Media - Sonova News Room

“We have pretty much fallen in love with Unitron technology.”

A visit to the “Hörhaus” audiological store in Regensburg confirms that choosing a partnership with the Sonova brand Unitron is a winning strategy for independent audiologists. Hearing aid wearers also benefit from this close and longstanding cooperation. 

The audiologists Eberhard Schmidt and Thomas Wittmann at the “Hörhaus” have made a successful choice in Unitron
The audiologists Thomas Wittmann and Eberhard Schmidt at the “Hörhaus” 

When Eberhard Schmidt describes the division of labor among the managers at the “Hörhaus” audiological store, it sounds like he is describing a government cabinet: “We have a Secretary of State and a Treasury Secretary, and I am the Secretary of the Interior.” 

This charming master audiologist and his fellow manager Thomas Wittmann are standing in the inviting reception area of a branch of Hörhaus in Regensburg; the colors in the recently refitted store are bright and warm, a carpet muffles any footsteps and an indoor fountain burbles gently. One of the modern audiometry rooms has been fitted out with a Dolby surround sound system. The company – “Das Hörhaus GmbH und Co. KG”, to give it its full title – owns 17 audiological stores while also running six other outlets under the “Hörgeräte Reichel” brand. The audiological range for children in one of its branches is unmatched in Eastern Bavaria. 


We meet up regularly to compare notes; this is unique in the sector.

Eberhard Schmidt, manager "Hörhaus"


A key pillar of the company’s commercial success is its cooperation with the Sonova brand Unitron: “There’s absolutely no downside,” explains Wittmann. “We’re in constant and close contact and we’ve pretty much fallen in love with Unitron technology,” adds Schmidt with a grin. “Trial instruments, personalized service – and we don’t need to have any more stock on commission as the Flex:trial sample devices are freely configurable. When we update the firmware, we can load new product functions without switching out the devices.” Hörhaus is taking part in a partnership program offered by Unitron to selected hearing care professionals right across Germany. “We meet up regularly to compare notes; this is unique in the sector,” says Schmidt.

Unitron’s careful cultivation of customer relationships over many years has long since paid off, with business taking a very positive turn over the last few years. Turnover has quadrupled in Germany in a very short space of time, as has the number of devices sold. “Our committed team was the key to our success here,” explains Unitron Managing Director Jochen Meuser.


 


The trust-based partnership with Unitron is also a boon to hearing aid wearers like 84-year-old Brunhilde Faross, who has just taken a seat in one of the fitting rooms. She was able to take away a trial device after her very first visit to the store, without having to make a decision straight away; Hörhaus offers Unitron’s Flex:trial service in all its branches. Faross has come to the store today for a check-up, so the audiologist uses Unitron’s “Log It All” program to retrieve all the data required to give the best advice possible. The software records how the retired business translator has been using the hearing aid, logging how long she has worn it and what hearing situations she has encountered on a day-to-day basis, for example. As the Hörhaus audiologist tells her: “Everybody has different needs. We want to recommend the technology that meets your requirements as precisely as possible.” Faross is enthusiastic: “A device that adapts to my needs is exactly what I’m after. If I had to put several hearing aids through their paces, it would be like at a wine-tasting; by the end, you can’t remember what you’ve tried.”


A device that adapts to my needs is exactly what I’m after. If I had to put several hearing aids through their paces, it would be like at a wine-tasting; by the end, you can’t remember what you’ve tried.

Brunhilde Faross, Unitron wearer


Günther Christoph, 78, a retired car bodywork technician, is sitting in another fitting booth. He too took a Flex:trial device home with him for testing right after his first visit – at no charge. “That was ideal for me,” says Christoph, thinking back. “I was quite bewildered at the time. I had experienced acute hearing loss and had never worn a hearing aid before.” By the second day with his Flex:trial hearing aid he had got so used to the device that he was able to rejoin his regular companions in the pub. The automatic operating mode of the North product platform, which was introduced in 2015, helped him to follow what his friends were saying – it precisely classifies the wearer’s surroundings into seven different acoustic environments, of which four place particular emphasis on conversational situations.

The Hörhaus customer shakes hands with Eberhard Schmidt as he leaves. Is he satisfied? “What clinched it for me straight away was the service and the technology, not to mention the good value,” says Christoph. Smiling, he adds: “And I have been more than satisfied with my experience.”


Related information