Which IIC hearing aids are the best? I'm looking for devices that can adjust on their own based on any noise environment, with a natural feel and clear sound.

Jennifer Arndt

Hearing Healthcare Provider

30 November 2016 - 8.39K Views

All labs that produce IICs have technology levels that adjust for noisy environments to the best degree that today's technology allows. No IIC, or any other size hearing instrument will sound natural if a person has never worn hearing aids, until their mind has gone long enough hearing through them all day, everyday so that listening through the hearing devices becomes the new 'normal'. This leads to the next point - IICs have BY FAR the lowest satisfaction rates at every lab that produces them when compared to other sizes of custom hearing aids produced at the same lab. They come back far more often to be remade, or returned due to dissatisfaction. One manufacturers trainer related that practices love the responses that the advertising brings showing the tiny IICs, but after ongoing problems and returns they tended to discourage patients from choosing that style and instead go with a CIC they would have made as small as possible. Phonak and Starkey both have many successes and many failures as well. The percentages are much better than a few years ago, but still trail RIC and other custom styles in satisfaction levels. Our family and friends who ask us about IICs are surprised when we tell them this, because they see them advertised everywhere. In truth IICs comprise a far larger percentage of hearing aid advertising than any other custom style, but are manufactured in vastly smaller quantities than CICs. Finally, regarding "clear sound". An expert practitioner is required to get a perfect fit. Without that, clear sound is impossible. An IIC also typically requires a highly trained practitioner to get optimal tuning. If you are set on choosing this style, choose a practice that fits at least 50 pair per year and ask them about their success rate and what the reasons are that people don't succeed, or are less than 100% satisfied. Every product in this category has the potential to satisfy most hearing losses but not all practices have the expertise to bring the best out of them. Focusing on choosing the best practitioner and allowing them to recommend which labs offering they would recommend you try would be my advice.

Upvote (3) Downvote Reply

James Roberson

Hearing Healthcare Provider

01 December 2016 - 8.35K Views

Hello. All today's digital hearing aids provide some for of automatic adjustment within specific parameters set by a product's proprietory software. As for how any particular aid handles a noisy environment will depend upon several factors, not the least of which is "knowing" intuitively what you consider background noise and whether it is something you want or need to hear. Many hearing aids have capability of adjusting for varied levels of background noise, reverb and echo and multi-talking situations. Devices with more compression channels have been shown by research to acheive a better signal to noise ratio or an improvement for speech in noise, particularly for "ski-slope" or mild to severe high frequency loss above 1000Hz..No hearing aid will reduce all ambient noises, nor should it as this could be considered a safety issue for the wearer. No hearing aid feels "natural" but many well-done custom aids and many RIC's provide a great amount of comfort in wearing. Also, most wearers get used to the instrument(s) within a few days to a few weeks. As for clear sound, I assume you mean sound of speech with clarity. Most all of today's hearing aids use the best parts and technology available to provide a more clear and distinct sound. Research does show that some of the technology touted to improve clarity may be superfluous or of limited help. Your success also depends upon your brain's ability to focus on what it wants to hear, which degrades has loss progresses. One would need to see your MCL's, UCL's, SRT's and Discrimination scores in quiet and in speech to determine how much potential help aids will provide. Also, real ear should be used upon the fitting to verify a user's targets are being met in soft, normal and loud sounds. I hope this helps. 

Upvote (1) Downvote Reply

Robert Jester

Hearing Healthcare Provider

30 November 2016 - 8.36K Views

I have  the best results using Phonak. The new Venture platform, using audiogram direct semi linear processing. I read other comments if you want an IIC then the specialist should perform a speech in noise test If you have a good speech in noise ability other products with directional microphones will not be any better in noise than an IIC because of the ear itself. It is important to use probe mics or audiogram direct with an IIC due to the closeness to the eardrum to verify frequency response

Upvote (1) Downvote Reply

Dale Thorstad

Professional Member

30 November 2016 - 8.38K Views

If an IIC is appropriate for your loss, Starkey will make the smallest, most comfortable IIC.  It's noise management is good and the IIC will give you a more natural sound.

Upvote (1) Downvote Reply

Samina Khan, MA

Hearing Healthcare Provider

30 November 2016 - 8.39K Views

Hi,

it's dependent on your hearing test if an iic is appropriate for you. Many manufacturers  make an iic. Oticon, Starkey, resound, and Siemens. The maximum gain/power varies between the manufacturers and also the wireless control of the device may or may not be available. Focus on these when picking out an iic.

Upvote (1) Downvote Reply

Professional Member

Professional Member

01 December 2016 - 8.35K Views

IIC hearing aids are worn deep within the ear canal, ensuring only you know that you're wearing them. Depending on our patient hearing loss we typically recommend Unitron and Starkey IIC hearing aids. It really depends on the patients concerns and needs. But we have had much success with both Starkey and Unitron IIC hearing aids.
Upvote Downvote Reply

Discussion

This Website Does Not Provide Medical Advice. All material on this Website is provided for informational purposes only. Inclusion of information on this site does not imply any medical advice, recommendation or warranty. Answers provided should not be considered a substitute for the advice of health professionals who are familiar with your specific medical history. Experts who provide advice via "Expert Answers" assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of, nor any liability to update, the information provided. Expert answers and comments may be removed at any time, at the discretion of the moderators, without notice.