B&W Beltone Company group photo
B&W Beltone Company group photo

The History of Beltone

Founded in 1940, Beltone has remained the most trusted brand for quality products and care among its patients for over 80 years.

Named America’s #1 Hearing Care Retailer and Best Customer Service by Newsweek.

vintage color pic couple

1930s - When It All Started

The Beltone legacy began in the 1930s when Sam and Faye Posen recognized the need for personalized and miniaturized hearing aid technology. Wanting to help a friend with hearing loss, Sam knew the hearing aids of the time couldn’t offer the individualized hearing capabilities he had in mind, as he wanted the music of life to come through “as clear as the tone of a bell.”

vintage beltone advertisement

1940s - Open for Business

By 1940, Beltone was open for business in a modest building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

In that first year of business, Beltone introduced its first hearing aid model, the Beltone Model H™.

But Beltone is more than the story of hearing aids. It’s the story of people who have brought about numerous, positive changes in the lives of the individuals they help and within the hearing care industry.

B&W vintage pic man & woman TV station camera
B&W vintage pic man & woman TV station camera

1950s - Commercial Success

While Ed Sullivan was the leader on network television, Beltone was just getting into the television game with its first TV commercial featuring the Beltone Minuet™— the first behind-the-ear hearing aid.

vintage B&W pic of man

1960s - The First In-The-Ear Hearing Aid

Larry Posen, son of Sam and Faye, invented the Micro-Module™ circuit, which made the tiny but powerful Serenade™ behind-the-ear hearing aid possible. Also using the Micro-Module circuit was the Bravo™, Beltone’s first in-the-ear hearing aid.

vintage B&W pic of people and American flag

1970s - 30 Years of Making a Difference

Beltone celebrated its 30th anniversary with a 50,000-square-foot addition to its headquarters in Chicago, featuring a walk-in virtually sound-proof room, to permit more sophisticated research into the challenges faced by the hard of hearing.

B&W vintage pic man (Eddie Albert) & woman
B&W vintage pic man (Eddie Albert) & woman

1980s - The First Custom Hearing Aid

Beltone introduced the ODE™ hearing aid, its first custom in-the-canal hearing aid, in the 1980s. Actress Jane Wyatt appeared in Beltone television and print ads, and actor Eddie Albert signed on as the Beltone spokesman. By the close of the ‘80s, Beltone unveiled the Alto-Max™ and Alto-Super Max™ in-the-ear hearing aids, along with the Opera Max™, the most powerful in-the-canal hearing aid on the market at the time.

grandfather and grandchild laughing - flowers in back

1990s - Leading the Pack

Technology continued to evolve at a rapid pace, and Beltone stayed ahead of the game in the hearing aid field. In 1994, Beltone introduced Invisa™, the first virtually invisible hearing aid. By the end of the 1990s, Beltone unveiled its first hearing aid made with digital technology: the Beltone Digital™.

color graphic Beltone Ave with blue sky and road
color graphic Beltone Ave with blue sky and road

2000s - Continuing Innovation

In 2002, Beltone introduced a state-of-the-art fitting and verification system for hearing aids called the Beltone AVE™.

In 2011, Beltone launched the first wireless streaming hearing aid, called Beltone True™, which offered wireless streaming capabilities from hand-held devices.

In 2014, Beltone introduced a hearing aid with streaming capabilities from any iPhone®, iPad® or iPod touch® device called Beltone First™—the first of its kind.

grandfather, daughter, granddaughter - soccer ball
grandfather, daughter, granddaughter - soccer ball

Today & Beyond Right Beside You

In 2020, Beltone celebrated its 80th anniversary and successfully navigated an unprecedented time in the world. During this time, Beltone launched its online store, Shop.Beltone.com, to offer direct-from-manufacturer solutions to patients across the country from the safety of their own home. At the time, Beltone was the only major hearing care retailer offering an online store.

Following the passing of the FDA’s over-the-counter hearing aid regulation in 2022, Beltone began offering Jabra Enhance Plus OTC earbud hearing aids for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. They can be purchased online or in-person at participating Beltone locations with no appointment necessary.

In 2023, Beltone launched its first miniRIE hearing aid as part of the expanded and complete Beltone Achieve™ portfolio. This award-winning line of hearing aids provides 150% better speech clarity in noise compared to previous technology (Jespersen et al. (2022)).

As proven by numerous awards for service and innovation, Beltone continues to provide impeccable service and advanced technology not only to its patients, but also to its independent network of owners. At Beltone, you’ll find more than just hearing aids, but a partner who is with you every step of the way.

Recent Highlights


Beltone introduces hearing care “Video Visits” via Beltone Remote Care Live

Beltone Imagine™ hearing technology breakthrough uses the ear’s acoustics to deliver tailored, more natural sound

Beltone launches online store

Beltone celebrates 80th anniversary


New Beltone Rely™ provides premium hearing aid experience at an affordable price

Beltone releases full line of products for Managed Care patients

Beltone and Clorox® team up to provide a “Safe & Sound” hearing care environment


Beltone expands portfolio with new Imagine™ BTE hearing aid

Jabra Enhance Plus hearing aids now available through Beltone online store and participating Beltone locations

Beltone hearing aids support hands-free calls with iPhone and iPad

Beltone Hearing Care Foundation to donate hearing aids to Ukrainian refugees located in the U.S.

Beltone named America’s #1 Hearing Care Retailer by Newsweek

Beltone introduces Custom Rechargeable hearing aids in a modern earbud design

Beltone announces launch of Beltone Achieve™ and Imagine™ Custom CIC hearing aids

Beltone’s Customer Service ranks #1 in Hearing Care by Newsweek

Beltone now carries Jabra Enhance™ Plus OTC hearing aids

Beltone Achieve™ and Imagine™ Custom rechargeable hearing aids receive CES 2023 Innovation Honoree awards


Beltone expands award-winning Beltone Achieve™ hearing aid portfolio, including new miniRIE

Beltone recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Midsize Employers

senior couple-woman talking in man's ear
senior couple-woman talking in man's ear

Locally Based Hearing Support Close to Home

Every one of Beltone’s 1,500 locations nationwide is part of the community it serves. The hearing care professionals and staff at your local Beltone will remember your name, listen to your story and support you on your journey to better hearing.

senior men outside with trophy-medals
female consulting senior couple

Award Winning Real Experts

From our customer service to our technology, our dedication to customers like you has brought us top national recognition.