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Our history



Demant is a world-leading hearing healthcare group that offers solutions and services to help people with hearing loss connect and communicate with the world around them. For more than a century, the Demant Group has played a vital part in developing innovative technologies and know-how to help improve people’s hearing and health. In every aspect, from hearing devices, hearing implants and diagnostic equipment to hearing care all over the world, Demant is active and engaged. A growing business in intelligent audio solutions for gaming and office communication is also a significant part of the Group.

The Demant Group operates in a global market with companies in more than 30 countries, employs more than 14,000 employees and generates an annual revenue of DKK 14 billion. Our products are sold in more than 130 countries where we create life-changing differences through hearing health.

From the independent dispenser and large retail chains to the audiologist, ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor, children’s nurse or hospital surgeon, we work with our customers and partners to serve the individual needs of the end-user.




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In 1904, Hans Demant, founded the company, today known as Demant. The year after, he went to London to get a hearing aid for his hearing-impaired wife Camilla. Their son William eventually took over the company and in 1957, he donated the shares in the company to William Demant Foundation – the main shareholder in Demant A/S today.

Today, the Demant Group is a market leader within hearing health and operates in hearing devices, hearing implants, diagnostic instruments and intelligent audio solutions.
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  • 1904

    Passionate to help his hearing-impaired wife, Hans Demant buys a hearing instrument for her after learning that the Danish born Queen Alexandra of England was wearing one at her 1902 coronation. He wins a contract with the American manufacturer General Acoustic Company and sells his first hearing aid in Odense, Denmark.

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  • 1907

    Hans Demant and his family move to Copenhagen where he sells the first Acousticon church hearing aid system, featuring a double microphone and four earpieces.

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  • 1908

    Hans Demant becomes the sole distributor of Acousticon hearing aids for Scandinavia with an order book building up.

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  • 1910

    Hans Demant's son, William Demant, takes over the company upon his father's death and builds it up along with his mother Camilla. 

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  • 1920

    Recognising a business opportunity, William Demant starts visiting churches in Denmark and gets Acousticon church hearing aid systems installed in several churches around the country.

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  • 1923

    William moves the company to the centre of Copenhagen and starts a licence production of hearing aids. The new hearing aid name Acousticus becomes a registered trademark.

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  • 1929

    William begins to import unassembled hearing aids without wires or batteries. He sets up a production line on Danish soil to assemble the devices.

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  • 1938

    Equipped with William Demant's Acousticon Seatphone, Denmark's most modern cinema, Palladium, is inaugurated, allowing hearing-impaired moviegoers to follow the soundtrack from specially modified seats.

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  • 1939

    The company now has 15 employees. Loudspeaker systems are installed in Kastrup airport.

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  • 1940

    During World War 2 (1939-1945), William Demant is unable to import goods from USA, England or France. He decides to produce components for the latest Acousticon devices in Denmark. He then manufactures the first Danish-made licensed hearing device – the Acousticus – a copy of the original Acousticon model.

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  • 1946

    William Demant enters into partnership with American hearing aid producer, Charles Lehman. Together they establish the American-Danish Oticon Corporation, headquartered in Copenhagen.

    1946 Oticon Corporation
  • 1957

    William and his wife Ida Emilie donate the family's shares in the company to “William Demant and wife Ida Emilie’s Foundation also called the Oticon Foundation”. The Foundation's general aim is charity with particular emphasis on helping people with a hearing impairment. Today, the Oticon Foundation has changed name to William Demant Foundation and is the main shareholder in Demant A/S holding approx. 55-60% of the shares through the investment company William Demant Invest A/S.

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  • 1968

    Bent Simonsen, Henning Mønsted, Torben Nielsen and Bengt Danielsen take over the management of Oticon, with Bent Simonsen as General Manager. Opening of subsidiaries in Norway and Switzerland.

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  • 1973

    The production facilities are expanded by a factory in Denmark and a factory in Scotland.

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  • 1977

    Eriksholm Research Centre is inaugurated.

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  • 1978

    The world's first hearing aid with the ability to switch between omni and directional microphones, the Oticon E24V, is launched.

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  • 1983

    Oticon Holding is established.

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  • 1988

    Lars Kolind is appointed CEO of Oticon.

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  • 1991

    Headquarters move to a new location at Strandvejen. Under the motto "Time to think the unthinkable" new and revolutionary ways of working are introduced across the whole company. With Lars Kolind and, from January 1992, Niels Jacobsen leading the way, Oticon enters a new phase of transformation.

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  • 1995

    1995 becomes a year of major changes: in January, the Group acquires Bernafon – a hearing aid manufacturer based in Switzerland which is today still a company in the Demant Group. In May, Oticon Holding is listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. 1995 is also the year where the Demant Group acquires Maico – A German company founded in 1937 that develops and produces diagnostics equipment, thus laying the foundation for the group’s diagnostics division.

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  • 1996

    Oticon launches the first fully digital hearing device, DigiFocus. Users can now enjoy fully automatic volume control and immaculate sound quality. 

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  • 1997

    In May, parent company Oticon Holding A/S changes name to William Demant Holding. Also, Phonic Ear is acquired this year. In December, Lars Kolind resigns, Niels Jacobsen is appointed CEO and, from April 1998, takes over and continues driving the company forward to international success.

    1997 Niels Jacobsen
  • 2000

    Interacoustics is acquired. Interacoustics manufactures audiometers and is today an important part of Demant’s Diagnostic Instruments business activity.

    interacoustic-audiometers-diagnostic-instruments
  • 2003

    Sennheiser Communications A/S is established as a joint venture between German Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG and William Demant Holding A/S.

    2003 Headset
  • 2007

    Oticon launches Epoq, a unique product with wireless binaural capability, revealing more about the nature and origin of sounds than any other solution available.

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  • 2008

    With the acquisition of Amplivox in 2008 and Grason Stadler in 2009, the Diagnostic Instruments business activity of the Demant group solidifies its position as the world's largest supplier of diagnostic equipment.

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  • 2009

    Oticon Medical enters the market for bone-anchored hearing systems and releases its first products for sale.

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  • 2010

    Otix Global is acquired giving the Group a third hearing aid brand, Sonic.

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  • 2013

    An important milestone is reached, as the Group acquires French Neurelec and thus gaining access to the important hearing implant market.

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  • 2015

    A majority stake in the French retailer, Audika, is acquired, and the Group launches its own implant, Neuro.

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  • 2016

    Oticon launches Opn™ – a paradigm shift in hearing aid technology. Opn introduces the OpenSound Experience – the world’s first hearing aid with a dual communication system (TwinLink™) and connection to the internet.

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  • 2017

    Søren Nielsen is appointed new CEO of William Demant Holding. Niels Jacobsen, who has steered the company for 25 years steps down and becomes CEO of William Demant Invest A/S.

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  • 2018

    Demant and Sennheiser KG announce an end to their joint venture in headsets. Going forward, Enterprise solutions and gaming headsets will be an independent division under the Demant Group. In 2018, Demant and Philips announce a partnership where Demant will bring Philips-branded hearing solutions to the market, thus adding a fourth hearing device brand in the Demant Group. 

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  • 2019

    William Demant Holding A/S changes name to Demant A/S and launches a new brand strategy to support collaboration across the Group and increase the sense of belonging to a global parent company with a long history and foundation ownership.  At the same time the Oticon Foundation is renamed to William Demant Foundation.

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