The American Academy of Audiology (AAA) has named Sensaphonics founder and President, Dr. Michael Santucci, as the recipient of the 2023 Samuel F. Lybarger Industry Award. This honor is awarded to an individual who has made important contributions to research, engineering or other technological achievement that significantly advance the field of audiology.
In its announcement, the AAA notes Dr. Santucci’s contributions in engineering, technology, and advocacy for promoting hearing health among musicians, their crews, and their audiences. He was the first audiologist to focus his practice on preserving the hearing health of working musicians. In 1985, he founded Sensaphonics with the goal of effective hearing loss prevention without compromising the musical experience.
A holder of multiple patents, Santucci developed technologies and techniques that began with custom-fitted Musicians Earplugs and expanded into development of the first custom-fit, soft silicone, multi-driver in-ear monitors for musicians. His patented Active Ambient® technology enables musicians to hear and control ambient sound on stage without removing an earpiece, as seen in the unique 3DME Music Enhancement IEM System.
The AAA also noted Dr. Santucci’s dedication to hearing health advocacy in the music industry and beyond, including the creation of the Music and Hearing Research Grant Program while serving on the board of the AAA Foundation. Santucci also serves in key roles with the World Health Organization (WHO) Listen Safe Program as well as the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA). As part of his work with AAA, Dr. Santucci helped spearhead the task force that developed “best practices” guidelines for audiologists working with musicians, literally creating the specialty field of music audiology in the process.
In summarizing its choice of Dr. Santucci for the award, the American Academy of Audiology states, “He has truly championed audiology’s recognition of the opportunities in, and importance of, preventing hearing loss among musicians and their audiences.”
Dr. Santucci will be formally presented with the Samuel F. Lybarger Industry Award during ceremonies at the AAA 2023 + HearTech Expo in Seattle, April 19-22, 2023.