Are LiNX2 ITE hearing aids more susceptible to moisture than Phonak Virto hearing aids?

Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Oklahoma City

17 May 2016 - 2.56K Views

Custom hearing device products do not have IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, only behind-the-ear devices do. For moisture, the highest score a product can receive is an 8, which means it is waterproof. Custom devices between ReSound or Phonak are likely to be similar, with a rating of 7, which means it can be submersed in water for up to 30 min and still work. Because the battery door is not sealed, the custom device cannot be waterproof. If your custom device is submerged in water, it will likely be functional, but you'll want to be sure to throw out your old battery. If you have a drying jar or a bag of rice, you can place your device in there overnight and both will wick moisture out of your device.

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Abram Bailey, AuD
Abram Bailey, AuD 17 May 2016
Dr Faivre, great answer! I wonder if rechargeable battery solutions could ever improve the seal of in-the-ear devices. I am also curious about the potential for moisture damage via the microphone and speaker ports, and whether any of the manufacturers have better solutions for protecting these ports!

Jeff Clark, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Tampa

17 May 2016 - 2.56K Views

Unfortunately custom hearing aids do not have an I.P. rating to objectively judge the moisture resistance (behind the ear instruments do have this rating for comparison).  Moisture issues can occur for many reasons including vent size, personal hygene and environmental factors to name a few.  From my clinical experiences I have not seen a great deal of difference between the two.  Both Resound and Phonak make fine products and I have found them to be extremely reliable.  

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Lee Weissman, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Novato

20 May 2016 - 2.41K Views

I generally agree with most of the responses but if you stop and think a moment, the most vulnerable entry point of moisture into an ITE hearing aid is through the battery compartment. Hansaton is the only manufacturer I am aware of that manufactures an ITE hearing aid model with a sealed battery compartment. They do this only for their rechargeable ITE. I would think that would make the unit less prone to moisture ingress. Very often moisture ingress is not directly from splashing fluids but from sweat and condensation in the air. The more humid climates where people enter and exit into air conditioned spaces are more likely culprits.

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Julie Norin, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Baltimore

18 May 2016 - 2.5K Views

All custom hearing aids are more subject to moisture, dirt, wax, and debris than a behind-the-ear style device. IP ratings are available for Phonak BTE devicesrange from 57-68 for their BTE devices. I would imagine the custom products are pretty similar. Regardless, you would never want to swim or bathe with a hearing instrument in your ear, but if you are concerned about sweat or humidity, you can purchase a dry kit (some use a desiccant tablet and some are electronic) to serve as a dehumidifier and pull out moisture. You would need to remove the battery before putting any hearing aid into a dry-aid device. Good luck!

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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Deerfield

17 May 2016 - 2.55K Views

In the ear products are not rated for moisture resistance. All of the big manufacturers have well made products. Because you are putting an electronic device in a dark and moist environment, be sure to invest in an electronic dryer. This will help prevent moisture and oil from damaging your investment. Talk to your audiologist about proper cleaning and regular check ups. Repairs are more common with custom made products, however all of these steps will help to give you the most consistent performance from your devices.
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E Stacey Frank, MSc

Audiologist in Victoria

21 May 2016 - 2.4K Views

I have found that moisture issues with custom ( in the ear) hearing aids are very much influenced by how well the manufacturer is able to vent the aid.  This is influenced by the size (power) of the speaker (receiver) that the patient needs as well as the size of the computer chip.  I have no personal experience but  speculate that the internal hardware needed to create the Made For I-Phione Resound aid could be larger than Phonak's aid meaning that the Resound aid would have less venting and pottentially more moisture.

E Stacey Frank, audiologist 

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Seth Dank

Professional Member

18 May 2016 - 2.42K Views

As my colleagues have noted, all hearing aids are susceptible to moisture.  If you wear hearing aids now and have a history of the hearing aids failing from moisture, the use of an electronic dry aid kit, sich as Dry and Store, would be beneficial. 

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Douglas Rehder, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Billings

18 May 2016 - 2.43K Views

We cannot comment to much on the specifics of the Phonak Virto, as we have very little expeience with that hearing aid. We can tell you that all of our providers are very impressed with ReSound's iSolate Nanotechnology coating, which protects all components of their hearing aids from moisture and dust. ReSound actually applies this coating under vacuum condition, so the nanocoat polymer enters every nook and cranny of the hearing aids. We do believe that ReSound's current moisture resistance is superior to Phonak. 

We have had patients accidentally wash their hearing aids (not something we recommend) and still worked. The husband of one of our audiologists recently dove in the ocean head first wearing his ReSound LiNX2 hearing aids (not something we recommend either). He let them dry out for 24 hours and was happy to have them continue to work. 

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Jennifer Waddell

Hearing Aid Specialist, Certified Tinnitus Care Provider in Simpsonville

17 May 2016 - 2.54K Views

I must agree with my colleagues on here, in the ear hearing instruments are not designed to be waterproof and will be more susceptible to moisture. Therefore, most of my patients who are concerned about moisture and wax go with a behind the year instrument. All hearing aids do have a nanocoating for some protection from moisture.
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Lisa Goulart, BA

Hearing Healthcare Provider in Auckland

17 May 2016 - 2.55K Views

About the same in my opinion too due to the reasons explained by colleagues here. 

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Thomas M
Thomas M 17 May 2016
I wouldn't think so. However both being custom In-the-ear hearing aids, they do require the same care like, any other hearing aid. For your own peace of mind I recommend investing into a Phonak D-Dry unit. It is a very efficient unit and a on-off investment without the need to purchase consumables. I hope that helps and answers your question. Thank you and kind, Thomas Muller
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