Brand Profile: Starkey Laboratories
Starkey Laboratories got its start in 1967 when William Austin founded Professional Hearing Aid Service, an hearing instrument repair service in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. After setting new standards for the way repairs were handled, Austin acquired Starkey Laboratories, a small earmold company, in 1971. Austin merged the two businesses under the Starkey name, and eventually began making custom in-the-ear hearing aids with a then-revolutionary no-obligation trial and “worry-free” warranty.
Today, Starkey Laboratories is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of custom hearing instruments with 33 facilities in 18 countries throughout North America, Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and a workforce of over 4,000.
In 2013, the company introduced its new Starkey 3 Series hearing aids, packing more power into its smallest custom wireless hearing aids. The completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-canal (ITC) and in-the-ear (ITE) models in the family all feature binaural wireless communication between left and right hearing aids. They also utilize Starkey’s BluWave 3.0 sound processing software and are compatible with Starkey’s SurfLink Mobile device for media streaming and phone conversations.
Starkey has additional corporate units that develop other products, including hearing protection products for the consumer industrial and military markets; Bluetooth headsets for consumers and office use; and custom earpieces for musicians and audio professionals.
One of the world’s leading philanthropists, William Austin in 1973 started the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which has distributed tens of thousands of free hearing aids to needy children and adults in dozens of countries around the world. In addition to philanthropic endeavors, the foundation supports hearing research and education, and provides support and sponsorship for several industry-level public awareness campaigns.