3 Reasons Why You May Not Want Invisible Hearing Aids
In 2011, Starkey Hearing Technologies introduced a new hearing aid style to the market called the “IIC”, which stands for invisible-in-canal. The IIC is a custom fit, 100% invisible hearing aid, that has gained great popularity over the last few years. Now in 2015, all of the top hearing aid brands have an IIC on the market, and the IIC style is one of the most popular styles available. The IIC style of hearing aid is remarkable- from it’s size, to cosmetic appeal, to technology. But is it the right style of hearing aid for you? Before you rule out any other style of hearing aid, you might want to take the following into consideration.
Top 3 Reasons Why You May Not Want Invisible Hearing Aids
1) They lack state of the art features: A lot of times when we talk about “the best” hearing aids, we’re talking about hearing aids that excel at reducing background noise and enhancing the clarity of speech in difficult listening environments. Due to the small size of IICs and lack of chip space, IICs never have the most advanced speech enhancement technology available from any given manufacturer- so you’re definitely making a sacrifice there. It is true that due to the deep placement of the IICs in the ear canal, wearers will benefit from the natural acoustics of the ear, as it funnels sound down the ear canal, but I don’t believe that benefit compensates for the loss of directional microphones and enhanced noise reduction algorithms. Another feature that IICs are missing is Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth hearing aids are all the rage right now, and for good reasons. Advanced Bluetooth hearing aids give you unprecedented control, allowing you to personalize your hearing aids much more than a hearing provider could. In addition, Bluetooth hearing aids like the Starkey Halo and ReSound LiNX allow you to pair your hearing aids directly with your iPhone for the wireless streaming of music, phone calls, and more.
2) They may not be right for your hearing loss. IIC hearing aids are best for mild to moderate hearing losses. Due to their small size, IICs simply can’t “pack the punch” that other hearing aids do, and often aren’t strong enough for folks with moderately-severe to severe hearing losses. Even if an IIC is strong enough for you at the time you purchase it, if your hearing loss progresses years down the road, you may find yourself in a situation where you want to turn the volume up more, but you just can’t. Unlike other hearing aid styles like RICs, your options with IICs are pretty limited when you need more power from your hearing aid.
3) They have a much shorter battery life than other hearing aids: Since IICs are so small, they use the smallest hearing aid battery available, a size 10. If you wear your hearing aids 16 hrs/day, expect to only get 2-5 days out of your batteries. This means you’re going to be changing batteries a lot (which can be a hassle) and will have a higher than average recurring cost for batteries.
Having said all of that, if having a discreet hearing aid is very important to you, none of the above caveats should scare you away from IICs. While it’s true that in some cases an IIC might not be the “best” hearing aid for you, in my opinion, “the best” hearing aid for you is one that you’ll be happy wearing every day, that will give you the improvement you’re looking for.
If you’d like a free phone consultation with a licensed hearing provider, please feel free to call us at 800-731-6794.