- Published on 23 June 2017
Sonova is celebrating seven decades of its brand Phonak with the Sonova Open Door Day on June 24 at its global headquarters in Staefa, Switzerland.
The event is expected to draw in approximately 8,000 guests and will feature a self-guided tour across the company’s three floors including labs, Research & Development and a separate tour of the production building. Sonova’s family of brands will be showcased with an emphasis on Phonak’s proud history of technological breakthroughs.
“Today, the Sonova Group is known around the world for delivering the broadest range of innovative hearing care solutions in the industry,” said Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova. “This leading market position did not come about by accident. It’s the result of seven decades of constantly pushing the limits of technology to better serve the needs of our customers. The Sonova Open Door Day is an opportunity to showcase our past achievements and look forward to shaping an even brighter future. From state-of-the-art hearing aids and cochlear implants to wireless communications solutions, Sonova and Phonak have been setting the standards for quality and pace of innovation in hearing care since 1947 – and we will continue to do so starting with the next 70 years.”
A legacy of innovation
Sonova’s roots lie in the foundation of Phonak. In 1947, Chuck Yeager was the first to break the sound barrier with his rocket aircraft Bell X-1. In that same year, AG für Elektroakustik was founded to help people with hearing loss breaking their own “barrier to sound”. In 1965, Ernst Rihs acquired a majority shareholding in the company and renamed it Phonak AG. Rihs was soon joined by Beda Diethelm and his two sons, Andy and Hans-Ueli Rihs, who all became equal shareholders.
The numerous Phonak/Sonova achievements include among many others the Phonak Alpina (its first portable hearing aid) in 1950, the Phonak Claro (the first digital hearing aid of the Group) or Neptune by Advanced Bionics (the world’s first waterproof, swimmable sound processor for cochlear implant recipients) in 2011. The 2016 launch of Phonak Audéo B-R, the company’s first mainstream lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid, and the Unitron Moxi Now, the world’s smallest receiver-in-canal hearing aid in its class, are examples of Sonova’s more recent innovations, with many more groundbreaking technologies expected later in 2017 and beyond.