Our history & roots.
"Our future started in 1878."
– Ignacio Martinez, CEO Sivantos Group
Sivantos Group is a leading manufacturer of hearing aids whose roots go back 140 years. Until January 2015, we were a Siemens Business Unit. Then we became an independent company. Guess what happened next? We started our transformation journey, completely re-inventing our company from the ground up.
With a proud history of entrepreneurship, courage, scientific curiosity and the will to help others, we continuously strive to be an even better partner by providing revolutionary services. In fact, we are proud to say that we develop and manufacture one out of every four hearing aids being used worldwide.
Built on 140 years of Siemens experience, Signia was launched globally in 2016 and has already advanced to one of the top 3 hearing aid brands worldwide. With Signia, Sivantos brings the latest technological and audiological developments to a constantly growing and increasingly demanding market.
In addition to state-of-the-art technology, Signia also delivers tools and apps to increase customer interaction and engagement on all levels of hearing aid management, allowing hearing care professionals and patients to get the most out of their hearing aids, worldwide.
Curious to go back in time?
Bringing yet another game-changer to the market, Signia brings to the world the first SLIM-RIC hearwear, Styletto. Powered by Signia Nx, the revolutionary platform launched in 2017 which boasts the most natural own voice and unsurpassed first fit acceptance*, Styletto combines style with high-tech hearing, transforming the image of hearing aids.
* 2017 “OVP Study” conducted at University of Northern Colorado examining the effect of own voice processing on spontaneous acceptance after first fit of hearing aids. Further details: www.signia-pro.com/ovp-study
Building on 140 years of Siemens experience, Signia was launched.
Signia stands for hearing innovations that center on the customer’s needs and deliver the highest level of quality and satisfaction.
In the same year, a number of world’s first innovations such as Cellion primax, the first inductive rechargeable hearing aid with a lithium-ion powercell, and the Silk primax, the innovative ready-to-wear in-the-ear hearing aid was launched under Signia.
Yet another world’s first. Through systematic further development of the e2e wireless technology (launched in 2004), Siemens introduced binax, the innovative platform that contains a wireless system to connect hearing aids on both ears. The hearing aids can now also share and exchange audio signals with each other and thereby imitate natural hearing processes.
Hearing aid advancements continued in the 2000s, with the introduction of the Acuris, Siemens’ first hearing instrument which are wirelessly synchronized. This makes it easier for the user to hear with a more accurate sense of space.
(Image: Right) A hearing test is always the best way to find out how to help. In 2004, our audiologists were already using Connexx, our software for fitting hearing aids.
(Image: Left) An Acuris device connected to a 2CC coupler, used for testing, measuring, and fitting the hearing aid.
Following decades of gradual improvements, a new era in hearing aid technology began in 1997. The world’s first completely digital hearing aid with two microphones, Prisma, was launched.
(Image: Right) A anechoic chamber from the 90s imitates the acoustic conditions of being in open air, crucial in testing for microphone responses.
(Image: Left) With the development of the hearing aids, audiometers need to offer more complex and precise solutions, hence our Unity system was introduced in 1996.
“You understand each other better with Siemens hearing aids.” That is what the middle sign of this shop window reads. Daring, conspicuous, powerful, and creative were some key themes during the 1970s, resulting in the brightly coloured pocket aids displayed.
(Image: Top) Apart from the hearing devices and glasses, shops in 1970s also placed batteries, accessories and cleaning tools on their display.
(Image: Bottom) An individual fitting was needed for the best hearing aids performance. This is how a hearing test is done back then.
After years of merely being an idea, Siemens successfully presents Siretta 339 in 1966, the first in-the-ear hearing instrument. This was a huge advantage in the view of many viewers, as this type of hearing aid was even more discreet.
(Image: Right) The Siretta 339 is the first hearing aid to be worn entirely inside the ear.
(Image: Left) Fine precision, microscopes, and tweezers are still needed for assembling the hearing aid’s tiny pieces regardless 50 years ago, or today.
Siemens launched the first hearing aids developed and produced in Erlangen, Germany. Notably, Siemens launched the Phonophor Alpha in 1951, as electric hearing aids based on telephone technology began to reach their limits.
Within this short decade, the audiology division grows rapidly and introduced a number of new technologies, culminating in a true blockbuster in 1959 with the Auriculette. This device consisted of components so small and lightweight that they fit together in a single housing worn behind the ear, known today as BTE.
(Image: Top) Pictures showing hearing aids very often focus on their small size. A pocket aid in the 1950s was as small as a box of matches, compared to the first purse-like devices at the beginning of the century have gone a long way indeed!
(Image: Bottom) The Auriculette had components so small and lightweight that they fit together in a single housing.
At the end of World War II almost all the plants in Berlin are destroyed or severely damaged. Siemens-Reiniger-Werke, based in Erlangen, becomes the branch of the company specializing in medical technology. They take over the audiological business in 1945 for a restart, nearly from scratch. But it does not take long to get the business back up and running.
Becoming smaller and smaller, hearing aids are used more and more in different environments as well as in everyday working life. The goal of the new hearing aid models is to allow improved adaptation to different levels of hearing loss. Advancements in microphone and speaker technology also made the new devices more convenient for users.
(Image: Right) How the Phonophor looks on a model in 1933.
(Image: Left) Hearing aids used in everyday working life of 1936..
After the huge success of the first Phonophor models, Siemens & Halske expanded hearing aid production activities at Berlin’s Wernerwerk plant. New materials and designs innovations also made the Phonophor lighter and more compact while advances in technology improved performance and sound quality.
(Image: Center) The first series production of hearing aids took place in Siemensstadt, Berlin. This picture shows plant Wernerwerk I in 1913.
(Image: Left) Have a look inside plant Wernerwerk. This is where the hearing aids were manufactured in 1913.
(Image: Right) Professor August Raps is the head of the Wernerwerk plant where telephones were being produced. He tasked his assistant, Louis Weber (pictured), with producing a device to help his friend Carl Kloenne who is hard of hearing – a mission that radically changed the company’s future.
The first Siemens hearing aids serial production starts in Berlin: the Esha-Phonophor. The first word is pronounced “es-ha” and mirrors the German pronunciation of S&H. S&H is the common abbreviation of the two founders Siemens and Halske. 100 years later, the device is to be seen in the medical museum in Erlangen, Germany – and still works!
(Image: Center) Where Siemens & Halske used to produce telephone equipment, a small research lab is to be found. It is here that Louis Weber develops the Phonophor and works on improvement, new models, and other types of hearing devices, such as “multi-user” hearing aid systems, 1914.
(Image: Left) In 1913, the Phonophor was worn like a headset, with it’s other components fitting in the pocket of a coat.
(Image: Right) There is even a ladies’ version of the hearing aid in 1914. Its microphone and battery are carried in a purse. Another version took the form of a folding camera, a popular accessory at the time, complete with a leather carrying strap.
As first steps in the development of electric hearing aids, Reiniger, Gebbert & Schall, a predecessor of Sivantos Group, begins building electric audio-meters. These produced a ringing sound by means of a special hammer that set magnetic coils in motion.
(Image: Top) This is an electric audiometer from 1902. It was developed by Prof. Dr. Breitung to test the user’s sense of hearing.
(Image: Bottom) A hearing aid’s performance is only as good as the individual fit between the hearing aid and the wearer’s hearing ability. With this in mind, specialists prepare a graph called an audiogram. An audiogram for the first time ever yields insight into the patient’s hearing problem. This is one of the first electronic audiometers by Prof. Dr. Urbantschitsch, 1902.
Personal achievements can only be recognized
by the benefits they offer others.
-Werner Von Siemens, inventor of the first hearing instrument.
It was in 1878, when Werner von Siemens built a telephone with a horseshoe magnet, considerably improving the device’s voice quality. This leads to the discovery that the hard of hearing could understand the person they are talking to much better if voice signals are amplified through electrical means.
Historical pictures provided by Sivantos Group and Siemens Healthineers.