Most discreet aid?

I have what’s audiologists seem to call moderate “cookie bite” loss. My hearing pattern is nearly identical in both ears but I am thinking about buying just one BTE aid that I can put in and take out for meetings at work. I’m quite young for hearing aids and really want something that looks as discrete as possible but if spotted (worst case) doesn’t look like my grandmother’s BTE aid.

I have had a Siemens digital CIC around for this purpose for years but it has been a total pain–unquestionably the worst bang-for-buck purchase I’ve made in my life. Wax screwed up the mic constantly even with constant at-home vacuumings and then it to be sent out for expensive services. At this point it’s cost prohibitive to even keep them working. Even when they weren’t that old every time I wanted to use them (I’m definitely going to be a part-time wearer and routinely go days if not weeks at a time without using them) they’d be DOA. I don’t know if major advances have been made in CIC in the last 5 years or so or not–but I understood problems like these were inherent and unavoidable with the CIC design and would never be totally solved. Please let me know if I’m mistaken–but that’s why I’ve been thinking about if I could make a BTE work if it was a really attractive device.

At my age and in my role at work image actually really matters. I simply can’t afford to look anything other than fully capable. Unfortunately I simply have to have something to get through these meetings–not having at least one working aid I can rely on for these things is really causing me a lot of problems.

Any suggestions appreciated–thanks!

Nobody knows I wear aids. I wear GN ReSound Pulse open fit BTEs, but no matter. People who wear aids notice that I wear them. Others don’t. I could wear a grapefruit on my head and I’m convinced that only others with grapefruits on their heads would notice.

Why not just get a pair of aids that correct your hearing loss, wear them all the time, let your brain properly adapt, and don’t make yourself more conspicuous by putting in and taking out your aid unnecessarily? :confused:

Wax and moisture problems in CICs should be easily solved with a Dry&Store, which dries the wax after 8 hours of nightly use so that it can be easily removed. It also is supposed to keep the microphones clean and fully functional.

Regarding the vanity issue… well, I’d rather hear correctly at work and be (not seeming neither looking, but really BEING) fully capable than not wearing HA and not being able to get all I should (and thus behaving “stupidly”).

I’m 34, started wearing HA 2 months ago (Starkey Destiny 1200 CICs) after a whole life of hearing impairment, and I am the only person wearing them in a company of 100 workers averaging 30-32 y.o. And the decision I made was one the best I’ve made throughout my life. I can’t understand how I had been living the way I did before. I only take them off when going to bed. Can’t understand your behaviour. And I seriously recommend you to get D&S in order to keep your CICs working at full performance.

If CICs dont work for you due to excessive wax problems you should not be stopped from using other kind of HA for esthetic reasons. BTE-RICs are said to be equally if not more discreet than CICs and may work best for you.

I wear Sonic Innovations Ion series which are quite discreet. I have had many people who when they do find out say they never noticed them at all. Their new Touch series is even more so.

See the link:

I have had very good luck with their products.

Like you, I have some concerns about appearance and I am likewise interested in the best hearing instrument I can find with the least obvious presence. I have looked at several, but I still have not made a final decision. The Widex Passion 115 is advertised as the smallest BTE aid on the market. I tried on a pair of them, and I was very impressed with how they looked (or maybe “didn’t look”). Widex calls them “practically invisible.” A friend of mine wears Widex Aikia, and I did not even know he wore a hearing aid until he showed it to me, but the Passion 115 is still smaller. The Passion also comes in a 110 model for slightly less money. I am also looking at the Widex Mind 440 (micro model). It is not as small as the Passion 115, but has a little more sophisticated technology and still seems very discreet. I hope you find what you need. I am going through the same process at the present time, except I plan to wear mine all the time (or virtually all) and in both ears. It’s a big decision for me, and I appreciate any help in trying to make the right decision.

the new Sonic Touch seems real tiny!

If I was going to give you any advice about HA’s (which I’m going to do now), I would recommend NOT buying a specific HA because you’re worried about how you might be perceived wearing HA’s… but rather buy which ever HA (even if it’s a BTE), that does the best for your hearing problem.

If the choice is wearing a HA that can’t be seen, but doesn’t help you out, or a BTE that’s the best solution…

… need I go any farther?

Shi-Ku (Who’s a Starkey J13 Cierra BTE wearer.) Chishiki

The most discreet hearing aid is the one that can stop you from saying ‘please repeat yourself’, their physical appearance is a secondary factor.

I note that several posters, instead of answering the question, say that appearance doesn’t matter, just get what helps your hearing. I think they are overlooking what is really being asked. Common sense tells us that no one wants to wear a hearing aid only for looks, if he or she can’t hear with it. What TJR was asking, in substance, is WHICH hearing aid will help my hearing, YET will be the most discreet in appearance. This probably doesn’t matter as much to those who are long-time users, but to those of us just beginning to wear hearing aids, I think it is a good question. We are interested in finding an effective hearing aid, but preferably an effective hearing aid that also is less conspicuous. I believe that is especially important to a first-time user. I hope those on the forum will take the question seriously and try to give helpful answers.

check out “Lyric”

it is completly in ear.
and stays there day and night. 24/7

I agree 110% with Mike and Zafdor. The Dry and Store will prevent the hearing aid’s worst enemy from messing it up … moisture. And even if you are a first time user or new to aids … accept the fact that you are wearing them because you need them, using them is better than coming off as stupid or inattentive because you always say “can you repeat that” or “huh?” You need to get ones that work for you, that enable you to hear and understand speech as good as possible. What is ridiculous is vanity. I lived with her for my first few years. I had CIC’s because my wife didn’t want my aids to be noticed. She didn’t want my bosses thinking less of me because I wore hearing aids. Oh … he’s crippled! Now she is even much happier with my BTE with RIC because now I can HEAR HER. Now she’s not embarrassed by my answers to sales clerks in stores because I can hear what they are saying and answer their question instead of saying something off the wall because I thought I heard them correctly. Vanity makes one stick out a lot more than today’s small yet powerful hearing aids.

You mention that you may go days without using them. Are you putting in brand new batteries each time you go a length of time without using them? Keep in mind that zinc air batteries, the type used by hearing aids, lose their power just sitting on a shelf or in a drawer once the seal has been removed and they have been activated. They do not have to be in active use, in a device that is turned on, to drain their power.

Also keep in mind that the brain has to adjust to using them, to comprehending these new sounds it is being exposed to. Being a part time user is only robbing yourself of the experience of hearing properly.

If you really want a single aid, then a single Audeo in black/silver or similar will look like a Bluetooth earpiece or other gadget.

Great suggestion!

I had some concern about appearance too. My family urged me for years to get HAs but in order of importance, the cost, the fact that I was still “getting by” and to some extent the stigma of wearing “HEARING AIDS” prevented me. Well at 55 I finally tried out a pair of Phonac Yes Vs. I couldn’t give them up after just 2 hours of trying them. But to the point: Word got out that I’d finally broken down and bought HAs. But when family and friends asked me about them, I had to fold my ear down and point them out before they could even see them! I still have thick dark hair which helps. They pretty much hide the units (same dark color) and all that shows is the transparent wires that are apparently not very apparent!
Take the other posters advice and get yourself a couple high-end HAs. I wish I had decades ago!

Do any of the suggested BTE aids also happen to be open-fit? One of the things I dislike a lot about my CIC aids (in addition to them breaking down all the time) was the closed/plugged feeling so open fit sounds like progress in design.


All of the suggested BTEs in this thread are open fit or available as open fit, from what I’ve read.

If you have hair, I find that most of the open fit mini bte’s can be less obvious than a cic. They also have the added benefit of reducing occlusion. Perhaps, since you are young and an active business man, you should consider a product with streaming capibility. Even if you don’t think you will use it, you will have the option of adding the accessories later. I currently have the best success with Phonak Audeo Yes products or Oticon Dual Connect. Unitron is in the process of releasing a new option and although the value (included features/technology for the dollar) tends to be best with Unitron, the cosmetics may not be as modern as with the other two product lines.

…the lyric HA is the most discrete device available. There may be other pro’s and cons regarding it but as far as being invisible it has no competition.

There are a number of good threads and other information as to satisfaction and information. I am a one year+ 95% satisfied user…

Good Luck on your choice but as mentioned…Just Do It…you really have no idea how much you are missing.

I guess I’m leaning towards the Phonak Audeo Yes after reading this and other posts, and looking at the pictures–although having not seen one in person I can’t really tell how small it really is. The cost is brutal but that’s hearing aids for you.

With my experience with CIC–constant trouble and really uncomfortable “closed” feeling–open-fit BTE seems the best choice for now.

Lyric is very intriguing but it seems like new technology with some kinks to be worked out, yes? And it sounds like it totally blocks the canal and users complain about a “plugged” feeling? After experiencing this with CIC, that’s a major turnoff. I also kind of don’t get how you turn them off and what hearing you have after you do this–but I suppose I could research it further. It sounds like CIC taken to the next level from what I’ve read so far though with many of the same disadvantages?

The cost is brutal but that’s hearing aids for you.

Shop around … not all hearing aid suppliers charge the same.

Perhaps an overnight visit to a discounter in another town could get you a huge saving?