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WS Audiology Announces Audiological Research Laboratory in Singapore

18 Jun 2024

Press release

Singapore – 18th June 2024 – WS Audiology (WSA), a global leader in the hearing aid industry, today announced it is opening an audiological research laboratory in Singapore. Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), WSA’s Office of Research in Clinical Amplification (ORCA) Asia will be a research laboratory dedicated to conducting audiological research for the Asian population.

Globally, the World Health Organization estimates there are 1.6 billion people who suffer from some kind of hearing loss.* By 2050, that number will increase to 2.5 billion, with at least 700 million requiring hearing rehabilitation. ORCA Asia will focus on carrying out clinical research to assess and improve the performance of hearing aids and the overall quality of hearing care.

Built on a Foundation of Excellence

Located in WSA’s regional headquarters in Tai Seng, Singapore, ORCA Asia exemplifies WSA’s long-standing commitment to innovation in the hearing aid industry and to delivering optimal experiences for those with hearing loss. Singapore is a key research and development (R&D) hub for WSA, with a strong R&D setup boasting more than 200 members. This helps drive global product innovation and serves as the gateway to the Asia Pacific, one of the primary drivers of the company’s growth.

Establishing a specialized facility for auditory research will enhance WSA’s R&D capabilities, fostering critical expertise in this niche field to better serve the Asian population. ORCA Asia will create high-skilled jobs including roles such as research scientists, audiologists, acoustic engineers, and systems engineers that will push the boundaries in hearing aid technology.

Formed in 2019, through the merger of Sivantos and Widex, WSA combines over 140 years’ experience in pioneering the use of technology to help people with hearing loss hear the sounds that make life wonderful. Over the years, WSA’s Singapore site has been instrumental in product development for hearing aids and hearing aid chargers, rechargeability technology, and battery development.

Notably, key products designed in Singapore include the Styletto, the world’s first slim hearing aid with a portable charger, and the Signia Pure Charge&Go IX Hearing Aids, the world’s first hearing aid that identifies and locks on to the voice of every person in a conversation, enhancing their speech and reducing background noise.

Milestone for Asia

400 million people live with hearing loss in Southeast Asia alone.** By 2050, 1 in 4 people will be over the age of 60, indicative of an aging population likely to increase the need for hearing care. ORCA Asia will play a pivotal role in providing innovative solutions to
address this crucial area of concern.

Joerg Brandscheid, Chief Technology Officer at WSA said,

ORCA Asia will be the first auditory research center in Asia. We will be tackling important regional issues such as improving hearing aid technology for Asian languages. We recognize the varying linguistic and demographic profiles across the region, and ORCA Asia will allow us to uncover information crucial for improving the experience of those impacted by hearing loss.

Given the diversity of this region, ORCA Asia will look into research that will better understand the needs of the Asian population to deliver specific, novel solutions to ensure that individuals with hearing loss can enjoy the same opportunities and quality of life as those without.

“We welcome WSA’s decision to set up ORCA Asia, which builds upon its long-standing presence in Singapore as a hub for R&D, operations, manufacturing, and commercial activities. This investment affirms Singapore’s position as a trusted location with multidisciplinary talent for global MedTech companies to innovate and serve the growing healthcare needs in Asia, and will bring new capabilities and job opportunities to Singapore,” said Goh Wan Yee, Senior Vice President and Head for Healthcare at EDB.

Continuing a Legacy of Innovation

ORCA Asia will be WSA’s third audiological research laboratory. Previously, ORCA US was established in Chicago, USA in 2001. In 2007, ORCA Europe was subsequently established in Stockholm, Sweden. Since then, both facilities have carried out valuable
research providing greater insight into several crucial areas of understanding including hearing aid fitting and background noise reduction that can be utilized by R&D teams to increase the performance of WSA’s hearing solutions. Similar ambitions are in sight
for ORCA Asia which is slated to open by 2026.

*WHO, World Report on Hearing, 2021

**WHO, World Hearing Day statement by Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, SEA Regional Director,


About WS Audiology
Formed in 2019, through the merger of Sivantos and Widex, WS Audiology combines over 140 years’ experience in pioneering the use of technology to help people with hearing loss hear the sounds that make life wonderful. With truly differentiated brands like Widex, Signia, Rexton, Audio Service and Vibe, and with diverse assets across wholesale, retail, online, managed care and diagnostic solutions, the company is active in over 130 markets. WS Audiology employs 12,500+ people and is privately owned by the Tøpholm and Westermann families and the Lundbeck Foundation, as well as funds under the management of EQT. As a global leader, the company’s ambition is to unlock human potential by making wonderful sound part of everyone’s life. Find out more at