Because Listening is Her Life, Airbnb Insights Executive Monica Dreger Counts on Widex MOMENT Sheer Hearing Aids

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Monica Dreger knows what people want. Not only because she’s intuitive, but because she listens. In fact, Dreger is a well-respected, professionally trained listener.

Currently the Global Head of Research at Airbnb, Dreger’s job is to keep an eye on the consumer so that the company remains future-forward and insights-driven. Previously, she studied consumer behavior for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Mattel, Nickelodeon, and Unilever. Trained in behavioral psychology, Dreger has spent years analyzing data, moderating focus groups, and applying her listening skills to strategic planning.

“Whether I was working as a therapist or a moderator, the irony was I relied on my hearing,” Dreger says. Irony, she explains, because even before she started her career, Dreger was aware she suffered from hearing loss.

“It’s all been part of my hearing journey,” she says. “I had this need to hear, and struggled to understand why I wasn’t hearing as well as everyone else.”

Her journey eventually led to Widex Moment Sheer hearing aids. “They’re my superpower,” she says.

The Journey Begins — With Television

Growing up in Europe, the daughter of expatriate parents, Dreger showed early signs of hearing loss. Although her grandfather wore a hearing aid, Dreger didn’t realize what she was experiencing was out of the ordinary, in part because understanding speech was already different for her.

While living in Greece, her family would watch TV either dubbed or with English subtitles, so her hearing loss went largely unnoticed. However, when she moved back to the United States to attend Boston College, her hearing loss became more apparent.

“I remember watching TV with my roommates without the subtitles and thinking, ‘Are we all noticing this? Are we all hearing it okay?'” Dreger says of her struggles. “That’s when I understood my hearing wasn’t normal.”

Then, having moved to New York to start work as a group therapist and then a professional moderator, it was time to act. “Even when I wasn’t the actual moderator and was just listening from another room, I couldn’t do my job,” she says. “I was supposed to write reports of what I heard, and I couldn’t.” Dreger finally had enough. She decided to visit an audiologist and was fitted for hearing aids the same day.

“Society doesn’t react the same to wearing glasses for vision correction,” she says. “That’s too bad because it’s better to get hearing aids earlier rather than later.”

Hearing Aids for a Busy Life

Monica’s hearing is very important to her, and after more than 20 years of wearing hearing aids, she was seeking a device that better fit her day-to-day life. Whether traveling around the world, delivering high-level presentations or simply enjoying time with friends and family, she wanted a hearing aid that guarantees consistent, reliable performance. That prompted Dr. Ian Gerszewski, AuD and President of South Bay Hearing and Balance Center, to recommend Widex Moment Sheer.

“Monica is incredibly busy, and she came to us looking for a hearing solution to match her on-the-go lifestyle,” Dr. Gerszewski said. “Having worn hearing aids for over 20 years, she’s always appreciated the importance of hearing health and taking action, but Widex Moment Sheer was different. Between the rechargeability, easy smartphone connectivity and vast sound quality improvements, Monica now has a hearing solution that can keep up with her.”

Monica calls Widex Moment Sheer hearing aids the most natural-sounding devices she’s ever worn. “What I’ve noticed is they sound much closer to real life,” she says. “Others seemed too amplified or artificial. My Moment Sheer hearing aids have a smoother, more natural sound to them.”

Widex Moment Sheer comes with patented PureSound technology to overcome the tinny noise that comes when direct and amplified sound arrive at the eardrum out of sync. Through PureSound’s ZeroDelay processing, Widex Moment hearing aids eliminate distortion and other common artifacts to create a more natural sound.

Using the Widex Moment App, Dreger routinely adjusts the directional settings in noisy locations so she can better hear the speaker in front of her. In group environments, she lowers the volume, relying on Moment Sheer’s ability to make speech intelligible in any setting.

“I use the app features a lot,” she says. “When I go to dinner at a restaurant, and depending on where background noise is coming from, I can manipulate the settings to hear what I want.”

She especially appreciates the ability to stream calls, music or podcasts directly from her phone to her Moment Sheer hearing aids. Always on the move for work, Dreger likes the fact that she doesn’t have to remember her earbuds to get top quality audio playback.

“I used to miss phone calls because I could never hear the phone ringing,” she says. “Knowing I’m never going to lose a call again gives me peace of mind.”

These days, she’s become an advocate for hearing loss awareness and the normalization of hearing aids. The benefit, she says, goes beyond better hearing.

“You become more alert, more compassionate, and empathetic,” she says, traits especially important to her profession. “That’s why I call this my superpower.”

At Airbnb, Monica presents her findings more than she moderates focus groups. There was a time when even that would pose a challenge. “When I’d present, my biggest fear was someone would ask a question and I’d have to ask someone near me to repeat it,” she says. “Even with my older hearing aids, I found myself working harder to understand than I should have. With my Widex Moment Sheer hearing aids, I never miss a thing.”

For more on Monica’s story, click here. For a video of Monica’s story, click here.

For high-res images, click here.

About Widex

At Widex we believe in a world where there are no barriers to communication; a world where people interact freely, effortlessly, and confidently. With sixty years’ experience developing state-of-the-art technology, we provide hearing solutions that are easy to use, seamlessly integrated in daily life and enable people to hear naturally. As one of the world’s leading hearing aid producers, our products are sold in more than one hundred countries, and we employ 4,000 people worldwide.

Media Contact:
Dan Griffin