The Lyric Hearing Aid: An Invisible and Low Maintenance Hearing Aid

InSound Medical: A Hearing Aid Revolution

Hearing aid companies have struggled to manufacture discreet hearing instruments. The usual solution is a CIC hearing aid (completely in the canal) or an ITC (in the canal) hearing aid. These hearing aids are not entirely invisible, as a small portion of the hearing aid is visible. In addition, the smallest CIC hearing aids will only fit mild to moderate hearing losses, which leaves a lot of people with hearing loss unadressed.

Insound Medical has pioneered a long-term hearing aid solution that is entirely invisible to the outside world. The Lyric hearing aid is seated deep within the bony portion of the ear canal, and uses the ear's natural anatomy to funnel sound through the device. The Lyric hearing aid requires no surgery, and is maintenance-free for up to four months at a time.

The Lyric hearing aid is programmable, but is a single channel analog device. This hearing aid is not suitable for children or for individuals with "configured" hearing losses (a tent-shaped audiogram or cookie-bite audiogram would not suit a single-channel hearing aid well, for example).

Benefits of the Lyric Hearing Aid

Placement

The Lyric hearing aid is seated deep within the bony portion of the ear canal, and after a 7-14 day adjustment period, hearing aid users cannot feel the device in the ear. The placement of the Lyric hearing aid minimizes the occlusion effect often experienced by hearing aid wearers with earmolds in the external ear. Feedback is reduced by the placement of the Lyric hearing aid, as well.

Natural Sound

Traditional hearing aids digitally process sound and then send the amplified signal through the length of the ear canal. The Lyric hearing aid uses sound gathered by the natural ear, and then amplifies the sound within 4mm of the eardrum. This process reduces the overall amplification needed, which reduces distortion. As sound is gathered by the natural ear, localization is also improved.

Maintenance Free

The Lyric hearing aid is worn 24 hours per day, seven days per week for up to four months. The Lyric does not require battery changes or any other maintenance during this time. Hearing aid users can completely forget about the device once it is placed by an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor. The device must be replaced every 120 days, in a ten minute doctor appointment.

No Surgery Required

Unlike the Esteem hearing device, the Lyric requires no surgery for placement. An ENT simply seats the Lyric hearing aid into the ear canal during a short office visit.

Easy Lifestyle

The Lyric hearing aid may be worn in the shower and is "sprinkler proof." Individuals who choose the Lyric device can wear headphones and use cellular phones without issue, and even traditional iPod earbuds may be worn.


The fitting range for the Lyric Hearing Instrument (click to enlarge).
The fitting range for the Lyric Hearing Instrument (click to enlarge). | Source

Who Can Wear the Lyric Hearing Aid?

The Lyric hearing aid is not for children, and is intended for hearing aid users over the age of 18. The Lyric hearing aid is suitable for hearing losses in the mild-moderately severe range, and will not suit severe hearing losses. Individuals with typical external ear anatomy and size are good candidates for the Lyric hearing aid.

Lap swimmers should not get the Lyric
Lap swimmers should not get the Lyric | Source

A Real Lyric Hearing Aid Wearer

News Story on the Lyric Hearing Aid

Who Shouldn't Get the Lyric?

Swimmers

While the Lyric hearing aid is "shower proof," it must not be submerged. Lap swimmers, divers, and synchronized swimmers will do better with a traditional hearing aid. While the Lyric hearing aid can be removed by the user, it must be replaced by a physician.

Skydivers, Divers, and Scuba Divers

Pressure changes are not advised for Lyric users. The Lyric hearing aid may cause discomfort, trauma, and feedback when exposed to extreme pressure changes. While skydiving is not advised, flying in an airplane is perfectly safe and comfortable.

Severe Hearing Loss

The Lyric hearing aid cannot accommodate severe or profound hearing losses.

Unusual Hearing Loss Configurations

Hearing losses that have >30dB octave difference or >15dB inter-octave difference are not suited to the Lyric hearing aid.

Children

The Lyric hearing aid is approved for individuals over the age of 18 years.

Individuals with Certain Medical Conditions

Bleeding disorders and certain immune system disorders are contraindicated for placement of the Lyric hearing aid. In addition, the Lyric hearing aid must be removed for MRI treatment, so individuals requiring this test on a frequent basis should choose a traditional hearing aid. Some ear canals may not fit the Lyric device, so individuals with atresia or other external ear conditions may not be candidates.

The Lyric hearing aid sits deep within the ear canal.
The Lyric hearing aid sits deep within the ear canal. | Source

Lyric Hearing Aid Cost

The Lyric hearing aid is purchased on an annual subscription basis. The actual cost of a year-long subscription is determined by the individual audiologist or ENT doctor. Cost estimates from users around the United States range from $1,700 per year to $4,000 per year. Medical insurance does not typically cover hearing aid purchases. Most estimates estimate a cost of approximately $3,000 per year, which becomes costly in the long run. After ten years, a Lyric customer will have spent $30,000 on hearing aids!

Comparison of Lyric to Traditional Hearing Aids

Attribute
Lyric
Traditional Hearing Aid
Sound gathered by the natural ear
X
 
Digital
 
X
Programmable
X
X
Risk of loss due to device falling off
 
X
Unusual ear canal size/anatomy
 
X
100% invisible
X
 
Shower proof
X
 
Good for swimmers
 
X
Wearable 24 hours per day
X
 
Children
 
X
Adjustable via remote control
X
X
Certain medical conditions
 
X
Nearly maintenance free
X
 

Lyric Hearing Aid Review

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Comments 1 comment

Duane Fleming 5 years ago

Well thought out post. Hearing Impairment is an isolating experience as quite a few of people worldwide experience hearing loss everyday. Thanks for bringing this matter to light.

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