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What is the most powerful invisible hearing aid in 2016?



Our readers like to keep us on our toes here, test our knowledge. A while ago we wrote a post about the best invisible hearing devices, but we didn't really speak about power output. Recently one of them asked which was the most powerful IIC (Invisible In Canal) or invisible hearing aid. To be honest, I couldn't tell him off the bat because I don't have much interest in these hearing instrument types. So, I had to do some research, I love research!

Hearing Aid Prices

Just to be clear, we don't set prices here and they differ from Practice to Practice across the World so our expectations aren't binding, they are just a guess and some research. Always remember, we all like to shop around, but always be clear about what is being delivered. You will need care and support, make sure you will get it. You will also need your hearing aid validated or verified to get the best experience, paying a little more to ensure your experience is good, is not wasted money. That's our price rant for the day over, let's talk about the devices.

The Most Powerful IIC is

To be honest with you I had a sneaky suspicion that Starkey would be the winner in this race. However, I was wrong, (oh my God Geoff, hang your head in shame!) in the case of this particular question, our reader was actually asking me which invisible hearing aid covered the most or largest hearing loss. That honour seems to go to the Insio Primax IIC from Signia (formerly Siemens). 

An IIC For Severe Hearing Loss

The numbers on the Insio Primax mean that it is an invisible hearing aid that comfortably covers severe hearing loss. It covers from 90 dB (HL) in the low frequencies down to 110 dB (HL) in the high frequencies. That is pretty amazing coverage for something this small. It is rated at 65 dB gain topping out at 124 dB which means that it can deliver a lot of sound.

Those numbers though are on the outside edge of it's ability and the coverage can only be taken into account for someone with a sensorineural hearing loss. Conductive losses need much more power to achieve results. In other words, if you had a conductive loss that fell within the hearing aids fitting range, because of the extra power needs the hearing aid may still not be suitable for you. Let's take a deeper look at the Insio Primax IIC and how much you might pay for it

Signia

Signia InsioInsio Primax IIC

Signia Insio IIC Prices

We would expect the range depending on technology level, to be sold at prices from £1200.00 to £2200.00 in the UK depending on the Practice and location. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from €1200.00 to €3000.00 in Ireland. We would expect the range to be sold at prices from $1200.00 to $3200.00 in the USA.

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As I said, the Insio has bragging rights for the being the most powerful invisible hearing aid. Siemens / Signia introduced the Insio Primax IIC last year as part of the Primax introduction. It is rated to cover hearing losses well into the severe range which is quite unusual for an invisible hearing aid. It is available in three levels of technology the 7px, the 5px and the 3px. The Primax technology has been exceptionally well received around the world and there seems to be fantastic user feedback on the devices.

Wireless Invisible Hearing Aid

The Insio Primax is also a wireless invisible hearing aid.

The invisible hearing aids are pretty decent hearing aids, but they have their pros and cons. We have general details about hearing aid types including the hidden hearing aids and other types of devices in our consumer hearing aid buying guide. It also details technology levels and features of hearing instruments in clear and easy to understand language. You can read more about the smallest hearing aids available here.

Insio IIC invisible hearing aid

Moderate Levels of Hearing Loss For Others

Most invisible hearing aids will only cover down to a moderate hearing loss, it is a function of their size and placement. However, some are powerful enough to cover some losses into severe like the Starkey SoundLens Synergy. Even that really only covers down to 80 dB (HL) in the low frequencies and 100 dB (HL) in the high frequencies. Those numbers are the outside edge of the devices ability and the same rules apply for conductive hearing losses as before. 

Comfortable With Fitting Them

The fitting range is not always the whole story here though, as you can probably guess from my comments about conductive hearing loss. Most providers would like to keep you well within the fitting range of a hearing aid. This strategy is designed to protect you, it means that there is plenty of wiggle room if your hearing loss progresses over the life of the hearing aid. 

Protecting Your Customer's Investment

Many years ago when I first started fitting hearing aids the rule of thumb was keep the hearing loss in the centre of the fitting range. Generally though we would be happy if the actual hearing loss was anything between 50 and 75% of the fitting range. Again this allowed us that all important wiggle room. Generally hearing loss doesn't suddenly get worse from year to year or progress more than 10 to 15 dB over a few years. But hell, you never know so you protected your customer's investment. 

Choosing The Right Hearing Aid For You

So, the answer to the burning question has been given, however, I wouldn't be happy until I gave my two cents. When you are choosing a hearing aid that is right for you, you need to balance up more than the fitting range. You need to think about a couple of things like:

  • Dexterity, have you got the dexterity to manipulate it and put the batteries in?
  • Clean and Care, do you have the discipline to ensure you follow a good clean and care routine?
  • Reliability, do you understand that some hearing aids types are more reliable than others?
  • Longevity, if the aid is running on max power are you happy that it may not be suitable for long?
  • Discretion, do you know that absolutely no one gives a toss that you are wearing a hearing aid except you?

Hey, if you answer yes to all of those questions then you are making an educated choice and my work is done here. I am still sticking to the advice buy your ass a BTE! As usual, any questions, don't hesitate to contact us, even better buy our book! It really is a great guide to hearing aid types and technology, don't believe me, someone even left a review! You can read about the major invisible hearing aids available here

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