the shorter the battery life. The sizes of hearing aid batteries are listed below along with their standard number and color codes.


Mapping FM Systems for Use with Cochlear Implants

My 5-year-old uses a cochlear implant, has just started kindergarten, and has begun to use the personal FM system. There seems to be a difference in opinion by audiologists as to whether a separate map for the processor should be used when using the FM sy


Purchasing Additional Hearing Aid Warranty

I lost my new hearing aid when it was only 7 months old. The manufacturer replaced it; however, replacement unit is no longer covered by a warranty. Can I purchases additional hearing aid warranty?


Military Career Options for Hearing Impaired Individuals

I am very interested in joining the military. Since I was a kid, I have had my heart set on joining the Army Rangers. I now realize that it is impossible with any hearing loss at all (or is it?) What are my career options in the army?


Hearing Aid Types: Digital, Programmable & Analog

What are the differences between hearing aid types such as digital, programmable, and analog?


Bone Conduction v. Middle Ear Implants

I have been reading about implantable hearing devices and am confused. Please explain the difference between bone conduction implants and middle ear implants.


Connection between tinnitus and wisdom teeth?

Years ago I read that tinnitus can be caused when wisdom teeth are not being pulled. The teeth put pressure on nerves, and this causes the tinnitus. I've been told my wisdom teeth are severely impacted . I have suffered tinnitus since I was about age 16.


MRI and Cochlear Implants

I am case managing a 12 yo child with a history of brain tumor, which was removed at age 3, followed by radiation, chemo. He has had several CVA's post radiation and developed bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. He requires yearly MRI's. No further radi


Can I Prevent My Hearing Loss From Getting Worse?

Yes, you can protect your hearing from noise and preserve the hearing you have.


What are the causes of and treatments for hearing loss in one ear (unilateral hearing loss)?

The causes of unilateral hearing loss include ear trauma, noise exposure, and genetics. Unilateral hearing loss treatment depends on the cause and type of hearing loss.


Is there a standard warranty that comes with hearing aids? What does the warranty cover?

Most hearing aid manufacturers provide a standard twelve-month warranty with all digital hearing aids.


Management of Noise Induced Hearing Loss

What are the recent developments in the management of noise-induced hearing loss?


What are ear impressions?

All custom made hearing aids and earmolds are made from a "cast" of the ear. The cast is referred to as an ear impression. The hearing professional makes the ear...


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!