ESTEEM Hearing Implant for SNHL

I have just started seeing ads for this device in my area (Northeast USA). Anyone have thoughts or experience?

Thank you for this HearingAidGirl:D

Seems to be an excellent alternative to HA’s for folks with a Sensory Neural Loss, I think it only works up to Moderate/ Severe, which leaves one of my ears out! …But, and there is always one, the price does seem a little steep for one implant? Around $30k which is about £18k in the UK, most probs you can add at least another 25% here in the UK as anything Stateside is invariably far cheaper:mad: Its worth a thought though, if it works (It has FDA approval or maybe awaits clinical trials, not sure which?) it would seem according to some of the testimonials (link to one below) of folk who have been implanted! If you can afford it, then why not?

Cheers Kev:D

Here is a web site for safety information for the esteem including indications, contraindications and potential adverse events.

Looks like it is around $30,000 per ear, and requires an operation under general anesthetic.

The technology looks pretty awesome from the video, I mean genuinely cool. But of course the downside is cost, the risk of going under the knife. So I’d say this would be only for a rich person who can’t get benefit from hearing aids any more.

The battery lasts 3 -5 years and then you would need a revision surgery to replace the battery, so expect another whopping bill for that too (not included in the initial 30k outlay)

So we are talking about $30K per ear, thousands more in surgery to replace the batteries, so ongoing and repeated risks of going under anesthetic. All not good, but then they also picked Rush Limbaugh as one of their ambassadors. One of the most hate filled polarizing characters on the American political scene. This is a man who said, “It’s sort of like hazing, a fraternity prank. Sort of like that kind of fun.” He was talking about the torture, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, and humiliation of prisoners at Abu Ghraib for which several Americans were charged with wide ranging crimes that got some of the participants military prison sentences of over 5-10 years, along with a dishonorable discharge.

I think I’ll pass on anything he recommends.

I went to Esteem’s website…and jeez, did anyone get a look at the potential complications? They include facial nerves being severed, the bones in the ear getting messed up–perhaps permanently…etc. etc. etc. Apparently the ossicular bones in the ear must be messed with to have it implanted…seems scary.

I’d happily fork over the money if it were safer. I know all surgeries carry risk, but this seems to fall into the “risk outweighs the potential benefit” group.

Still, it’s cool to see this kind of technology becoming reality. Hopefully it means similar, safer stuff is on the horizon.

The people who created the Esteem say the battery lasts an average of six years and costs “up to $2,000 to replace.” I am assuming that’s per ear…

I think Envoy has downgraded all processing capabilities of the device to make the battery to last for so long. I heard for example that there is little or no amplification above 4 kHz, which may mean that the sampling rate of the device is as low as 10 kHz.

In the future it may happen that the battery included becomes rechargeable, so the battery can be made smaller, and/or processing capabilities greater. The good thing about the battery replacement is that the processor will be changed and you are up to date with technology.

Check out blog on live journal
Building My Self Esteem
My journey with the Envoy Esteem hearing implant clinical study

Check this out. My thoughts on side effects is that with every pill, surgery, etc. There are risks. Just look at drug advertiements on TV. And as far as costs, I would hope eventually insurance would cover but $30k can be financed.

Have a genetic predisposition for deafness beginning at age 40, fairly dominant gene that was of no significance two or three centuries ago (ie, who lived past 40 back then), so evolutionarily speaking, this gene surivived. I have been wearing BTE’s since age 45 and I am a medical professional. I have grieved the loss of my hearing and the devastation on my career and social life and have followed the Esteem product closely. After realizing that the cochlear hybrid is not the answer for most of the moderate SNHL and realizing I would have to wait until near complete deaf status to get a cochlear, you are Da*n right that I am excited about the Esteem. Skepticism of a new product/technology is a healthy thing, but there is going to be some backlash from the audiology community… it’s very threatening technology. We all know that aids are SUBOPTIMAL and in some cases downright crappy in terms of quality of hearing. This new technology will come down in price and is going to be a godsend to the tens of thousands suffering from moderate to severe SNHL. I will have one ear implanted in the next three years, guaranteed.

My 83yo mom seriously considered it for the past year. We decided against it due to the long surgery and risks. The only place close to have it done was Atlanta and that is 2.5 hrs away. A major question is what do we do if she has complications and we have to drive 2.5 hrs to get to a doctor who knows the device and the surgery? It looks like a good device but the risks were too high for an 83yo.

One woman recently had her Esteem activation videotaped and the video went viral on youtube. She’s been on several national television shows as a result and is maintaining a blog of her experience.

original video:

TV appearances:


It goes without saying that not everybody will have such success but anyone considering it would probably want to know about her.

Not going to work for bad hearing.

This is not a political forum, there are plenty of those for you to spout your left wing venom… Why not just stay on topic?

btw, Lots of nice people out there happen to like Rush and don’t
take him horribly out of context as you did… bob


Why are you just now responding to a post from last June??

oops … good question… Kind of a sloooow moving forum here…
in any case, my mistake…duh.

To call Rush ‘polarizing’ is hardly ‘left wing venom.’

And yes, he’s said some pretty horrible and hate filled things, which would lead me to treat anything he says on the subject of product endorsements with extreme caution.

But even if you remove all politics from the equation and just pretend for a moment that he is simply a radio journalist / news caster, it’s hard to ignore the reality that he is/was paid $250,000 a month to push this product, so I think it’s safe to say he may be a tad biased? Ask yourself this, if a company paid you that kind of money, would you give a fair and unbiased account of your experience with the product, or might that kind of money motivate you to be a little more enthusiastic?

Here is Rush’s explanation of how the well the implant worked for him. Not very encouraging for a paid promoter.

Rush Limbaugh has a cochlea implant, which is not the same as the Esteem. So the comments you referenced were him discussing life after deafness. He had a rare condition that robbed him of his hearing completely, so an Esteem couldn’t possibly work.

From what I read, he wears a Clarion CII Bionic Ear.

And as he said in the interview, it’s nothing at all like normal hearing.

I’d further present this as evidence that his opinion of the Esteem should be treated with caution. He is promoting a $30,000 device he does not use, and is/was paid $250K a month to do so.

If I told you that I was paid $250,000 a month to recommend the Esteem, but I’d never worn one or fitted one, what would you think of my motives or credibility?