Oticon Alta2 Hear every note in the symphony of life.

Unitron

Contributed by , President of Healthy Hearing

Unitron is a Canadian hearing aid manufacturer that is very committed to improving the lives of people with hearing loss and allowing them to enjoy all of the sounds of life through constant innovation, partnerships with leading research institutions in Canada and the United States and strong relationships with hearing health care professionals in their important work of helping people to hear better. Collaboration and innovation are key at Unitron.

Unitron has been committed to people with hearing loss for half a century. The company was founded in 1964 and is based in the Kitchener-Waterloo region in Ontario, Canada - an area often referred to as "Canada's Silicon Valley" for the technological advancements being made there. Untiron has offices in more than 19 countries with third-party distributors in 46 countries around the globe. Along with Phonak, it is one of the successful brands of the pioneering Sonova Group - a world player in hearing technology and advancements.

Sonova history

unitron headquartersThe Sonova Group was founded as AG für Elektroakustik" in 1947 in Zurich,Switzerland. However, after 18 years in business, the company's shares were purchased by Ernst Rihs. The company was then called Phonak, and it produced its first successful product in 1978: a hearing aid that had the highest level of amplification of any device on the market at the time. The company continued to grow and improve, and in 1985, Phonak Group became Phonak Holding AG and moved its company headquarters to Stafa, Switzerland.

In 1989, Phonak expanded to the United States, where hearing aids became more accepted due to the revelation that president Ronald Reagan wore them. Phonak Holding AG further established itself as a prominent brand. On August 1, 2007, the company changed its name to Sonova Holding AG after the steady acquisition of other brands and manufacturers, beginning with Unitron in 2000.

Today, Sonova Group is successful because it has a diverse brand and product portfolio. Not only does it sell a range of hearing aids under the Phonak and Unitron brands, but it also offers cochlear implants, an additional option that it could provide after it acquired Advanced Bionics in 2009. It also owns the Connect Hearing Group - a professional service network connecting hearing health care providers. The Sonova Group is committed to technological advancements and research under its main brands.

What sets Unitron apart

Technological advancements

Unitron is a global innovator that has along history of technological innovation, which may account for its status as one of the mosts successful and fastest growing hearing aid manufacturers in the world. Here are some of its technological advancements:

  • AntiShock™: This was the first technology on the market that could identify and instantaneously control sudden impulse noises without distorting environmental sounds or speech.
  • SmartFocus™: It is the first clinically proven advancement since directional microphones that allows people to better hear speech in noisy surroundings. Its importance lies in the fact that the No. 1 concern of people using hearing aids is that they have difficulty hearing speech with background noise.
  • Smart Alert™: This technology is the first fully integrated household alerting system that works with hearing aids.
  • Era platform: This 65-nanometer chip technology provides double the processing speed, memory and capacity than other devices on the market while still offering high-fidelity sound.

Academic partnerships

Unitron is very focused on collaboration to make advancements in hearing aid technology. It's currently working with many top universities and high profile researchers to advance hearing loss treatment:

University of Toronto

Unitron has partnered with Dr. Gurjit Singh at the University of Toronto to work on a way to program hearing instruments wirelessly for people in remote Canadian locales.

University of Western Ontario

Unitron is very involved with the University of Western Ontario. Currently, it is working on a five-year project with UWO's National Centre for Audiology, which created the Desired Sensation Level (DSL) formula for better fitting and programming hearing aids. 

UWO is also working on the development of a center of excellence for hearing sciences, and Unitron was the only hearing device company invited to participate. Untiron has committed funding to the project and is working with their researchers. Additionally, Unitron is lent its devices and support to a UWO study on noise cancellation, speech enhancement and directional processing technology SmartFocus.

University of Iowa

Through a study of speech understanding, University of Iowa researchers found that an overwhelming majority of hearing aid wearers preferred Unitron's SmartFocus technology to a fully automated device because it gave them more control over comfort, clarity and flexibility of the device.

Carl Von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

Studies at Carl Von Ossietzky Universität in Oldenburg showed that Unitron's AntiShock technology was preferred by hearing aid wearers and addressed speech and transient issues effectively. 

University of Rochester and Louisiana Tech University

Studies by the University of Rochester and Louisiana Tech University showed that people with hearing aids fitted with Unitron's SmartFocus speech technology were better able to hear speech in noisy environments than those wearing the same hearing aids that did not have SmartFocus technology. The study at the University of Rochester was replicated at Louisiana Tech University and showed a combined improvement rate of 16 percent for hearing speech in noise.

Giving back

One of Unitron's core values is "care deeply." The company cares deeply about making its advanced hearing loss solutions available to more people to improve lives. Thus, Unitron is involved in many philanthropic initiatives. One of its programs is sponsoring Can Do CAnines, which is a nonprofit that gives free assistance dogs to people who are deaf or severely hard of hearing. Unitron also donates behind-the-ear hearing aids and earmolds to Lions Infant Hearing Aid Loaner Bank, which is a program that supports children and infants who are newly diagnosed with hearing loss. Finally, Unitron has a scholarship program that awards a $1,500 scholarship to a Unitron hearing aid wearer so he or she can do well in school.

This content was last reviewed on: April 22nd, 2015

Unitron Hearing Aids News

Unitron Named Among 50 Best Small and Medium Canadian Employers

Friday, February 17th 2012

Independent Research Study Proves that SmartFocusTM Significantly Improves Speech Intelligibility in Noise

Wednesday, March 24th 2010

New Website Connects Consumers and Hearing Professionals to More Resources

Monday, March 8th 2010

Unitron: Named a Best Small-Medium Employer in Canada for Second Year

Monday, March 1st 2010

uHear itunes Medical Application a Top 10 Download as Concerned Americans Test their Hearing

Sunday, February 21st 2010

Crossover Hearing Aids: The Best of BTE and CIC

Monday, February 1st 2010

Unitron Unveils Advanced through Essential Latitude™ Series

Sunday, November 8th 2009

Unitron Introduces World's First Crossover Hearing Instrument

Thursday, October 29th 2009

Unitron: A New Name, Mission and Premium Product

Monday, July 13th 2009

New Passport™ Premium Hearing Instrument Exemplifies Unitron's Commitment to Purpose-Driven Innovation

Wednesday, July 1st 2009

Unitron Turns Up the Volume on uHear Availability

Monday, June 22nd 2009

Unitron Wins Prestigious Premier's Catalyst Award for Best Innovation

Wednesday, June 3rd 2009

The Not-So-Silent Crisis: 49% of North Americans Put their Hearing at Risk Every Week, Yet Majority Go Untested for Years

Saturday, May 16th 2009

Unitron Unveils New Company Brand Identity and Two New Products at AudiologyNOW! 2009

Wednesday, April 8th 2009

Unitron 360: Power Uncompromised

Monday, November 3rd 2008

Unitron Hearing Introduces 360'

Saturday, October 25th 2008

Hearing Loss? Whats Next'?

Monday, June 16th 2008

Unitron Makes Yuu Convenient: Now Thats Smart

Monday, February 4th 2008

Unitron Hearing Introduces Yuu'

Tuesday, December 11th 2007

Lighthouse Foundation Provides Digital Hearing Aids to Low-Income Georgians

Wednesday, November 28th 2007
Frequently Asked Questions

Does My Husband Need More Powerful Hearing Aids?

My husband has hearing loss in both ears, the left more so than the right. He has had hearing aids for at least 4 years which seemed to help more at first but now it seems like he is having to turn them up more often to the point where one of them is beep


What are Bone Conduction Implants?

Bone conduction implants are designed for patients with untreatable middle ear conductive or mixed hearing losses and those who have a unilateral sensorineural hearing loss, or...


Assistive Listening Devices and Unilateral Hearing Loss

My 6 year old son has a profound unilateral hearing loss since birth. Although, it was not diagnosed until a year ago. I was told by his aud. and ENT that cross-aides don't help at this age and because he has nerve damage and such a severe loss it is unai


Are Hearing Aid Reviews Reliable?

Finding reliable hearing aid reviews can be difficult for several reasons.


Does Consumer Reports publish hearing aid reviews?

Consumer reports published an article covering hearing health, hearing aids, and hearing protection. While they did not provide actual hearing aid reviews based on brands and models, they did report on the process that people go through when purchasing hearing aids.


When Should the Battery Tab be Removed?

After I take the tab off my battery, do I have to use it right away? If not, should I put the tab back on?


The Baha System for Unilateral Sensori-Neural Hearing Loss

Are there alternative treatments for unilateral sensorineural hearing loss in adults and children?


Cleaning ITE Hearing Aids

I wear In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids. How should I keep them clean? Is there a recommended cleaning protocol for everyday use and is it OK to use some sort of hand wipes?


Using the Phonak Handymic With My PC

Is there a way to make my Phonak Handymic work with my pc, so that I can hear when receiving a videocall?


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?


Cochlear Implants and Reports of Associated Health Risks

Please address the issue of cochlear implants and recent reports of associated health risks.


Ear Mold Materials

Does the degree and type of hearing loss impact the decision to use hard versus soft ear mold materials?


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....


Digital Hearing Aids and Cell Phones

I just got new digital hearing aids, but have a lot of static when I use my cell phone. What can I do?


Are there any tinnitus organizations in the US?

I suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and am looking for a tinnitus organization that serves as a resource to those suffering. Are there any in the United States?


Battery Operated Dry Aid Kits?

Is there currently available a battery operated, electronic dry aid kit. Summer camps are hot & sweaty, but hearing aid performance is vital. There are no electrical outlets at Scout Camp! Any suggestions?


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.


Hearing Aid Use at Theme Parks

I wear two hearing aids and I LOVE going to theme parks (Disney World, etc.) I am always worried that my hearing aids will slip out while on a ride. They are a good fit, and very seldom ''move,'' but some of the rides I like jostle you around a bit or tu


Do hearing aids hurt your ears?

In most cases, hearing aids fit comfortably and do not cause pain or irritation.


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?


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!