The tide of hearing aid press coverage is turning positive. Following on the heels of the March/April issue of AARP Magazine which featured the positive article “Now Hear This,” three major national features and an array of local press items have noted the new technologies, the “cool” appearance, and the high consumer satisfaction rates with today’s hearing aids.
The May 22, 2006, issue of Business Week reports “Hipper Hearing for Boomers." Although the publication could not resist the “Say What?” tag line, the article incorporates many important industry facts, as well as a photo of Oticon’s Delta.
Reporter Louise Lee notes that “the bulky beige devices are yielding to sleek, colorful ones,” like Oticon’s Delta, and reports big sales of GN ReSound’s ReSoundAIR. She reinforces the messages of hearing loss as a normal partner of the Baby Boomers’ aging process, and quotes BHI’s Sergei Kochkin in describing today’s hearing aid as “‘a cool little consumer electronics device’ that fit(s) [this] generation’s vigorous self-image.”
The May 22 issue of Newsweek also featured Oticon’s Delta, noting that it is “Loud and Clearer.” The article describes Delta’s sleekness, colorful options, and pricing.
The same day’s US News & World Report carries a long, descriptive article in its Best Health section titled, “Good vibrations: They’re still hearing aids but they’re better—and smaller." Reporter Avery Comarow interviewed a wide range of industry experts for the story before focusing on “recent advances in design” and increasing levels of consumer satisfaction, including VA studies of service satisfaction outlined by VA head Lucille Beck, PhD. Comarow makes all the old arguments, and then refutes many of them or clarifies them with information about current devices.
Parade Magazine also joined the information march with “New Help for Hearing Loss,” a broader look at amplification that includes not only “smaller, sleeker, smarter hearing aids” and “going wireless,” with unbranded photos of Siemens e2e system, but also implants and ALDs, with another unbranded photo of Micro-Tech/Starkey’s ELI device.
A collection of articles is building at www.betterhearing.org, with positive pieces from around the country. There are also public information efforts by the professional organizations that are making a positive contribution as well.
Hearing aids even hit the editorial page positively in The Washington Post in Fred Hiatt’s editorial “Signs of change at Gallaudet,” describing the difference in the student protests of the new provost from the demonstrations 18 years ago that led to the selection of I. King Jordan as the first deaf Gallaudet leader in the school’s history.