In episode 83 of the Disruptors for GOOD podcast, I speak with Bridget Hilton, Founder of LSTN Headphones, on the power of giving the gift of hearing to 35,000 people around the world, all while competing against Beats and Bose in a sector ruled by giants.
Listen to more Causeartist podcasts here.
Bridget and her co-founder, Joe Huff, started LSTN in 2012, after seeing someone hear her own voice for the first time, the two decided to focus their efforts on creating change through the power of sound & music.
For every pair of headphones sold, LSTN helps restore hearing to a person in need through a partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Over the last 8 years, through the sales of millions of headphones and speakers worldwide (D2C, Delta Air Lines, Nordstrom, Barney’s and more), LSTN and its customers have been able to give the gift of sound too over 35,000 people through Starkey in the U.S., Peru, Mexico, China, Dominican Republic, Shri Lanka, Rwanda, Indonesia, Kenya and Uganda!
LSTN Headphones is more than just a headphone company. They are a company that is committed to making a difference in the world. By giving back to the community and raising awareness about hearing loss, LSTN Headphones is making a real difference in the lives of people around the world.
If you are looking for a pair of high-quality headphones that also give back to the community, then LSTN Headphones is the perfect choice for you. With their superior sound quality and commitment to giving back, LSTN Headphones is the best way to listen to music and make a difference in the world at the same time.
Below is a Q&A with the founder of LSTN, Bridget Hilton.
LSTN has been up and going for years now, tell us about some of the most exciting things that running a social enterprise has brought to your life?
Bridget: The travel part of it has really changed my life. Our first trip was August of 2013 when we went to Peru with Starkey to Lima, Chiclayo and Piura.
We go 4 to 5 times a year to different places around the world. Last year we went to Uganda, Kenya, Sri Lanka, China, New York with them. This year so far we went to Phoenix and the next one is in Indonesia at the end of this month.
We’re also setting up distribution around the world, so visiting places like Korea, China, France and the UK has been a lot of fun.
Traveling the world helping others has been the best experience of my life. In addition to the travel, we have been lucky enough to score some major partnerships with companies like Google, Spotify, and Lincoln that have increased the visibility on the brand.
What was the greatest challenge in getting LSTN off the ground?
Bridget: It’s an insanely crowded market, so before we launched, we made a list of every blog, magazine, newspaper etc. that we’d ever heard of and sent them a product to test the sound quality out.
We wanted to make sure that people didn’t think it was a pity purchase – LSTN has amazing quality products and the cause is the cherry on top.
The sound and look of our products is incredibly important to us and having many publications and thought leaders rave about the product legitimized us.
How did LSTN’s relationship with Starkey Hearing Foundation come to happen?
Bridget: The company was started because we saw a video of a woman hearing for the first time. We were inspired by the video to find a charity that did this – and we found Starkey. When we reached out, it was before we even had product, all we had was prototypes.
LSTN wasn’t going to become a real company until they signed onto be our partner.
That’s how important the charitable aspect of the company is to us.
Has music played a huge role in your life? Is that a large reason you chose to launch a headphone company?
Bridget: HUGE. Since I was a kid I was super obsessed with music – all I cared about is listening to it, learning about it, finding out how to get involved with it.
I worked in the music business since I was 16 up until a few years ago when we started LSTN. Music is definitely the biggest influence in my life and the reason LSTN exists.