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Zon Hearing Aid

This is a Hearing Aid. It was designed by Stuart Karten Design. It is dated 2008 and we acquired it in 2011. Its medium is injection-molded nylon, chromed metal, high-gloss metallic paint. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Individuals with hearing impairments can wait as long as eight years before getting their first hearing aid, because they associate the conventional shrimp-shaped beige hearing aid with age and weakness, even disability. To address this stigma, Stuart Karten Design created this stylish and empowering tool. Borrowing visual cues from modern architecture, jewelry, and automotive design, Karten transformed the hearing aid into a visually appealing object. Available in a palette of six understated colors that blend with various hair and skin tones, Zon is virtually invisible when worn behind the ear and bears a closer resemblance to a piece of jewelry than to a medical device. The Zon hearing aid was a 2008 recipient of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s People’s Design Award.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Observe: An Inspired and Empowering Hearing Device.

It is credited Gift of Starkey Laboratories, Inc..

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Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 3.3 x 1.7 x 0.7 cm (1 5/16 x 11/16 x 5/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Zon Hearing Aid; Designed by Stuart Karten Design (United States); USA; injection-molded nylon, chromed metal, high-gloss metallic paint; H x W x D: 3.3 x 1.7 x 0.7 cm (1 5/16 x 11/16 x 5/16 in.); Gift of Starkey Laboratories, Inc.; 2011-5-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions Access+Ability and Tools: Extending Our Reach.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Zon Hearing Aid |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>