Bernafon Ohrwurm - a unique way of engaging with people

2 May 2019

In the German language, there is an expression for when a catchy tune is stuck in your head and you keep singing it over and over again, it’s called an “Ohrwurm” (Ohr (“ear”) +‎ Wurm (“worm”) -- a worm in your ear). This is the concept behind a unique idea that we have used successfully at a large annual fair (Bern BEA Expo) over the last few years.

Bernafon stand with picture of the ear, brochures, and Ohrwurm, a walk-in tunnel where visitors put their hearing to the test.

In the exhibition hall, visitors can't help being intrigued by the big Ohrwurm tunnel at the Bernafon stand. There, visitors are taken on a journey through the walk-in Ohrwurm. How well do you hear in a quiet environment? What happens when the noise level rises? And what about your hearing in difficult noisy conditions?

Free from headphones or cables, visitors can put their hearing to the test under three domes - it’s a bit like a sound shower. Visitors stand directly underneath the domes which emit the same text spoken by a male voice at the same volume in one of three environments 1) in nature (silent), 2) in a busy restaurant, and 3) at the train station.

Adults and children walking through the Bernafon tunnel at an annual fair. Hearing aid expert answers questions about hearing.

For children and adults alike, it’s a fun and interesting experience to walk through the listening tunnel. Hearing care professionals and hearing aid experts are on hand to see their reactions and to answer any questions that may arise about hearing and hearing loss. There is also an opportunity to make a professional hearing test in a small sound booth and information leaflets from nearby hearing care professional’s practices are available for visitors. If visitors wish, they can also enter a prize draw.

With the Bernafon Ohrwurm, we are raising awareness about hearing loss in an entertaining way, reaching out to people who might need hearing care, and letting them know how we can help.