The Power of Music: A Chat with Bridget Hilton of LSTN Sound Co.


LSTN Sound Co. has helped more than 22,000 people in 9 countries receive the gift of hearing with Starkey Hearing Foundation. We caught up with LSTN Founder Bridget Hilton to get the inside scoop on what she’s most excited about through a new venture with Delta Airlines, where she loves to travel, and what to expect next from her for-purpose company.

 At Kind Traveler, we love when great companies combine forces to create positive change in the world. When charitable headphone company LSTN Sound Co. partnered with Delta Air Lines this past year, it furthered the audio company’s mission to bring the gift of hearing to people around the world while also improving Delta’s in-flight guest experience.

Now, travelers aboard Delta One, including transcontinental flights between JFK and LAX/SFO, DCA-LAX and BOS-SFO, and Delta Premium Select will enjoy Delta Studio Entertainment through a pair of LSTN’s beautiful noise-cancelling headphones.  

Beyond improving travel, 100% of proceeds from Delta's purchase of the headphones will support LSTN’s charity partner, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids for people in need both in the US and abroad. There are 360 million people with disabling hearing loss in the world. Most of them are in developing countries and can be helped with just hearing aids.


We caught up with LSTN Founder Bridget Hilton to get the inside scoop on what she’s most excited about through this venture, where she loves to travel, and what to expect next from her for-purpose company.

1. We read that LSTN has hearing missions in countries around the world, including Kenya, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and more. Can you share a memorable travel experience from one of these places you've visited while working with Starkey Hearing Foundation? 

Traveling the world helping others has completely changed my life and opened my eyes. I have learned so much, mainly the differences and similarities in many cultures across the world. One patient that sticks out to me is a young lady named Maria. She had never heard before, and her mother had brought her to the mission from where they lived many hours away via a bus to try and get help. It was Maria's 18th birthday, and we were able to get her hearing in literally 2 minutes — so crazy. Her mother was sobbing with joy. My favorite things are to see families interact with their kids who haven't heard, as well as being able to play music for people for the first time. 

2. What inspired you to partner with Delta and further your efforts to create funding and awareness for global hearing health programs? What do you hope this partnership brings to the travel industry? 

The LSTN team and I fly Delta constantly, so it was a very authentic brand fit from the beginning. Without them, we wouldn't be able to travel to so many places and give hearing, meet with clients, or visit our factories. Getting our product and message in front of millions of travelers was a goal of ours from the very start of the company. Starkey Hearing Foundation is truly amazing and we're excited to be giving proceeds from this partnership to them. I think travel and giving go hand-in-hand. We'll start seeing a lot more partnerships like this one in the future, and hopefully see a lot more people joining sites like Kind Traveler! 

3. Where have you traveled recently that inspired you to keep doing good in the world? 

It's been a crazy travel year: everywhere from Iceland to Tahiti to Japan, as well as France and Indonesia. We were recently in Peru for a few weeks, which was very inspiring as our first mission ever also took place in Peru. It was great to go back full circle almost five years later. I love South America, the people are so warm and inviting and the landscapes are beautiful. When you meet the people we work with there, it's hard to not be inspired to keep doing good. 

4. Through your partnership with Delta, what message do you hope to communicate with travelers that get to use LSTN headphones during flight? 

We hope to communicate that what is good for business should be good for the world. Since our headphones are in Delta One/Business class, we want to have an impact by spurring positive change in customers’ lives, including the executives and thought leaders onboard who might want to integrate cause into their own businesses.

5. How can the average person start to increase their global impact? 

Every purchase you make is a chance to vote with your wallet. Businesses make what we demand; it's a new age of consumer activism. You can increase your global impact easily by purchasing from companies that are doing good in the world.

Travel writer and photographer Megan Snedden shares stories of culture and kindness from around the world. Her work has appeared in such publications as BBC, National Geographic Traveler, and Live Happy Magazine. Connect with her on social media through her recent good deeds project, @kind_effect.