:: Daughter’s woes spur hearing aid developer | EastValleyTribune.com ::

Daughter’s woes spur hearing aid developer

April 2, 2007
Ed Taylor, Tribune

Sam Thomasson.jpgA 10-year quest by Mesa native Sam Thomasson to help his hearing-impaired daughter has reached fruition with the opening of his first Zounds hearing aid stores.

Thomasson, founder and president of Zounds, has started selling a new state-of-the-art hearing aid his company developed that includes advanced feedback and noise cancellation to screen out background noise and make conversations easier to understand in restaurants and other noisy environments. In all, 42 patents are represented in the Zounds hearing aid, Thomasson said.

The first three stores were opened in February at Superstition Springs Center in Mesa, Arrowhead Mall in Glendale and in Estero, Fla. Others are under construction or planned across the United States.

Thomasson was inspired to develop the hearing aid by his daughter, Katherine, who suffered severe hearing loss from an illness when she was 13 months old. When she was growing up, her hearing aid would squeal and cause discomfort whenever he tried to hug her.

Thomasson, an electrical engineering graduate of Arizona State University, vowed he would perfect a hearing aid that reduced the squealing and other common complaints about the devices.

“I owed it to her to develop a hearing aid,” Thomasson said.

He also recognized it as a business opportunity. An estimated 28 million Americans suffering some form of hearing loss, often the result of a lifetime of exposure to noise — whether it be loud cars, machinery or music. Continue


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