New Hearing Solution Changes the Way People Hear with Cochlear Implants

— Advanced Bionics and Phonak introduce Naída Link, the first hearing
aid capable of communicating with a cochlear implant —

(AB) and Phonak
announced today the introduction of the new Naída bimodal hearing
solution featuring the Phonak Naída™ Link, the world’s first hearing aid
offering full-bandwidth, bidirectional audio streaming with the Naída
CI sound processor
from AB. Using shared technology co-developed by
AB and Phonak, the Naída devices are able to communicate with
each other in a way no other hearing aid and cochlear implant
combination can match.

“After years of combined efforts in audiology, R&D and product
management, we are delivering a game changer in technology. Two Naída
devices — a CI and hearing aid — can now use the same advanced automatic
technology and stream the audio signal from one side to the other. This
means they can respond and adjust the same way to changing listening
situations, as if they are one system,” said Dr. Hans Mülder, Marketing
Director at Phonak Communications AG. “It is very rewarding to see AB
and Phonak delivering on the expectations that were raised when the two
companies came together.”

By transmitting audio information as well as sharing automatic features,
controls, and the wireless
Roger™ system
, the AB and Phonak Naída devices make it easier to
hear with them together. Studies show that this provides a proven
advantage for hearing in noise and greater listening comfort compared to
using a cochlear implant and any other hearing aid.1,2

Approximately 40% to 60% of cochlear implant recipients are considered
“bimodal”, which means they wear a hearing aid on one ear in combination
with using a cochlear implant on the other.3 “This
breakthrough in bimodal hearing means we can deliver better hearing to
more people affected by significant hearing loss and that’s always our
goal,” said Hansjuerg Emch, President of Advanced Bionics and Group Vice
President of the Sonova Medical Division.

The Phonak Naída Link hearing aid will be available starting this summer
in the United States and Europe.

About Advanced Bionics

Advanced Bionics is a global leader in developing the most advanced
cochlear implant systems in the world. Founded in 1993 and a subsidiary
of the Sonova Group since 2009, AB develops cutting-edge cochlear
implant technology that allows recipients to hear their best.

AB offers the most sophisticated cochlear implant system on the market,
the HiResolution™
Bionic Ear System
, with five times more sound resolution than its
competitors, designed to help recipients hear in noisy settings and
enjoy the full dimensions of music and tonal languages.

With sales in over 50 countries and a proven track record for developing
high-performing, state-of-the-art products, AB’s talented group of
technologists and professionals from all over the world are driven to
succeed, work with integrity and stay firmly committed to quality.

About Phonak

Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of Sonova
Group, has developed, produced and globally distributed state-of-the-art
hearing systems and wireless devices for more than 60 years. The
combination of expertise in hearing technology, mastery in acoustics and
strong cooperation with hearing care professionals allows Phonak to
significantly improve people’s hearing ability and speech understanding
and therefore their quality of life.

Phonak offers a complete range of digital hearing instruments, along
with complementary wireless communication systems. With a worldwide
presence, Phonak drives innovation and sets new industry benchmarks
regarding miniaturization and performance.

1. Veugen LC, Chalupper J, Snik AF, van Opstal AJ, Mens LH. (2016)
Matching automatic gain control across devices in bimodal cochlear
implant users. Ear and Hearing (2015 Dec 10, epub ahead of print)

2. Advanced Bionics (2016) Adaptive Phonak Digital Bimodal Fitting
Formula: Optimizing Hearing for Listeners with a Cochlear Implant and
Contralateral Hearing Aid White Paper

3. Dorman MF, Gifford RH. (2010) Combining acoustic and electric
stimulation in the service of speech recognition. International Journal
of Audiology 49(12): 912-919


Advanced Bionics
Cheryl McRae, 661-362-1400
Jorge Neto, +41 58 928 01 01