Updated March 28, 2018
Etymotic Research, Elk Grove Village, Ill, a long-time innovator in the hearing healthcare field founded and owned by Mead Killion, PhD, announced that it has merged with Lucid Hearing®/Lucid Audio®, a prominent hearing aid and personal sound amplification products (PSAP) developer and manufacturer owned by Henry Smith who is the founder of Authorized Hearing Systems (AHS), America Hears, and more recently Liberty Hearing Aids and Lucid. Lucid Hearing reportedly operates over 500 Hearing Solution Centers throughout the United States, and Lucid Audio manufacturers hearing-amplification and hearing- protection products, including the Enrich and Enrich Pro PSAPs that range from $95-$199.
Lucid will have the controlling interest in Etymotic Research.
Etymotic Research has a 35-year history of innovation behind Dr Killion and his colleagues, with more than 100 US patents covering insert earphones for audiometry and ABR and OAEs, directional microphones, Musicians’ Earplugs, electronic earplugs for military/tactical personnel, noise-isolating in-ear earphones, K-AMP circuitry, Class D amplifiers, and more. In recent years, Etymotic is probably best known to consumers for its ER series earphones, ETY-kids earphones, Musicians’ Earplugs, and the company has also developed and marketed the Bean Quiet Sound Amplifier, among many other products.
Similar to Killion, Smith is a long-time engineer and inventor in the hearing industry whose interest in hearing healthcare evolved when he discovered a talent for fitting custom earmolds at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia. The experience led Smith to found Authorized Earmold Labs and Authorized Hearing Systems (AHS) in the early 1980s, an earmold fabrication business that transitioned to manufacturing AHS analog programmable and digital hearing aids. America Hears grew out of AHS and teamed up with Interton and Dynamic Hearing of Australia in the mid-2000s to introduce the Freedom AD with ADRO® (adaptive dynamic range optimization) technology. With Lucid, the company continues to develop, manufacture, and sell digital hearing aids directly to consumers while providing professional support from its own dispensing professionals over the Internet and phone.
Hearing Lab Technology LLC (HLT) was founded by Smith and CEO Tim Schnell in 2009. Lucid Hearing Centers offer hearing instruments withpowered by Lucid technology, as well as hearing-protection products, Bluetooth® connectivity, and consumer earphones. Liberty hearing aids are also dispensed by hearing care professionals at Sam’s Clubs throughout the United States.
“Over the years, we have learned that much of the success of our best innovations was the result of marketing and sales of much larger companies,” said Mead Killion. “Joining with Lucid Hearing and Lucid Audio allows Etymotic to develop products that can reach many more persons who can benefit from Etymotic’s developments.”
“We are enthusiastic about working together,” said Schnell. “This alliance will enable Lucid Hearing and Lucid Audio to fulfill our mission of Helping People Hear Better. Combining our many years of experience in the hearing aid industry with the depth of engineering talent at Etymotic makes this collaboration very exciting.”
Although HLT will have the controlling interest in the company, Etymotic Research will reportedly keep its present name, product lines, and engineers. The facility will remain in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Source: Etymotic Research, Lucid Hearing®/Lucid Audio®
Images: Lucid Hearing®/Lucid Audio®