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Advantages & Disadvantages of the World's Smallest Hearing Aids

By: Paul Harrison Updated: 23rd September 2020 in: Latest News, Articles
Advantages & Disadvantages of the World's Smallest Hearing Aids

Advantages & Disadvantages of the World's Smallest Digital Hearing Aids

 Are you looking for the newest invisible hearing aids in the world?  Wondering if they are right for you?

'Smallest hearing aids', 'Discreet hearing aids' and 'Invisible hearing aids' deliver big power and offer modern solutions

When people first think about hearing aids - how hearing aids look is one of the main factors that generally determines what hearing device they choose.  Or in some cases, it is the reason why so many people don't seek professional help with their hearing loss in the first place.

The good news here is that hopefully with an ever-growing accessible education and awareness, the introduction of modern digital hearing aids and offerings of discreet hearing solutions - this is on the verge of change.  Changing perception and dissolving the stigmas surrounding hearing aids - a positive step in the right direction.

Small hearing aids are broken down into different categories. These are:

  • ITE:  In the Ear hearing aids
  • ITC:  In the Canal hearing aids
  • CIC:  Completely in the Canal hearing aids
  • IIC:  Invisible in the Canal hearing aids

In this article, we will be talking mainly about IIC hearing aids, which are the smallest hearing aids available in the industry.  We also aim to cover the most common questions from consumers like:

  1. What are the smallest hearing aids?
  2. Who makes the smallest hearing aids?
  3. What are the new smallest hearing aids?

Why do people opt for invisible hearing aids?

In today's world, people are responding to the modern, digital and discreet hearing aids on the market to tackle their hearing loss.  Consumers who are anxious about the effect of their hearing aids appearance or how they look to others, almost always go for invisible hearing aids. 

In some cases, they provide advanced technology in a smaller device and this in itself attracts the modern consumer.  Giving them functionality and subtle hearing solutions along with the confidence to wear them.  Invisible hearing aids or IIC hearing aids are sometimes so small it is quite possible that you forget you're wearing them!

'Smallest hearing aids', 'Discreet hearing aids' and 'Invisible hearing aids' deliver big power and offer modern solutions in a modern world of style and technology.  Giving consumers exactly that - power, style and technology.

What are invisible hearing aids?  

Invisible hearing aids are designed and created to be undetectable, as they sit comfortably and securely within the ear canal.  Due to the lack of components outside your ear - other people won't know you are wearing hearing aids.  Although the times of the chunky and rather large Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids are behind us and have gotten smaller in size - we are still seeing an increase in first-time wearers opting for IIC hearing aid models.

Most invisible hearing aids give the wearer the flexibility of hearing aid control and hold the same if not sometimes more powerful technology within the small casing.

IIC Hearing Aids

Are invisible hearing aids right for everyone?

The honest answer here is no.  If you are conscious about wearing hearing aids like Reciever in the Ear (RIC) or Behind the Ear (BTE) models, then - yes - invisible devices might be worth considering and opting for.  However, they are not appropriate for everyone or every ear.  Let me explain...

Level of hearing loss

ITE hearing aids are generally compatible with people who have mild to moderate hearing loss.  Because they are small they are not suitable or recommended for people who have severe to profound hearing loss.  They are also much trickier to handle and put into your ear or can be a challenge when you replace your batteries.  So if vision or dexterity is an issue, this type of hearing aid is probably not the best style for you.

Ear shape

Comfort is so important when choosing hearing aids.  If they are a bad fit they won't just deliver poor sound,  but they will also hurt your ears and cause irritation.  Invisible hearing aids are known to be comfortable, but they are not compatible with all ear shapes.  For instance, if your ear canals are short or thin an ITE hearing aid may not sit comfortably within your ears.  However, there are options to trial this style of hearing aid before you commit to purchasing with your audiologist - which we would highly recommend.

What if invisible hearing aids aren't right for me?

If invisible hearing aids or small hearing aids aren't right for you in the end - there are plenty of other great options available on the market.  Like I mentioned earlier, BTE hearing aids for severe hearing loss are now smaller than past designs and can provide a more beneficial hearing experience for a greater hearing loss.

There are are some small, sleek and stylish RIC's out there that offer rechargeability, Bluetooth connectivity and great hearing control and streaming features.  For instance, the Signia Styletto X range delivers:

  1. A complete hearing experience by combining award-winning design.
  2. Portable rechargeability.
  3. Bluetooth connectivity – with all the audiological benefits of the Xperience platform.
  4. Beautifully crafted to seamlessly fit your lifestyle, Styletto X combines a sleek form with metallic accents, evocative of familiar high-end Bluetooth devices. In five contemporary colours, you will want to show this device off!

Signia Styletto X

View the Signia Styletto 7X here for more information.

Let's look at the disadvantages of small hearing aids

  • Features:  In the Ear hearing aids historically don't have the same feature catalogue as other styles.  This is because of the size of the devices and not having enough room to store such technology.  This means that invisible hearing aids have a shorter battery life.
  • Sound:  Because ITE hearing aids sit inside your ear, the sound is collected and amplified.  You don't have the assistance of directional microphones, which are hugely beneficial if you find a conversation in noise difficult to understand.
  • Connectivity:  BTE hearing aids provide advanced Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls and streaming audio and TV programmes.  You might miss out on Bluetooth connectivity with most IIC or ITE hearing aids, so if this is important to you then you need to look at other options.

What hearing aid brands offer small hearing aids or In the Ear hearing aids (ITE)?

All the main hearing aid manufacturers have small and ITE hearing aids in their model list.  See below for the brands we stock and the ranges available:

 

Cost of smallest hearing aids & our smallest hearing aids 2020 picks

Signia Silk 7X

Signia Silk 7X IIC Hearing Aid    |    View Product

Signia Silk 7X (& the most recent IIC hearing aid) Main Features

  1. Remote Control feature to control your hearing aids with the Signia app.  You can also receive calls in both ears using this app too.
  2. Dynamic Soundscape Processing (DSP) for clear and crisp speech understanding in a discreet device.
  3. Binaural OneMic Directionality 2.0 to gain from listening comfort with directional hearing in challenging environments.
  4. Tinnitus Therapy allows you to choose from various settings to help manage your symptoms.
  5. Own Voice Processing (OVP) gives you the most natural own-voice sound.
     

Phonak Virto B-Titanium 90

Phonak Virto B-Titanium 90 IIC Hearing Aid    |    View Product

Phonak Virto B-Titanium 90 Main Features

  1. Strong and light titanium shell/casing.
  2. Custom-made to fit perfectly in your own unique ear.
  3. Includes AutoSense OS that adapts to every sound environment automatically for excellent hearing performance everywhere.
  4. Because of the design of the shell, it has no wireless capabilities.

Starkey Soundlens IQ 2400

Starkey Soundlens IQ 2400 IIC Hearing Aid    |    View Product

Starkey Soundlens IQ 2400 Main Features

  1. An invisible-in-the-Canal hearing aid that sits deep within your ear canal discreetly.
  2. Voice iQ 2 for hearing speech in challenging hearing environments.
  3. Innovation that replicates high-frequency speech cues and switches them into lower frequencies, so it is easier to hear.
  4. Sound compression innovation for distinguishing soft speech from loud, so you gain from a more natural sound experience.
  5. T2 remote is used to change memory or volume using your smartphone.
  6. PureWave Feedback Eliminator3 gives you a premium performance every day.

 

*Please note that the above products are the top technical specifications, there are lower technical specifications available in all these models- it all depends on what your hearing loss, lifestyle and personal requirements need*

 

Read Next:  Hearing Aid Types

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Paul Harrison
Hearing Aid Advisor
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