For the first time there are a number of excellent hearing aids on the market that are practically invisible to casual observers. Invisible means that the device is hidden completely inside the ear canal, making it extremely difficult for persons not looking directly into the ear to notice. For the first time..
The industry name for such hearing aids is “invisible in canal”, or IIC. Even though a number of manufacturers are offering such devices, three brands get strong recommendations from audiologists and users. These aids are >>
The Phonak Nano The big advantage to this offering is that it is available at three different technology levels: the Virto Q30 Nano, Virto Q50 Nano, Virto Q70 Nano and Virto Q90 Nano. Audiologists like the Nano because it can be custom-tailored to fit individual hearing needs.
All models are also equipped with features like Sound Recover and Whistle Block. The top of the range Nano is a little expensive—the top of the line Virto Q90 model can cost over $7,000 a pair—but users report it is worth the extra cost.
The Starkey SoundLens 2 The SoundLens 2 is the smallest of the custom made invisible hearing aids, but it still provides some advanced technology. The most expensive model, the Sound Lens 2 i110, is a 16-channel aid with multiple listening programs.
Many customers like the Sounds Lens i110 because it can be adjusted using your telephone dial tones and is the smallest of the offerings. Reliability has been an issue with previous versions, but Starkey hopes that design changes to the Sound Lens 2 will resolve these issues.
Oticon IIC For those who want an IIC with Bluetooth capability Oticon is the ONLY choice. This allows streaming of your phone conversations as well as television programs using the Streamer Pro attachment. You can even use your Smart Phone as a remote control.
These hearing aids range in price and tops out at about $7,600 a pair, fitted in Australia. An advantage to the Oticon products is long battery life. Some users found that one battery can last up to eight days.