Our Story

In 1988, Peter Jungvid, founder of Bellman & Symfon, wrote down his ideas for the Bellman Ringer – a telephone amplifier that would let you choose between ring signals.

In the office where he used to work, all the telephones sounded the same. From the staff room it was impossible to tell whose phone was ringing. Every coffee break someone got up and ran to their phone unnecessarily. Most chose to sigh or laugh it off. However, Peter sensed something in the back of his mind that would soon grow into a bigger idea.

From humble beginnings

Trained in economics and commerce, but an inventor and entrepreneur at heart, he created and tested the first products in his own apartment, operating the budding company from home.

This marked the start of a 30+ years of dedication to helping deaf and hard of hearing people, leading up to today's product portfolio containing a world-renowned alerting system, digital listening systems, and custom-made earplugs.

30+ years of passion for hearing

Peter's sense of purpose and mission has always been part of Bellman & Symfon's culture. The human emotion, of knowing that someone is thinking of you, is significant to the philosophy which characterizes a Bellman & Symfon product. They are based on medical needs and technical capabilities, but also on the human condition. In our daily work we are helping deaf and hard of hearing people stay safe, independent, and socially active.

Follow our timeline to find out more about our history.

1989

The importance of good design

Bellman, after the Swedish composer Carl-Michael Bellman, was founded and registered by Peter Jungvid. The same year, the company's first product Bellman Ringer won The Swedish Security Council’s competition for new ideas. The device's functionality received high praise from the reference group, but was criticized for its looks, comparing it to a “1950's Russian radio”.

Peter then sought assistance from an industrial designer, Professor Jan Hampf, who shaped the distinctive design that to this day defines a Bellman product. When both the functionality and design were set, Peter established the production of the Bellman Ringer in China.

1990

A new focus

When on the lookout for new hearing solutions, the hearing clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital came across the Bellman Ringer. Word about its versatility and ease of use spread, and the Bellman Ringer soon became a staple product in many of the Swedish hearing clinics. This started the company’s new direction – helping deaf and hard of hearing people with their day-to-day lives.

1992

Meet the helpful home

In close collaboration with the hearing clinics, the Bellman company developed a system that could help the deaf and hard of hearing to keep track of the various signals in the home. Bellman Visit featured doorbell and telephone detection, baby monitoring, and fire protection. It alerted the user with amplified sound, flashing light, and vibrations.

Because of the diligent research behind it, Bellman Visit grew in popularity and quickly established itself as the market leader.

1994

The discreet pocket listener

Industrial designer Professor Jan Hampf was consulted to design Bellman company's first personal amplifier, Bellman Response. It was built to work well in a variety of different situations where hearing and making out words can be difficult, such as family gatherings or watching TV.

The amplifier was made small and lightweight and featured clear sound with minimal feedback, making it ideal for discreetness. And It offered an alternative for people who cannot or choose not to use hearing aids.

1995

Adding hearing aids to the offer

In 1995 a deal was done to acquire part of the established Häggstrands Elektriska in Gothenburg. The purchase was made to acquire Häggstrand’s auditory activities, which included being the agent for Unitron hearing aids from Canada. Overnight, the company grew from three to ten employees.

1997

Introducing
Bellman & Symfon AB

Another Gothenburg-based company was acquired, Symfon Hörapparater AB, which had developed its own analog hearing aid. Also including its range of custom-molded ear protectors. The idea behind the purchase of Symfon was to gain access to Symfon’s customer base to introduce Unitron’s new digital hearing aids and thus gain a stronger platform to export Bellman’s products.

The acquisition doubled the size of the organization and the name was changed to Bellman & Symfon AB.

1998

2003

To boldly go into a new millennium

The whole world prepared nervously for the millennium, and for Bellman & Symfon, adverse winds began to feel increasingly evident. The acquisition of Symfon meant that two corporate cultures would become one. The digital hearing aid started to become a serious player and digital technology soon became a requirement for local authority public procurement. Unitron’s digital development was delayed and it could not deliver as planned. At the same time sales of Symfon’s analog hearing aids plummeted.

The company was facing a great challenge – and responded strongly. Operations were streamlined, and hearing aid servicing and private practice were sold off to enhance the focus on core business.

2004

Make it twice the size

A new board was formed, and the new chairman Lars Brodd set an extremely tough goal: to more than double Bellman & Symfon turnover within five years! There now started an intensive period of activity on all levels, product development, marketing, further internationalization. Many new activities were started, both in terms of the development of new solutions and export sales.

2005

2007

Surpassing the expectations

A common saying is that first impressions last. From consistently working with adding a 'wow factor', the ambition to always surpass what partners and customers expect, Bellman & Symfon became favored over larger and more well-known brands. Turnover from Unitron products increased from SEK 500 000 to SEK 10 million per year.

The following year, Unitron asked to buy back the agency rights in Sweden. Bellman & Symfon made a fair deal, could focus even more on the core business, and still has an excellent relationship with Unitron.

2007

Better hearing in busy surroundings

The new personal listener Maxi was introduced. Maxi was designed for people with impaired vision or low dexterity. It is robust and user friendly with high contrast indicators and a rubberized grip. Within its humble looks, it was a break-through in technology and provided true digital sound processing.

This means it offered improved speech intelligibility even in busy surroundings like shopping malls, restaurants, or cars. You could even connect it to your hearing aids via a neck loop.

Maxi Classic

2008

A regional office in China's third-largest city

Peter Jungvid moved to China to form the first regional office in Guangzhou, a port city northwest of Hong Kong. Guangzhou is China's third-largest city and has been one of the world’s major trading centers for more than 2000 years. The regional office handles assembly and manufacturing as well as sales activities for the Asia-Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, and Middle East markets.

Anders Ingemarsson, who had been at Autoliv, was recruited as the new Chief Technical Officer with his first assignment being to further develop the personal amplifier product range.

Bellman & Symfon also celebrated its success in reaching its 2004 target - to double the turn-over.

2009

Defining our purpose, position and profile

Bellman & Symfon had to change from being a technology-based manufacturer of functional specialty products to being a company that best understood the needs of hard of hearing people, helping them with solutions that make their lives easier.

The branding project was carried out with one of Sweden’s leading experts in branding, Sven-Olof Bodenfors who founded the advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors. Henrik Kool was recruited as Marketing Manager, bringing extensive experience in consumer products from both Ericsson and Panos Emporio. It was Henrik who produced and launched the graphic branding strategy that forms the basis for how Bellman & Symfon looks and acts today.

The new wireless listening system Domino was introduced. Domino was the first true digital listening system with both digital sound processing and digital radio communication and offered a unique sound quality also for remote listening.

2010

The Bellman Way forward

Jan-Eric Bergström was engaged as new chairman (2010-). The Bellman & Symfon Way, including the Star Formula and the 4C's, was established as a guideline for the different international teams in the Bellman & Symfon group.

Mino, a small and light personal amplifier joined the Audio family. Like its counterpart Maxi, the device made it easy to keep up with conversation in all contexts. In addition, Mino could offer a wealth of innovative and user-friendly features, such as a directional microphone and rechargeable batteries.

Mino

2011

Award-winning design


The new digital Alarm Clock was introduced, both as a stand-alone solution and as a system Alarm Clock in the Bellman Visit system. In total five models were developed for the first world-wide introduction under the newly developed marketing campaign concept named Pulse®.

Domino won the 2011 Grand Award of Design, awarded by the The Association of Swedish Engineering Industries. The interplay between technological product development and elegant design had become an important success factor for Bellman & Symfon. In five years, Bellman & Symfon had doubled its turnover, whilst growing into a highly respected force with innovation and renewal as its clear trademarks.

Domino Pro

2013

Visit alerts for incoming calls and texts


The Mobile Phone Sensor was launched as an accessory to the Visit System, in an answer to that people more frequently use mobile phones and tablets as their main communication tools. The Mobile Phone Sensor was developed to detect various notifications on smart devices, such as an incoming phone call, text message, or video call.

The Visit Flash receivers underwent a major design update, resulting in two new models; BE1441 and BE1442 that featured a battery backup.

Visit Smart Home

2014

Celebrating 25 years

Three new in-ear products were launched, Bellman Chill, Bellman Drive, and Bellman Swim, further expanding the hearing protectors offer and solidifying Bellman & Symfon's market position.

Bellman & Symfon lionized the company's 25th Anniversary with a celebratory musical event and a hardcover anniversary book. A special thanks to everyone who was part of the first 25 years and made this journey possible.

Read the book

2015

Meeting the demands of present and future homes

In the spring of 2015, Bellman & Symfon established a regional office located in Lüneburg, south of Hamburg, Germany.

A new set of easy-to use-transmitters were introduced in the Visit system, making it smarter than ever. The business also expanded to further enhance the development of solutions specially intended for use in-home care.

The new Amicus system was designed to help home care for people with for example epilepsy or dementia. Together with a set of sensors, care providers could detect alarms in critical situations, receiving alerts on both their Amicus pager and their mobile phone.

Amicus

2017

Securing the senior home


A new fall prevention system was launched in the last quarter, following extensive testing at local elderly homes.

Light My Way is a Bluetooth powered fall prevention system that makes the senior home safer at night, automatically lighting a safe path from the bedroom to the bathroom.

Light My Way

2018

Multi Care Systems joins the Bellman & Symfon Group

In May, Bellman & Symfon acquired 100% of the shares of Multi Care Systems B.V., a long-time business partner, in the Netherlands. Retention of all the experienced staff ensured that for MCS customers it’s been ’business as usual’. The joint future comprised a stronger financial standing and the launch of many innovative products to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.

MCS was a welcome and important addition to the regional offices located in China, Hong Kong, Germany, USA and now also the Netherlands.

Regional offices

2019

The Bluetooth bed shaker

Bellman & Symfon established an office located in the coastal city of Wilmington in North Carolina, USA. The same year, the UK regional office was founded in the heart of the English countryside, close to the cathedral city of Peterborough. Through the new regional offices, Bellman & Symfon could extend the local customer support.

Vibio, the completely wireless and app-controlled bed shaker is launched. It pairs to your smartphone via Bluetooth® and supports both iOS and Android. With silent but powerful vibrations under the mattress or pillow, it's the perfect choice for heavy sleepers, couples, and people with hearing loss. Since it's small and includes rechargeable batteries, it's also the perfect travel companion.

Vibio

A woman who hear for the first time in many years, with the help of Maxi. A volonteer work in cooperation with the Tsum Hearing Program.

2020

Driven to make a difference

After having founded and managed the company for 30+ years, Peter Jungvid hands over the role of Group Chief Executive Officer to Anders Fogelberg. Anders has a long experience from international business development, digital transformation, innovation, and sales and has for instance held leading positions in SKF in USA, Sweden and during the last four years, in SKF Malaysia.

Peter Jungvid continues to be a member of the team, as an active board member and operationally supporting the North American expansion.

The year of 2020 will in many aspects be defined by Covid-19, the pandemic that affected the entire world on so many levels. The world situation has put many things at the forefront and for our part, we stay driven to develop solutions contributing to a safe, secure, and independent life for seniors all over the world.

Our mission