In January 2015, Siemens Audiology Solutions was sold to EQT Holdings and renamed Sivantos. Sivantos currently designs and manufactures hearing aids under many brand names, including Siemens, Audio Service, Rexton and A&M. They claim to produce “one of every four hearing aids being used world wide.” They also run HearUSA.com, which distributes hearing aids through a network of ~2,500 “independently practicing hearing care professionals.”
In March 2015, it was reported that Sivantos was entering a “strategic partnership and investment agreement” with audibene, “the largest internet portal for hearing care case management in Europe.” According to the press release, audibene’s “core focus is on first-time customers,” and the website audibene.de, appeals to “consumers that have until now refused the traditional supply chain.”
audibene is the largest internet portal for independent hearing care case management and hearing aid purchasing in Europe […] hearing care providers benefit from audibene’s multi-vendor platform, as it attracts new hearing aid customers into the world of hearing aids and drives incremental business for hearing healthcare providers.
We haven’t heard much about the deal since March, but it looks like they have quietly launched the US-based audibene web-portal at the web address www.hear.com, sometime over the past few days. We were suspicious about the website when we noticed a very familiar web design (audibene vs. hear.com shown below):
Our suspicions were confirmed by looking at the “become a partner audiologist” page, which highlights profile of one Valentin Gruber, managing director of audibene, LLC (a US entity).
The hear.com website highlights the ReSound LiNX 9, Phonak Bolero Q50, and Siemens Intuis Pro under the premium, mid-range, and basic pricing levels (respectively). The website also claims to sell devices from “all the major manufacturers in America,” and throws in hearing services from a local audiologist. The wording on their website suggests that the services are provided by audiologists exclusively (as opposed to hearing instrument specialists), but this must be confirmed. A consultation, hearing evaluation, and fitting are provided. We could not find information about the cost of follow-up care (or whether this is included in the price).
Though we probably don’t need further evidence to prove that Sivantos/audibene is behind hear.com, we have gathered some additional information to strengthen our case:
1) Hear.com is registered to Audibene GmbH
2) The domain name was recently sold after being listed for $500,000
3) Hear.com job listings are posted at audibene.candarine.com
After reading the job posting for an Audiologist/ Hearing Aid Dispenser in Miami, Fl we may safely assume that audibene is not referring customers exclusively to audiologists, as was speculated above. Here’s an excerpt from the ad:
hear.com is looking for an Audiologist/Hearing Aid Dispenser who wants to jump in head-first and help build a global market leader experiencing explosive growth. You will contribute directly to the massive development of our company by acting as the main point of contact for our customers as well as our partners.
Last modified: July 12, 2015