Starkey CEO Brandon Sawalich is not only the head of the company that makes hearing aids for millions of people every year, but he also participated in testing its latest product.
Last month, Eden Prairie-based Starkey unveiled Genesis AI, its newest hearing technology system. Starkey describes it as a completely redesigned hearing technology that features a new processor, sound, industrial design, fitting software, and patient experience, marking a breakthrough in the hearing industry’s efforts to redefine the future of hearing health.
After wearing Genesis AI for six months, Sawalich gives the product an enthusiastic endorsement, stating that it delivers high-quality sound and is effortless to wear. He said Starkey fitted “many residents here in Eden Prairie” with the new product during testing, and consistently achieved positive sound quality results.
Genesis AI, which Sawalich says is currently in a controlled rollout, will be available to the public by the end of the month.
“The first word that came to my mind was transparent because I really had to make sure that it was on,” Sawalich said in an interview. “And it had a lot to do with the fit and then the sound quality. We have the most dynamic range in our industry with this new chip that you don’t hear the circuit noise, you don’t hear the things that traditional hearing aids may cause to a patient.”
According to Sawalich, Genesis AI is the result of a five-year journey to redefine the future of hearing health, and it’s Starkey’s flagship product. “And I can say confidently it’s the flagship product within our industry,” he added.
Sawalich believes that the product’s new chip and processing power are just the beginning of what the company can accomplish.
“We have a roadmap of what’s next, and now we build on the back of great,” he said. “For us, in our job and our business, Job No. 1 is hearing and noise. People want to hear better. That’s where we start, and we’ve been able to adjust and partner with other companies on the technology, the design, and the components that make this product.”
Sawalich said Genesis AI aims to reduce the stigma associated with wearing a hearing aid by being comfortable to wear and visually pleasing, meaning they are not visible when worn.
“I understand the stigma [of hearing aids],” he said. “I’m 47 years old, CEO of Starkey who makes all these products and helps millions of people a year. Even I’m aware that I’m wearing a hearing aid or something that I need, but for this one, I haven’t had that issue at all. I love it. It feels light, and I don’t even feel like I’m wearing anything.”
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