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Free hearing checks will be music to your ears

July 8, 2008

Listen up: free hearing checks will be music to your ears

Got a teenager hooked on horrendously loud music, or a partner with “selective hearing”?

Then lure them along to outside the Auckland Town Hall on July 13 for a quick, free hearing check in the Hear the World testing truck.

Hear the World is a worldwide non-profit initiative created by Phonak, a leading high-tech hearing device manufacturer, to raise awareness about the importance of hearing and the impact of hearing loss.

To launch Hear the World in New Zealand a mobile testing team, including trained audiologists, will be offering free two-minute hearing checks between 7 and 8 pm outside the Town Hall at an Auckland Philharmonia concert.

Meanwhile, concert-goers will be invited to check out their hearing and then enjoy a night of fine entertainment listening to a collaborative concert by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and talented Kiwi band Little Bushman from 8pm. Phonak is an APO sponsor.

“This will be the first of many Hear the World free hearing checks nationwide as the testing truck travels the country visiting various music and community events” says Phonak Marketing Manager Avril Hamlin.

Hear the World is endorsed by musicians worldwide, who all share Phonak’s commitment to preventing hearing loss. Hear the World ambassadors include Rod Stewart, Joss Stone, Bryan Adams, Moby, Annie Lennox and superstar conductor and tenor Plácido Domingo to name a few. “Sound has been the basis of everything which has been important to my life,” says Domingo. “By speaking out, maybe I can steer someone in the right direction.”

Famed musician Bryan Adams is the official Hear the World photographer. “I’m interested in the goals that Hear the World is trying to achieve,” says Adams. “As a musician, I’m naturally sympathetic to a cause dedicated to help people appreciate and preserve an individual’s sense of sound.”

Little Bushman frontman Warren Maxwell, previously a member of Trinity Roots and Fat Freddy’s Drop, is to become the first New Zealand-based Hear the World ambassador. “Music to me is like food for the soul. To appreciate it fully, we need to take good care of our hearing” says Maxwell.

While hearing loss is one of the world’s most preventable disabilities, it is also one of the most common. Around 500 million people worldwide, more than 10 per cent of the world’s population, are hearing impaired and this number is expected to increase to 700 million by the year 2015. In New Zealand around 400,000 people are affected by hearing loss.

“Studies show hearing disabilities can also have a significant negative effect on a person’s social, emotional and physical wellbeing,” comments Phonak audiologist Dr Bill Keith.

Through the Hear the World Foundation, Phonak supports charitable organisations and projects focused on helping people with a hearing loss including offering hearing technology to those in need in developing countries.

For more information, visit


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