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.

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Dho
Jennifer Arndt, BC-HIS - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Lexington
30 November 2016 - 2311 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.

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James roberson
James Roberson, BC-HIS - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Cordova
01 December 2016 - 2270 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. 

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Valued Member Member - 12 months ago
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Much information you have provided to me...thanks. Guess I will need to google (MCL's, UCL's, SRT's , Discrimination and real ear) to better understand how they relate to my needs.

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Data
Robert Jester, BC-HIS - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Hemet
30 November 2016 - 2283 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

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Valued Member Member - 12 months ago
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Thanks Robert. This information is very valuable to me. I'm seeing an audiologist Friday and will ask for this test.

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Member Robert Jester - 12 months ago
Data

your welcome

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Dale thorstad hopkins mn
Dale Thorstad, BC-HIS - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Hopkins
30 November 2016 - 2305 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.

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Valued Member Member - 12 months ago
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Thanks Dale. The Audiologist I'm seeing Friday carries the Starkey Audibel.

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Samina best
Samina Khan, MA - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Westborough
30 November 2016 - 2310 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.

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Lee Oreskovich - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Omaha
01 December 2016 - 2272 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.

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Valued Member Member - 12 months ago
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Thanks for your input. I have not heard/read anywhere the amount of unsuccessful rate for the IIC's. Have read that the amount of hearing loss and the interior size of the ear canal dictated the success of these devices. Are the CIC's comparable to the RIC's? I don't have much hair to hide the RIC's but recognize by your comments they appear the work the best.

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Valued Member Jennifer Arndt - 12 months ago
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CICs are simply the same style as IIC but do not require the deep impression that a IIC does. The faceplate generally will be visible if someone is looking in your ear canal but most are still invisible to those you encounter throughout the day, as long as its a normal sized ear canal and the loss doesnt require more than a 50dB circuit. Dont be afraid to stress you want it to be unseen when worn. And dont hesitate to ask that it be remade smaller if it does show. Each lab has a top modeller who can make something just a bit smaller when its really needed, again allowing that the ear canal is normal and power needs are not extreme.

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Valued Member Member - 12 months ago
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I really appreciate you taking the time to answer mine and all the others who ask these questions.
Most available information on the internet is usually bias to the products they sell.
Thanks again Jennifer.

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Valued Member Jennifer Arndt - 12 months ago
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You are welcome. We have managed to build a very successful practice in Nashville by doing our very best to be straight shooters with our patients, and always doing our best to get them the highest level of correction for the lowest possible cost. We have relocated to Lexington SC and are just opening a new practice that will operate by the same principles. We search the internet as if we were consumers, and are dismayed that about half of what we read, or more, is false or outdated information. Rather than just grumble about that, we will try to put as much content out there as we can that is not intended to lobby for any particular lab or point of view, but just gives our perspective as a couple with many years of dispensing and hearing aid lab experience.

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Valued Member Member - 12 months ago
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Thank you Samina. I have not decided whether or not if I want/need the Bluetooth capability.
When working out in the gym I prefer not to hear the chit chat by others, so I wear an over the ear Bluetooth headset.
Controlling the hearing aids via an iphone may however be appealing. I welcome a response from you.

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Valued Member Jennifer Arndt - 12 months ago
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Its not for this thread, but a great topic would be how much of a benefit or detriment Bluetooth is for various users.

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Valued Member Jennifer Arndt - 12 months ago
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Its not for this thread, but a great topic would be how much of a benefit or detriment Bluetooth is for various users.

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Valued Member Member - 12 months ago
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Thanks Lee. The internet does nor recognize IIC hearing aids made by Unitron.

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