Thanks to AI, hearing aids offer translation, other high-tech features

We hear a lot of headlines about concerns over artificial intelligence and what it might mean for the future. But it’s not all bad: Consider hearing loss.

Friendly AI could be a key for some folks to regain this essential sense. Read more.

An estimated 37 to 48 million Americans have some form of hearing difficulty. Despite that only 14% of people with hearing loss use a hearing aid. But an FDA ruling in the fall of 2022 allowing for the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids could improve access for millions. Read more.

1 in 5 in Minnesota, Wisconsin suffer from hearing loss

Starting Monday, Oct. 17, hearing aids will be available without a medical exam or prescription. Read more.

FDA rule clears the way for cheaper, over-the-counter hearing aids

Arden Hills-based Intricon Corp. is ready to deploy its over-the-counter technology while Eden Prairie-based Starkey, a hearing aid veteran, expresses concern about elements of the rule. Read more.

Hearing aids will soon be available over-the-counter

Advocates predict the hearing aid market will eventually resemble eye care, where consumers can choose between drugstore reading glasses or prescription bifocals. Read more.

The Hearing Conversation That Needs to Happen

Over-the-counter sales can be a valuable addition to the market, but the focus must be on patients, not profits. Read more.

Hearing aids help St. Paul teacher regain communication with students

Mask-wearing has impacted all of our daily lives, but for one high school teacher, it almost prevented her from being able to communicate with students.

Teaching for nearly 20 years, Rachel White was ready to be done saying her hearing loss was making it too difficult to understand students behind their masks. Read more.

White House Sees Hearing Aids as Chance to Lower Prices Through More Competition

Reducing regulations for hearing-aid sales is a test case in the Biden administration’s push to reduce costs by tackling concentration. Read more.

How millions of hearing aids are made inside one of the world’s largest manufacturers

Hearing aids can be customized, connect to phones, and translate foreign languages in real time. We went inside one of the largest hearing-aid manufacturers in the world to see how the industry is transforming. Read more.

Cheaper OTC devices fill void left by FDA delay on hearing aids

Spurred by decades of complaints about the high cost of hearing aids, Congress passed a law in 2017 to allow over-the-counter sales, hoping they would boost competition and lower prices. Four years later, federal regulators have yet to issue rules to implement the law. But changes in the industry are offering consumers relief. Read more.

Misinformation Around Hearing Aids Could Harm Americans

When the White House issued an executive order on competition recently, a flood of misinformation about hearing aids followed. The order was meant to compel the Department of Health and Human Services to issue rules around over-the-counter hearing aids. This comes four years after Congress passed a bill creating this new category of hearing aids meant to be sold in drugstores for people with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. For the past four years, the Food and Drug Administration has meticulously talked with every stakeholder in this debate, but after four years of talking, the FDA has yet to set regulations. Read more.

3 Guiding Principles When Leadership Matters Most

Leadership is rarely easy. This is because the times that true leadership is needed are rarely easy. In my more than 25 years in the hearing health care industry, I have found myself in this position several times. This is true, once again, as I write this. While I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, I have found that remaining true to three principles will help you lead your team, your company or your entire industry through any storm. Read more.

3 Ways Purpose-Driven Companies Drive Success

The business of business has changed a lot over the past year. An unforeseen pandemic shook the global economy and disrupted the status quo of how we work and lead others. While there was no playbook or blueprint for company leaders, leaning into three principles allowed Starkey, a purpose-driven hearing healthcare company, to navigate the pandemic. With these three principles leading your decisions, any business can become a successful, purpose-driven company. Read more.

Fact Vs. Fiction: 5 Leadership Myths Busted

Over the past 27 years of my career at Starkey, I have had the privilege of meeting thousands of people. While many have new ideas and unique perspectives to share, nearly all of them ask me the same question: “How do you define leadership?” As someone who recognized my life’s purpose at the ripe age of 19 with my very first job in the hearing healthcare industry, I’ve had many years to learn hard lessons in leadership. I’ve learned the difference between what’s true and what people falsely believe to be true. Read more.

Let’s Call Hearing Aids What They Are: Medical Devices

For a few weeks in early April, a proposed 11th-hour amendment moved through the Florida Legislature. The last-minute amendment would have removed current Florida consumer protection laws that require individuals with hearing loss to be evaluated by a licensed hearing professional before purchasing the hearing aids best suited for their individual needs. Read more.

Starkey Helping Those With Hearing Loss Overcome Pandemic

The pandemic has been difficult for almost everyone, but it has affected people experiencing hearing loss in simple but profound ways. It’s hard enough to communicate with masks, through plexiglass and while keeping a social distance. Now imagine all that if you already struggle to hear. Read more.

Brandon Sawalich of Starkey: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a CEO

You are constantly managing priorities and cutting out the bureaucracy. In today’s business world, you have to be agile and move with velocity. If you add in new projects and work, you must decide what old projects and work must stop. A CEO or an executive cannot allow focus to be lost on accomplishing our priorities. Ask yourself, “What do we need to keep doing? Stop doing? Start doing?” Read more.

Why Hearing Health Became Essential During COVID-19

We are one year into a global health crisis. At the start of 2020, I said the greatest decade in the hearing industry was ahead of us, and I still believe this is true. Not in spite of what happened in 2020 — but because of it. In 2020, more people learned what we in the hearing industry have known all along: hearing health is essential. As a hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey has had a front-row seat to the evolution that’s taken place in hearing health care this past year. Read more.

Hearing Health Care: Prioritizing People Over Profits

I have been in the hearing industry most of my life — you could say it raised me. From my earliest memories as a child, to 1994 when I started at Starkey Hearing Technologies, and through today, the importance of hearing health is ingrained in me and continues to shape my decisions. As technology, generational expectations and distribution channels evolve, the hearing industry continues to change along with them. Read more.

Dr. Georgiou is new chief health officer for Starkey

Starkey Hearing Technologies, 6700 Washington Ave. S., Eden Prairie, has added a new role for the hearing industry to its team––a chief health officer. Dr. Archelle Georgiou is a physician, healthcare industry expert, reporter and author….“At Starkey, we are doubling down on a business strategy that we believe will help more people live healthier lives,” Starkey President Brandon Sawalich said. Read more.

Regularly using hearing aids can decrease feelings of social isolation and loneliness

In the span of a century, like so many other devices, hearing aids have evolved from large, expensive and impractical ones to those that are nearly invisible through the latest digital technology. Hearing loss affects about a third of people between the ages of 65 and 74, and nearly half of those over 75, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.Read more.

023 – Kevin Liebe – (Hearing Aid) Data is the New Oil

Our conversation begins by focusing on the first three interviews that Kevin has conducted for the column and some of the key takeaways from each. The first interview with Brandon Sawalich, CEO of Starkey, sheds a light on the company’s vision to transform the hearing aid into a more multi-purpose device capable of supporting additional use cases.Read more.

The Future of Hearing Healthcare: Interview with Starkey President, Brandon Sawalich

The hearing healthcare industry continues to face an uncertain future as the result of ongoing technological and regulatory disruption. Furthermore, changes in consumer behavior continue to push professionals to adapt beyond the traditional ways of delivering care. As we look to the new year, we would like to introduce readers to a new series at HHTM: Hearing Healthcare 2020. Read more.

Starkey Honors Veterans at Minnesota Vikings Game

Minneapolis (December 10, 2019) – On December 8, Starkey had the privilege of hosting ten veterans and two active servicemen, and their guests, in our U.S. Bank Stadium turf suite for the Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions football game. Honorary guests included Jack Zimmerman (Army, Afghanistan, Purple Heart recipient); Richard Edge (Army, WWII, Purple Heart recipient)….Read more.

Hillsdale boy ‘on cloud nine’ after gift of hearing aids

JACKSON, MI – Kristy Ellis of Hillsdale was shocked when she heard the results. Ellis, the mother of 10-year-old Vincent Jacobs, knew her son had hearing issues. He was 8 months old when doctors inserted tubes to drain fluid from infections in his ears, she said. But, a year ago, doctors told Ellis that Vincent’s hearing deterioration was 90 percent in one ear and 94 percent in the other. Read more.

A Talking Hearing Aid

Starkey Livio AI

Many people who could benefit from a hearing aid avoid it, fearing it signals infirmity. Starkey Hearing Technologies answers that fear with a device that does more than amplify sound and tone down background noise. Livio AI is embedded with sensors and artificial intelligence that allow it to stream music; verbally answer questions like a smart assistant. Read more.

Starkey Announces Keynote Speakers for 2020 Hearing Innovation Expo

Starkey Hearing Technologies is excited to unveil details about its upcoming Hearing Innovation Expo, the hearing industry’s premiere event that promises to educate, motivate and inspire thousands of hearing professionals from around the world. Guided by the theme of Go Beyond, the fifth Hearing Innovation Expo will take place January 15 to 19, 2020, at The Cosmopolitan™ of Las Vegas. Read more.

Starkey President Named to Executive Advisory Council for Bush Center

Starkey Hearing Technologies president, Brandon Sawalich, has been named to the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Executive Advisory Council. The Council is comprised of seasoned leaders in business, public service and non-profit work who lend their expertise to advise and support the Bush Center’s strategic direction. Read more.

Livio AI and the Dawn of a New Era

In effect, Starkey has re-invented the hearing aid and turned it into a multi-purpose device that they compare to the first iPhone because, they say, it will have a revolutionary impact on an entire industry. Read More.

Forget hearing aids or hearables; Starkey’s Livio AI really are ‘healthables’

It’s almost five years since I first wrote “forget wearables; let’s talk hearables, the devices formerly known as hearing aids.” Back then having hearing aids that connected to the internet seemed magical and world-changing.

Now, they are no longer hearables; Starkey’s new Livio AIs are being called “Healthables.” Read More.

The Future of Wearable Tech Is Called a Hearing Aid

When Brandon Sawalich started at Starkey Hearing Technologies in suburban Minneapolis, he was 19 and there were about 70 companies worldwide making hearing aids. That was 1994. Read More.

Bloomberg Businessweek Weekend – April 20th, 2019 (Podcast)

Hosted by Carol Massar and Jason Kelly. Featuring: -Polly Mosendz on the Smith and Wesson smart gun -Chris Flavelle on Japan’s Fukushima Power Plant -Josh Dean on Starkey Hearing Aids -Peter Coy on a mini series about inflation. Listen Now.

The Tech 20: Innovations That Should Be On Your Radar

Minnesota is nationally known as a center for the medical device industry, but we’ve never had much of a reputation as a headquarters for technology companies. That’s changing. Aspiring entrepreneurs can now tap into an extensive ecosystem to help get them off the ground. Read More.

Minnesota companies at CES showcase products from hearing aids with fall detectors to smart thermostats

Take Starkey Hearing Technologies’ new hearing aid, the Livio AI. Eden Prairie-based Starkey, which is the nation’s largest hearing aid manufacturer, said the device is its most advanced as far as its core use because integrated sensors allow it to adjust to noisy environments and reduce the effort that users need to exert to use it. Read More.

Technology gives hearing aids new cool additions

Technology is taking hearing aids to a new level, serving as a multi-purpose device that can track your health, stream your phone or TV and more. Yahoo Finance’s Adam Shapiro, Julie Hyman and Brian Sozzi discuss the innovation of hearing aids with Starkey Hearing Technologies president, Brandon Sawalich. Watch the video.

Starkey Hearing Technologies unveils three revolutionary advancements within Livio® AI: Fall Detection and Alerts, Heart Rate Measurement and Thrive™ Virtual Assistant

Building on the recent launch of the world’s first Healthable™ hearing technology, Livio® AI, Starkey Hearing Technologies announces the first-ever Fall Detection and Alert capability within a hearing aid, as well as Heart Rate Measurement and built-in Virtual Assistant, on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show. Read More.

Vikings Host Military Veterans For Salute To Service

Arthur and Wayne are a few of the veterans watching the action from the Starkey Hearing suite.

“You know it’s hard to even watch the game because they’re so excited, and you’re watching their expressions and listening to their stories so, so it’s a lot of time listening and a little time watching the game,” Starkey Hearing Technologies President Brandon Sawalich said. Read More.

Starkey Livio AI With Integrated Sensors and Artificial Intelligence Creates New Tier in Healthables

Brandon Sawalich: With Livio AI, we’re creating a new tier within healthable tech, and we’re forging a new path.

AO: It seems like this is a lifestyle product as well, not just a hearing aid?

Dave: First and foremost, we have to rely on our 50-plus years of experience in the hearing aid industry because we can’t have a foundation that is a sub-par hearing aid. We’re making the best-sounding, best-performing hearing aid we’ve ever made and adding additional functionality. Read More.

Help with hearing for victims of Hurricane Michael

Starkey Hearing Technologies is stepping in to help Hurricane Michael victims who have hearing loss. Read More.

Starkey Hearing Technologies’ Livio AI Revolutionizes Hearing

Starkey® Hearing Technologies has reinvented both the hearing experience and the hearing aid with Livio AI. Livio AI is the world’s first Healthable™ hearing aid to utilize integrated sensors and artificial intelligence, and the first to track physical activity and cognitive health.

Starkey Hearing Technologies’ Livio AI Revolutionizes Hearing

Starkey® Hearing Technologies has reinvented both the hearing experience and the hearing aid with Livio AI. Livio AI is the world’s first Healthable™ hearing aid to utilize integrated sensors and artificial intelligence, and the first to track physical activity and cognitive health.  Read More.

Starkey Hearing Technologies’ Livio AI Revolutionizes Hearing

The world’s first hearing aid with artificial intelligence tracks brain and body health, offers real-time language translation and advanced environmental detection. Read More.

Starkey Hearing Technologies’ Livio AI Revolutionizes Hearing

The world’s first hearing aid with artificial intelligence tracks brain and body health, offers real-time language translation and advanced environmental detection. Read More.

Livio AI hearing aid doubles as a fitness tracker

Hearing aid giant Starkey has dabbled in smart listening devices before, but not like this. The company has unveiled Livio AI, an earpiece that’s as much a connected wearable as it is an audio booster. Read More.

Starkey’s latest hearing aid doubles as a health tracker

Starkey Hearing Technologies has been in the hearing aid business for decades, but its latest product release – the Livio AI – is something of a first.  Read More.

Starkey’s AI Transforms Hearing Aids Into Smart Wearables

Starkey’s new Livio AI hearing aid translates 27 languages in real-time and also doubles as a hands-free earpiece. Read More.


The future is ear: Why “hearables” are finally tech’s next big thing

The explosive growth of their AI voice assistants has Google, Apple, and Amazon racing to put your entire smartphone in an earpiece. Read More.


Bill Austin’s stepson, Brandon Sawalich, named president of Starkey

Starkey Hearing Technologies has named a stepson of CEO Bill Austin as the company’s new president, nearly two years after the firings of the company’s previous president and several other executives. Austin informed employees in a memo on Thursday that he was promoting stepson Brandon Sawalich “because he stepped up when needed.” Read More.


Interview with Brandon Sawalich, VP Sales and Marketing, Starkey Laboratories

Topic: Helping Patients Acquire the Best Value for Their Specific Hearing Needs

Dybala: Good afternoon, Brandon. Thanks for taking the time to meet with me today and congratulations on your recent promotion to vice president of sales and marketing.

Sawalich: Nice to talk to you again Paul, and congratulations on your promotion to president and editor-in-chief of AO.

Dybala: Recognizing that even the best-built hearing aids are not going to last forever, what should professionals consider as they help patients replace older hearing aids and upgrade to newer technology? Read More.


New Starkey hearing aid has language translator and monitors brain activity

Eden Prairie-based Starkey’s new hearing aid, Livio AI (Artificial Intelligence), has people who are not hard of hearing wearing the device because of all the new features it contains. Read More.


Starkey’s New Hearing Aid Uses AI Tech, Doubles as Activity Tracker

Starkey Hearing Technologies is set to make noise in the industry with its latest development: a first-of-its-kind hearing aid dubbed Livio AI which features integrated sensors and artificial intelligence. The new device can also track physical activity and cognitive health while the aid is in use. Read More.


Manufacturing Excellence

What’s your idea of manufacturing? For many, it’s a noisy, greasy plant where people do the same tasks over and over again—more brawn than brains. Or perhaps it’s a cleanroom space populated more by robots than people. In any case, it’s not as cool as building an app or brewing an IPA. Read more.


Servant leadership: Starkey president delivers keynote at 2019 young professionals summit

Nearly 200 professionals ages 20-35 from the metro area attended the Twin Cities Young Professionals Summit June 13, hosted this year at Starkey Hearing Technologies’ headquarters in Eden Prairie. Starkey Hearing Technologies President Brandon Sawalich delivered the afternoon keynote address, in addition to opening the facilities to the event. Read More.



Starkey Livio AI Wins ‘2019 CES Innovation’ Award for Accessibility

Starkey® Hearing Technologies announced it is a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree for its Livio™ AI hearing aid. Its technology was recognized in the Awards’ ‘Accessibility’ category, which is dedicated to products and services with innovative features that improve accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities. Read More.



Why the sudden push for over-the-counter hearing devices?

Hearing loss is a medical issue and not a consumer electronics opportunity.Since the fall of 2015, I have witnessed a giant political machine exert a coordinated effort through the streets of our nation’s capital to create a new over-the-counter (OTC) delivery channel for hearing aids. Lobbying efforts driven by consumer electronics companies, are focused on increased revenue and corporate profits rather than providing better hearing, service, and care for people with hearing loss. Read More.



Brandon Sawalich Named Starkey’s New President

In a company announcement yesterday, Starkey Hearing Technologies reported that Bill Austin will be stepping down from his role as President and will be succeeded by his stepson, Brandon Sawalich.

Austin is said to retain his title as CEO and will continue to be involved in driving the company’s “strategic direction and leadership”. Read More.



Brandon Sawalich Named President of Starkey Hearing Technologies

Brandon Sawalich has been appointed as the new president of Starkey Hearing Technologies. The widely anticipated announcement means Sawalich will succeed as president Starkey’s Founder and CEO William (Bill) Austin, who will remain CEO and continue to function as an active participant in the company’s strategic direction and leadership. Read More.



Brandon Sawalich: industry opinion on OTC hearing aids

With the fast-moving political changes underway in US health regulations, the OTC hearing aids question continues to draw significant attention. The two sides of the debate have highlighted two radically different visions of hearing healthcare, and perhaps more widely, healthcare in general: medical intervention versus commercial opportunity. Read More.



Starkey Hearing CEO Promotes Stepson to President

Bill Austin, the chief executive of Starkey Hearing Technologies, promoted his stepson Brandon Sawalich to president of the Eden Prairie-based company. Sawalich fills a void in leadership created nearly two years ago when Austin dismissed Jerry Ruzicka, Starkey’s former president, and many other executives under claims they had been siphoning money from the company. Read More.



40 Under 40: Brandon Sawalich

Can hearing aids be perceived as innovative, cutting-edge tech devices? They will be, under Brandon Sawalich’s leadership. As senior vice president of sales, marketing and customer service for Starkey Hearing Technologies, Sawalich is ushering in the next generation of wearable technology. Read More.