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The Best New Technology in Hearing Aids: 2013

Updated on February 4, 2013

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

Hearing aid technology improves by leaps and bounds each year. 2013 doesn't disappoint: there are many new hearing aid models available for every level of hearing loss. The best of the new hearing aid designs incorporate a sleek design with power and clarity. Several hearing aids now offer water resistance, and one hearing aid is actually waterproof with an IP 6/8 rating and may be worn while swimming!

Rechargeable batteries, "invisible" hearing aids, and hearing aids which stream music and sound from computers, cell phones, and MP3 players are commonplace in today's hearing aid market. Receiver-in-the-canal options allow hearing aids to remain small, even for severe hearing losses.

Phonak Bolero Q

The Bolero Q offers exceptional sound quality, even in the presence of background noise or wind. A water resistant model is available.
The Bolero Q offers exceptional sound quality, even in the presence of background noise or wind. A water resistant model is available. | Source

New Phonak Models

The Bolero Q (behind the ear model) and Virto Q (in the ear) are new for 2013. The Bolero is available in a water resistant model (the M13). These new hearing aids offer improved hearing in the presence of background noise, a "wind block" technology that protects the microphone from irritating wind noise, and VoiceStream® technology, which allows the hearing aids to automatically detect speech and deliver exceptional clarity to both ears.

Phonak offers several hearing aids with water resistance: the Naida S and the new Nios S H2O model are two of the many options. These hearing aids do not claim they are waterproof but they carry an IP 6/7 rating. This means the hearing aid is able to withstand 30 minutes under 1 meter of water with no damage to the electronics. Phonak claims these hearing aids can be worn in the bath!

The Nios Micro S is targeted to the pediatric population (mild to severe hearing losses) and the Naida comes in two models - the SP for moderately severe to profound hearing losses, and the UP for severe to profound hearing losses.

Siemens Aquaris: A Completely Waterproof Hearing Aid

The brand new Siemens Aquaris is entirely waterproof.The hearing aid is completely sealed and comes with a custom earmold designed specifically for swimming. This product gives hearing aid users complete freedom for an active lifestyle: swimming, hiking in the rain, and sailing are not a problem with the Aquaris. This hearing aid is a high-tech digital hearing aid, offering 12 or 16 digital channels (depending on the model). The Siemens Aquaris is the only hearing aid to hold an IP 6/8 rating in the current market, which means the hearing aid may be submerged to a depth greater than 1m and is completely waterproof.

Siemens Aquaris

The Siemens Aquaris is the first truly digital, waterproof hearing aid.
The Siemens Aquaris is the first truly digital, waterproof hearing aid. | Source

Starkey's Invisible Hearing Aids

The Invisible Hearing Aid

There are three new hearing aid products for 2012 which offer the ultimate in discreet hearing aid technology: the Invisible-In-the-Canal (IIC) hearing aid, the AMP hearing aid (designed for first time hearing aid wearers), and the mini Receiver-in-the-Canal hearing aid (RIC) designed for many levels of hearing loss.

The IIC is entirely invisible unless a hearing professional looks inside the ear canal, as the tiny hearing instrument sits entirely within the ear canal. Unlike the "Lyric hearing aid," these hearing aids are modern, digital aids that are programmed by a professional and are not disposable. In addition, the IIC is removed on a daily basis to prevent any ear infections and to allow for air circulation. The "Soundlens" hearing aid (another name for the IIC technology) will fit mild to moderately severe hearing losses and is custom-fitted to the individual's ear canal to provide a secure fit.

The AMP also fits entirely within the ear canal and is completely invisible unless someone peers into the ear with an otoscope. The AMP is not a true digital hearing aid, but acts like a hearing amplifier and is for the person who is not "quite ready" for a hearing aid. The AMP is ready to wear after one visit with the hearing professional. This sound amplifier has been designed for easy removal from the ear canal and is aimed at the mature population of people with hearing loss.

The RIC is not truly invisible, but is very hard to detect as it features a very tiny behind-the-ear (BTE) unit and slim tube technology with the receiver in the ear canal. The RIC technology is available in several Starkey brands, including the Wi series, the X Series, and the S Series IQ. The RIC will accommodate a broader range of hearing loss, from mild to severe.

Other New Hearing Aids for 2013

ReSound Verso™

The ReSound Verso is a new hearing aid for the 2013 market that offers natural sound quality. These hearing aids have a new technology called "binaural fusion," which allows the ears to work together to isolate important speech sounds from background noise. These hearing aids have a feedback management program to reduce annoying whistling sounds, and are able to connect to microphones, the television, or a mobile phone.

Starkey 3 Series

The Starkey 3 Series contains top-of-the-line hearing aid models. These hearing aids have a feedback eliminator program to prevent whistling, a Voice IQ program to detect and enhance speech sounds, are water resistant, and can translate very high frequency sounds into lower frequencies, which enhances hearing for those who have a steeply sloping, high frequency hearing loss. This series is available in a behind the ear model and in a receiver in the canal model (RIC).

Siemens Ace

The Siemens Ace is an incredibly tiny behind-the-ear style hearing aid. This hearing aid is water resistant (with an IP 6/7 rating) and has the added benefit of tinnitus control. The tinnitus program will produce an independent noise, which suppresses tinnitus for many who are afflicted with the disorder.

The Esteem Hearing Implant
The Esteem Hearing Implant | Source
The Lyric Hearing Aid
The Lyric Hearing Aid | Source

Hearing Aid Innovations: Entirely Invisible Options

There are two new alternatives to traditional hearing aids on the market. The Lyric hearing aid is entirely invisible, is worn 24 hours per day, and requires no maintenance for up to 4 months at a time. The Lyric hearing aid is placed by a licensed audiologist or ENT doctor, is shower proof, and requires no surgery for placement. The negative of the Lyric hearing aid is the price: a one year subscription costs approximately $3,000.

Another option is the surgically implanted Envoy Esteem middle ear implant system. The Esteem is 100% invisible, and is entirely waterproof. The Esteem hearing implant requires no maintenance and is entirely implanted, with no external components. Recipients report a very natural sound from the Envoy Esteem, as it uses the ear's natural components to amplify sound. The negative of the Envoy Esteem is the required surgeries: the first surgery is to place the Esteem hearing implant, and a minor outpatient procedure is required every 4-9 years to replace the battery.

The Esteem Hearing Implant

Waterproof Hearing Aids from Siemens


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    • leahlefler profile imageAUTHOR

      Leah Lefler 

      7 years ago from Western New York

      That is really good to know, Mat! People with shorter ear canals would do better with the Lyric hearing aid - hopefully the new version will be waterproof. I am anxiously waiting for a truly waterproof hearing aid for children. Siemens makes the Aquaris, but it is only for mild-moderate hearing losses and my son has a moderately severe-severe hearing loss (it is progressive). Having a waterproof hearing aid would make many things much easier!

      The Lyric is expensive... I do wish hearing aids would come down in cost!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, I have tried the said completely invisible aid from Starkey. Well, it is not invisible in my ears !!

      I have tried the Lyrics and it is indeed totally invisible.

      Therefore, I believe that the only invisible hearing aid for someone like me with short canal is Lyrics. And I must say that I am very happy with the results despite a dramatic cost...but cant see a better way to spend my money. The only drawback is that it is not totally waterproof.. I hope that the next generation (Lyrics 3?) will be.

    • leahlefler profile imageAUTHOR

      Leah Lefler 

      7 years ago from Western New York

      Dinendra Singh, I am not sure of the cost in India. Digital hearing aids are much better than the older, analog aids. I have an online friend in India and she has purchased hearing aids there. I can't remember the cost - they are very expensive, unfortunately.

    • profile image

      Dinendra singh 

      7 years ago


      i want to purchase this hearing aid

      how much cost this in india ?

    • leahlefler profile imageAUTHOR

      Leah Lefler 

      8 years ago from Western New York

      There are definitely advantages to getting a top-of-the-line hearing aid! My son currently has Unitron Element 8's, which are "OK," but we're looking into Phonaks for his next set. Starkeys are great aids, too. We're looking at Phonak because his hearing loss is progressive and we are considering a cochlear implant - and if we choose the surgery, we will go with a bimodal situation (hearing aid in one ear, CI in the other). Phonak and Advanced Bionic are working on a system to allow the hearing aid to "communicate" with the CI, which would be ideal for a bimodal arrangement.

    • profile image

      Brian Berry UK 

      8 years ago

      The NHS hearing aids are free under NHS but are very basic, look ugly and tend to whistle. I first went to my private audiologist 8 years ago. I am allowed to give any of the private aids a good trial before buying and my current hearing aid is a Starkey X90 which is mid priced and I preferred it against more expensive aids. For a good aid one must expected to spend £1000 upwards. My current Starkey is perfect with good clear speech and music , no whistles and sound reduction in very noisy environments.

    • leahlefler profile imageAUTHOR

      Leah Lefler 

      9 years ago from Western New York

      Hi Robina, I am located in the USA so I am not sure of UK laws - in the US, hearing aid dispensers are required to allow a trial for 30 days - a person can return the hearing aids without paying for the hearing aids at any time during that time period. I do have friends in the UK, but their children's hearing aids are covered by NHS - I'm not sure how the system works for adults who need hearing aids in the UK.

    • profile image


      9 years ago


      Do you know of any Hearing Aid Companies in the UK, who use HA wearer to trial new HAs

    • leahlefler profile imageAUTHOR

      Leah Lefler 

      9 years ago from Western New York

      Hello Hassan,

      In the United States, this software would have to be used by a licensed audiologist. I am not sure what the requirements are for international purchases from Phonak. I would contact Phonak directly (the information regarding the programming software is here: and their contact information is here:

      There is also an educational program regarding the use of the programming software here:

    • profile image


      9 years ago


      I have Hi-Pro USB for phonak Ambra SP BTE and I would like to inquiry for the below:

      1 - Cd Software " Program phonak Target TM 1.2

      kindly,can i get the full details and the price of the above list .

      best regards,

      hsridi drsherif



    • profile image

      Alberto Whitley 

      10 years ago

      Good explanation. Gradual Hearing Loss is sometimes a scary experience as a lot of our aging parents and grandparents experience hearing loss regularly. Thanks for shedding some light on this problem.


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