My experience with the new LYRIC hearing aids

I had LYRIC hearing aids inserted last week. This is the 3rd pair of hearing aids I’ve tried - the others didn’t work for me because I found them too annoying. While not perfect, I have to say that, so far, these are working really well. I wasn’t looking for an “invisible” hearing aid, but the fact that they can’t be seen is certainly a “plus”. Most importantly, my hearing is now fabulous! I had to remove the right one over the weekend because it was hurting me a bit, but even with only one hearing aid, I’m doing great! Tomorrow I go back to have the right one re-inserted and to have the audiologist tweek them a bit because I’m hearing too well, if you catch my drift. The one “con” is the expense - I paid $3400 for the pair but the contract expires in one year. I wish they weren’t so costly but there’s no competition to sell them yet and so I guess I’ll just be grateful that I can hear so well now.

It’s good to hearing Lyric is working (kinda) well for you. Hopefully, resizing will help with the pain issue.

As far as the price is concerned, I’m curious to see what the future will bring. I’m a Lyric-dispensing audiologist, and the nature of the product makes it expensive. If the devices lasted 4 months for each patient (requiring just 3 devices per year), the price could come down quite a bit. The problem is that the devices don’t always last that long. It’s not unheard of for some patients to go through 6-10 devices in a year. That ads up.

To bring down the price, Insound will need to figure out how to get them to consistently last longer and work on their market share, to spread out the research and development costs. While I’m sure competition will drive prices down a bit, with the current product, there’s not a whole lot of room to go down before the business model fails.

This is really interesting to me, we don’t yet have the Lyric available in the UK. I attended a conference a few weeks ago where the CEO of Sonova indicated it would be rolled out to the UK and other markets in the next few years. With the cost I’m not too sure how much of a market there will be, however certainly an interesting product.
I suppose if the results are so good people will find the money!

It would be interesting for us to see your audiogram and hear about your experience with hearing aids.

I am afraid of Lyric because it is analog and linear, and it’s response cannot be shaped according to your audiogram. So I will wait for the digital version.

I find them a disappointing idea until they can work out a way you can swim in them. I understand that many people do, they cover them with swimplugs and earbands and hope for the best (perhaps explaining some of the premature replacements??) but for me that’s a non-starter. I only came across them while I was looking for something I might be able to wear to swim in, and the idea that if you take one out it has to be refitted by the audiologist makes them totally impossible for me.

Uk market-wise, my guess is that the primary market will be elderly people who find it hard to manipulate their own aids. No need to put them in and out, no need to change a tiny battery with shaky hands and failing eyesight, no chasing after a confused patient in a nursing home to see if they have their hearing aids in or not. The current generation has a lot of well-off elderly who would find htis a useful “fit and forget” device, just as many get day/night contact lenses put in for them at the optician once a month.

Hi all, I just had my new Lyrics inserted yesterday. I suppose Im in the middle of the “adjustment period”. Not only do I have constant pain, but I can hear the aids moving around – there’s a “popping” noise in my ears when I open and close my mouth, and a “thumping” noise in my ears when I walk. Is there anybody else who had a similar experience? Did those sounds go away once the hearing aid “settled”?

I had my Lyric in for 27 days. It took two weeks to get used to it and have it not hurt or itch. The office I got it at closed for vacation this week and I’ve had to take out myself. It is very difficult to pull out on your own. A family member had to do it and was hard to do.
Will, of course, try again but my first experience is not perfect. The week or two it worked without pain was positive. I could hear at dinner parties. I only have one bad ear so it’s not as critical as others who make this decision.

My tinnitis is now worse after I pulled it out. That had settled down before the Lyric. Any ideas if one has to do with another?

It’s here now - the OtoLens by Starkey. Fits in the second bend of the ear canal like Lyric but is digital and programmable. Custom fit - not sized. Pay for device and it comes with a full comprehensive 3 year warranty, no charge for repairs or replacements.

Being fit on patients now, but too soon to offer any solid feedback.

dr. amy

Thanks. I checked the fitting range and my hearing loss is close to the limit with 60 dB HL at 1 kHz and 70 dB HL at 1.5 kHz. I guess that the fitting ranges are defined in terms of the half-gain rule, which is too low soft gain for my preferences, I need ca. 60% gain, so I am afraid that the Otolens wont satisfy my needs.

You’re right, you’d probably be driving the hearing aid limits too much to be satisfied. Plus, although the cost is less than the LYRIC, it’s still a high end expensive instrument, not one you’d want to outgrow in a couple years if your loss progressed.

dr. amy

how much do the otolens hearing aids cost, and when will they be available? these sound intresting.

They are available now if you live in the US (not sure about other countries). The price depends on which region you live I’d guess?? But they are being priced at what the most high end hearing instrument would cost.

Since I know people wont like that diplomatic answer - in my practice in Ohio, they run $3500 per ear and you are completely covered for 3 years with the warranty that accompanies the aids.

dr. amy

my daughter is currently trying out the lyrics. she loves them, the convience of them and the way they sound. the problem is they are not lasting very long for her. we have had to have them changed a few times in just the 30 day trial period. im not sure what we are doing wrong she has even tried covering her ears while in the shower and they still died out. im wondering if the otolense would be a better option of if anyone has an answer to what is going on here.

I’m on my second insert. Just one ear is bad but has not been a great experience. The first died after 27 days and my ear had sores. This second experience is on day 18 and I’m about to yank it out. It’s inflammed tinnitis and itches like crazy

First, it is totally unhealthy to have something in your ear all the time. AKA Lyric or WOW. That is the problem.

The otolense; which I’m not a fan of, is designed to be removed daily. That will get air into the ear which it needs.

If you’re asking for advice, mine would be to completely ditch the lyric. I would get either a CIC or RIC hearing aid. RIC will sound the best.

Just MO. I fit hearing aids for a living.

I’ve been wearing a Lyric in my right ear for approximately four (4) years. In general, when they work well, they’re worth the money. In my case, I live and work near the audiologist, maybe 15 minutes away. When I have a problem with the Lyric, I make a quick trip to the audiologist and the problem is solved. But if the audiologist was further from my home/work, I doubt if I would continue to wear a Lyric. Problems are always resolved by replacing the Lyric. The problems I’ve experienced have been:
• First few Lyrics were replaced after 4-5 weeks due to feedback. The audiologist eventually diagnosed the problem as the Lyric being too small in diameter. The Lyric would wander in the ear cannel and feedback occurred. A larger diameter Lyric solved this problem.
• Rarely have I kept a Lyric for the scheduled replacement time. Toward the end of its life and as I lay in bed, and depending on the position of my head, I would again get feedback. Several times, I needed to turn the Lyric off during the night.
• Lately, I would get a low volume, underlying ringing sound accompanying any noise. In a quiet room, no problem. Should someone talk, background music, etc., I could hear the low volume ringing sound.
• Instead of the ‘beep’ that accompanies a change in volume, many times the beep would be replaced by a low volume ‘hum’ or ‘buzzing’ sound. Somewhat difficult to hear, but in general, the volume was not affected so I put up with it (I rarely adjust the sound level with the exception when I ride my Harley).
• The latest replacement (July 2013) – the first Lyric lasted about two hours. The replacement to the replacement lasted about three hours. In both cases, the ‘beep’ was replaced by a hum/buzz, but the sound level was muddled, almost as if my ear was stuffed with cotton.

I have worn Lyric hearing aids since July, 2013. I have not been able to wear any of them for four months. All of my Lyrics have had dead batteries after about 3 months. So the problem is Lyric, not me. I had one Lyric in my left ear that died after two weeks. I was able to wear Lyrics for 3 months but because of a wax build up and a problem with a Lyric sticking to my ear and pulling so skin off (a Lyric cannot be inserted if there is any abrasion) my audiologist has mad the decision to change mine every two months. I still think the price is awfully high for a couple of pieces of yellow foam, some wires, and a non-digital something or other. However, I have been willing to pay the amount because my hearing was so much better. I loved the Level 2 (I think that was it’s name).

I am now in my second year and have moved to the Level 3, supposedly better version of Lyric. I am having all kinds of hearing issues and have been told by my audiologist that there have been reports of others having problems too. Apparently this will not change until there is some kind of chip update. After one year of loving my Lyric, I am now dissatisfied with the new version. My audiologist is working to find a resolution but it seems that the only answer at this time may be to find some sets of the old Level 2 Lyrics and go back to them.

Your audiologist can put in a special request for the Lyric 2.3 product, and if approved, Phonak will ship that out. But I’m not sure how long 2.3 will be available for.