We’re just about to enter the late summer period here in Switzerland, but already now I can tell that 2019 is going to be one of the most memorable years in my life. Why is that? Well, first of all – and most importantly - I became a father for the second time. Father of a now five-month-old boy. Secondly, the new Bernafon power family of hearing instruments, for which I am the Product Manager, is soon to be released to the market. Both events have made me nervous. They have both brought me joy. And they’ve both made me feel extremely proud.
There are some significant differences between managing a marketing project in the power category and managing one with standard BTE, RITE, and custom hearing instruments. One difference, and in my opinion the most important, is the target group. Users of Super Power and Ultra Power hearing instruments have severe-to-profound hearing losses. They are highly dependent on their hearing instruments to work in any situation and at any time. They can be of all ages ranging from babies to children, teens, and adults and, in most cases, are experienced hearing aid users. Their experience and personal interest in the devices make them highly knowledgeable about the products and recent developments in technology and performance.
The power segment is considered to be a niche market. Out of twenty consultations, we estimate that a hearing care professional only sees one or two clients with a severe-to-profound hearing loss. Yet, given the fundamental need of a hearing instrument for that target group, the penetration rate is much higher compared to the segment for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Our engineers started developing the new housing roughly three years ago. Recently, I met them in a project design review meeting where we had the chance to share our experiences of working on a Super Power | Ultra Power project. They reported that developing hardware for power users is one of the most challenging tasks due to the diversity in requirements. Primarily, power instruments must deliver the highest gain and output possible. They must withstand the toughest operating conditions and must be made for longevity. Because babies and toddlers are potential users as well, the instrument components must be childproof. And finally, we want the hearing instrument to be comfortable to wear, easy to operate, and for the design to be as discreet as possible.
If you ask me if we have achieved all of the above, then the answer of a proud father would be: yes, of course.
Leox 7|3 is Bernafon’s new Super Power and Ultra Power hearing instrument family to be released in September 2019. These are the industry’s most powerful True Environment Processing™ hearing instruments that deliver true sounds in real time. Watch out for more information about Leox on bernafon.com and on our social media channels.