Invisible Hearing Aids
There have been incredible advances in technology over the last few years which means that modern hearing aids can be almost 100% invisible to other people.
There are a few types of “Invisible” hearing aids. First, is the ITE (In the Ear) which is a small device that sits in the outer ear canal of the ear. The most discreet invisible hearing aid is the IIC (In the Canal) which sits deep within the ear canal and is virtually invisible to others.
Invisible hearing aids, like the Lyric are the smallest and most cosmetically pleasing style of hearing aids. These tiny devices manage to fit all the electronics in a tiny container that fits directly inside your ear much smaller then other types of hearing aids.
Invisible hearing aids are so minute that a person staring directly at your ear from just a few metres away will struggle to see your device if they don’t know what they are looking for. Invisible hearing aids were mainly designed for those that are slightly self conscious about their hearing loss.
However, similar to the advances in other industries, hearing technology has evolved to become more compact, effortless and also comfortable to wear. Hearing aids don’t come much more discreet than the invisible style.
How much do invisible hearing aids cost?
There are hundreds of Invisible hearing aids on the market from the different brands with different technology levels. Below is an example of some of the most popular invisible hearing aids with the indicative pricing. Get in touch with us today for more information. We are open and transparent about our pricing and there will be no hidden costs.
The top 3 Invisible hearing aids:
1. Signia Silk NX
Why we like it:
- Based on the excellent NX platform which has great natural sound
- Instant fit tips which means you don’t need to wait to get fitted with these devices
- The Silk NX is 20% smaller then its predecessor.
2. Starkey Soundlense Synergy IQ
Why we like it:
- Starkey are renowned for their invisible hearing aids and have excellent comfort and sound quality
- The Soundlense is one of the smallest IIC’s which is suitable for the majority of ear canals
- One of the only invisible hearing aids that is compatible with wireless accessories
3. Phonak Virto B Titanitum
- Based on the excellent Belong platform which seamlessly adjusts the program depending on your listening environment.
- 3D printed titanium shell which means better comfort and a smaller hearing aid.
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Who Are Invisible Aids Suited For?
These market leading hearing devices are suited to a wide range of people from people who just want to hide their aids to those that want effortless hearing compared to other traditional aids.
The beauty of discreet hearing aids is that they can be kept in at night time, one less thing you need to think about taking off or removing before sleep. As discreet aids consist of fairly revolutionary technology, tech heads, especially early adopters, will also love them.
Invisible devices are also perfect for businessmen and those who like to exercise (especially swim) frequently. Did you know that discreet aids are also recommended for people who develop a lot of ear wax build up? The reason being is that they sit well past the area of the ear where wax is produced.
The Technology Behind Invisible Aids
Due to their size and the fact that most are semi-permanent, discrete hearing aids such as the lyric are colloquially called contact lenses for the ears. Indeed, miniaturisation and the shell like design are key components of the device.
With each generation of hearing device computer chips get smaller and more powerful. 3D impression scanning of the ear canal along with 3D printing also make the device’s shell more compact and the fitting more precise and comfortable.
A number of in the canal devices also stay in the ear for up to 3 months so you can appreciate how snug and pleasing to wear they need to be compared to behind the ear or around the ear types which can be removed frequently.
What types of hearing loss are they suited to?
Currently, invisible hearing aids are normally recommended for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
The reason this is so is due to battery power. As the unit is so tiny it can only house a small battery. Unfortunately it is only helpful to patients with low frequency hearing loss up to 65dB and high frequency hearing loss up to 90dB. As technology improves though, expect these hidden devices to assist patients with more severe levels of hearing loss.
Extended Wear Vs Invisible In The Canal Devices
There are two main types of invisible aids available on the market currently and they fall into two distinct categories: extended wear and invisible in the canal (IIC).
Extended Wear (Lyric Aids)
These aids are completely invisible and provide seamless hearing for mild hearing loss sufferers all day everyday. Lyrics are effortless and don’t require battery changes or maintenance. They are inserted in the ear by a professional audiologist or audiometrist. In fact, they aren’t removed from the ear for 3 months, can be worn in the shower, while sleeping and exercising. They provide very natural sound quality mainly due to their deep placement. This also helps to eradicate feedback. Prices for these aids can cost between $2000-$3000 per year which can be very cost prohibitive.
IIC Hearing Aids
In the canal aids need to be removed daily with typical battery life lasting between 4 to 7 days. This is highly dependant on the brand, level of hearing loss and amount of time the device is used for each day.
These invisible aids are commonly known as ‘dailies’ and are produced by most hearing aid manufacturers unlike the lyric which is only made by Phonak.
How To Get Fitted For Invisible Hearing Aids
At Hearing Choices we can get you in touch with some of the best audiologists in the country. When it comes to the Lyric, patients not only need to see accredited providers, they also need to be candidates for this kind of device. Usually a pre-fitting appointment is set up for customers wishing to join the Lyric program. During these sessions a qualified member of our network will complete a comprehensive analysis of your hearing levels and test for any anomalies or obstructions in your ear. This session usually takes an hour and is completely pain free.
If you are classified as a suitable Lyric candidate your hearing care professional will discuss pricing with you and will schedule you in for a fitting. Fittings and pre-fitting appraisals take roughly an hour each. If an in the canal invisible device is more suited to your level of hearing loss an appraisal is not conducted but rather a hearing test and fitting is conducted straight away. An audiologist will spend anywhere between 3-6 sessions with you until you’re comfortable with your hearing device purchase.
Invisible Hearing Aids are rated 4.9 with 19 reviews.