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The history of Beltone

Founded in 1940, Beltone remains the most trusted brand for quality products and care among its patients.

Where it all started

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

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

In that first year, Beltone introduced their first hearing aid model, the Beltone Model H™.


The 1950's

While Ed Sullivan was the leader on network television, Beltone was just getting into the television game with their first national TV commercial. The Minuet™ was introduced – the first behind-the-ear hearing aid.


The 1960's

Larry Posen (son of Sam and Faye), invented the Micro-Module™ circuit, which made possible the tiny, but powerful Serenade™ behind-the-ear hearing aid. The first in-the-ear hearing aid Beltone created is called The Bravo™, also using the Micro-Module™ circuit.


The 1970's

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 of the hard of hearing.


The 1980's – the decade of decadence and new technology

Beltone introduced the ODE™ hearing aid, its first custom in-the-canal hearing aid. 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 80's, Beltone unveiled the Alto-Max™ and Alto-Super Max™ in-the-ear hearing aids, along with the Opera Max™, the most powerful canal aid on the market at the time.


The 1990's

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 1990's, Beltone unveiled their first hearing aid with digital (instead of analog) technology – the Beltone Digital™.


The 2000's and beyond

Keeping up with current technology trends, in 2002, a brand new, state-of-the-art fitting and verification system for hearing aids was introduced – called the Beltone AVE™. In 2011, Beltone launched the first wireless streaming hearing aid, called Beltone True™, which offers wireless streaming capabilities from hand-held devices. Beltone's wireless accessories offer the “gold standard” 2.4 GHz frequency band – allowing sound to stream at the highest speed possible. Beltone's technology transmits up to seven times more data than other systems. In 2014, Beltone introduced the first of its kind – a hearing aid with streaming capabilities from any iPhone®, iPad® or iPod touch® device – called Beltone First™.

Today, Beltone continues to focus on the needs of its customers through the research and development of innovative new hearing technologies. Technology is rapidly changing, and that means hearing aid technology is always evolving.

Stay tuned for new product releases!