iCom wire loop failure

Has anyone else seen the wire loop on their iCom swell up ( in three places on mine ) and ooze a brown sticky substance? I hate that mine failed at all because I use it all day long on both cellular and work-desk, but this is such a strange failure.


My cord has failed, breaking at the end just next to the flex connection piece. But nothing brown and sticky oozed out. LOL Sounds like you need a exorcist, or an anti-alien scientist.

VA audi has suggested it is battery electrolyte, but the thing is still running. I did have a charger fail about the same time so maybe the charger zapped the iCom battery. I’m going to take it in to the VA Friday.

edit, Got a loaner today so we’ll see if Phonak ventures aguess.

I have had this too. The cable does have an oily gunk substance in it. I have no idea why, but suspect that it is to protect the wires inside the cable. Only other possible reason I can think of is that it improves the performance of the antenna - but my electronic engineering degree is 25 years out of date and I honestly can’t recall whether a dielectric would improve antenna performance.

Just to clarify, what similarities are there in your case?
Did you just notice the Gunk, or was there a mechanical failure, or an electrical failure? I’d like to let the VA know if mine is not serial number #1.


I had my first iCom hydraulic failure reported today.

There is certainly liquid in the cable!

So it’s either dielectric - maybe a TiO2 paste.

Or its a trick to allow friction free flexing of a thick cable.

I’ll ask Phonak about this.

Thanks English Dispenser,
I had the iCom for just about a year. It should be in the hands of Phonak by now.
It will be interesting to learn more about the gunk and the failure mode.


My I-Com is failing and I want to send it in for repairs but I hate having to go through my audi for this. She doesn’t do email and then it’s a game of phone tag. This is what’s so annoying about the current business model of audi’s…so inconvenient and no email is completely absurd. This is the top hearing clinic in the area and I would expect more from them. Does anyone know where I can send in to repairs? Phonak makes life difficult for non-professionals.

The fact that your audiologist doesn’t have/communicate by email is indeed ridiculous…but please don’t include us all in that group. The number of audiologists with email far outweigh those without…

Have you called to try to find a different provider in the area that services Phonak? Most hearing aid manufacturers are not set up/won’t deal with the public directly and if you try to do so it will be near impossible resulting in more frustration on your part.

To get your ICom repaired you could try sending to someone who repairs HA since most have working relationships with the manufacturers for repairs they can’t do. I’ve used www.directhearingaidrepair.com in Garden Grove, Ca, they may be able to do the repair. Their phone #1-888-580-4327.

I have it confirmed: the gloop is a lubricant to keep the cable supple.

And how much Phonak charge if its out of warranty to replace that, let say design flaw (unremoweable cable)?

It’s not a flaw, it’s a feature! :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks, I’ll let my VA Audi know.


Sorry for the delay. The outer sleeve failed, and the oil leaked out.

Thanks cjw.
I’ll let him know it has been seen by others.


Received from the VA audiologist this morning.

"Our office was alerted that Phonak iCom neckloop may leak an oily substance. Phonak conducted an investigation by an independent lab. The lab confirmed that the oily substance is of no toxicological concern. Phonak recommends that if the skin comes into contact with the oily substance the skin should be washed with soap and water.

The lab identified fatty acids and fatty acid esters. Fatty acids are natural products found in plants and animals and are often used in the processing of polymers. The major ingredient was palmitic acid, which is listed by the FDA as a food additive permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption. Fatty acids are generally considered safe with a low toxicological potential. At high concentrations, fatty acids may cause skin irritation. Fatty acid esters are often used in cosmetics and skin care products. As with fatty acids, fatty acid esters are generally considered safe and can produce skin irritation at high concentrations. Metals analysis identified calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium were elevated but only slightly. The only metals detected at higher levels were copper and zinc. These metals are considered to have low to minimal safety concern.

Defective neckloops should be returned to Phonak for replacement. Skin irritation or other health problems related to leaky neckloops should be documented and reported to your patient safety office. Phonak confirmed that all new produced neckloop cables, stocks and shipments since June 2011 will not have any leaking issues."