hearing aids

HearWHAC hearwhac at netins.net
Sat Mar 1 00:31:12 EST 1997


First, Eric J Stenersen stated:
> > HEARING AIDS ARE MADE FROM COMPONENTS MADE BY 2-3 SUPPLIERS WORLDWIDE!

Then Glen R. Meier replied:
> I am sorry, but that information is just plain wrong Eric.  While some
> parts are patented technology and therefore almost exclusively
> manufactured by a single company, many other parts are very different
> and brand specific.

This brings up an interesting question. Exactly who does manufacture the
components contained in the world's hearing aids?

Let's start with the amplifiers. Gennum makes a lot of them. (I believe
both Telex and Starkey use Gennum amplifiers in some of their products.)
What percentage of the world market does Gennum have? Who are the other
players making amplifiers? What percentage of the market do they have?

Receivers. Knowles Electronics is a major supplier. What percentage of
the total market do they have? Who else? (It wasn't too many years ago
that Knowles made nearly all of them!)

Microphones. Again, Knowles Elecronics is a major supplier. What
percentage of the total market do they have? Who else? Again, I can
remember when Knowles made almost all of them. Knowles goes back a good
many years.

Who is making the volume controls?

Not too long ago I heard Ruth Bentler comment that even though the
amplifiers in the digital and analog hearing aids are radically
different, the transducers (mikes and receivers) are essentially the
same! Wouldn't this mean digital and analog hearing aids would sound
pretty much alike?

Paul Woodard ;-)
hearwhac at netins.net



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