Siemens Nitro CIC v Starkey Extreme Power CIC

Hi guys I’ve read similar posts on here but would be interested to know your thoughts on the Siemens Nitro and the Starkey Extreme Power CIC’s (or any other new CIC’s that are much more powerful than traditional CIC’s).

As far as I can tell the Nitro has up to 70dB of gain, and the Starkey has up to 75dB of gain.

About me: my hearing loss is between 45-75dB (typical “U” shape on the audiogram). I have a bilateral sensorineural hearing loss since birth, and currently wear ITC’s. I had been told in the past I was not suitable for CIC’s (and that I was pushing it with ITC’s) but I’m hoping these new ones will suit me. I do have a narrow canal in my left ear so may not be able to get it done for my left ear (I’m seeing a few different audiologists this week to check this and if the CIC’s are suitable for my hearing loss).

So, if these hearing aids are suitable for my hearing loss & canals, then I would want to purchase them as soon as poss. Does anyone know if there is a comparison of the two on the web?

I know the Nitro is available in the UK (probably along with a hefty price as everything in the UK is overpriced), but I’m not sure if the Starkey extreme power is available in the UK. Does anyone know?

Many thanks!!


It doesn’t follow that a 75dB loss requires 75dB of gain. I honestly don’t believe that you’d need to go that far.

Starkey claims to have the best in class feedback suppression, so there should be more usable gain. But the issue is going to be the shape of your ear canal.

But if they got an ITC working okay, it should be possible to get some form of CIC, even if they have to make the battery end of the aid a little bigger than usual.

The nFusion chip is pretty small, so there’s a good chance. Of course without seeing an impression of your ear, it’s hard to say.

In the UK, I’m sure they are both overpriced, for the reasons you stated. And if the high powered versions are not yet available, I suspect it will only be a matter of time. The UK branch of Starkey is not that far behind the American one.

Thanks for the reply.

Well my quest to find a CIC for myself has not gone too well. I’ve spoken to about 5-6 audiologists and a few had never even heard of the Nitro which does not instill a lot of confidence. The aids I currently have are Siemens Triano ITC which are 16 channels (the Starkey ones are 8 channels), so for continuity I have decided to go for the Nitro.

I have been quoted stupidly high amounts for two Nitro aids: £6000, £4500 and £2500. Even on the web I can’t get any cheaper than that. I am reluctant to order internationally unless it’s a reputable company then I may risk it. I’ve just had a hearing aid company on the phone stating that ‘Siemens are not very good, go with what we provide’ and they stated that for my hearing loss I would also be suitable for the Widex Inteo (£3500) or Phonak Eleva (£2800). That’s still too pricey anyway.

So I feel very deflated.

The reason I’m trying to get these is because I want to become a police officer and I really think it would increase my chances of passing the medical if I have smaller aids (i.e. less chance they will fall out, less feedback when using phones, less chance of damage if I get hit on the ear etc). Also I’ve just had my eyes lasered (as without contacts my eyesight was poo). So already I’m out £3000. It’s a lot of money just because I have cr*p senses and now I feel depressed

Does anyone in the UK know where I could get the Nitro’s (or similar hearing aid) for less than an extortionate amount of money??! I’ve got an appointment with specsavers hearing care on Tuesday as they offered them for £2595, so will order through them if I cannot get them cheaper elsewhere.



As I already mentioned, I think you are looking for an overly powerful aid, based on what you said about your loss. You could get any decent CIC with a reasonable power, and it would help you. I see no need to be looking at 70-75dB of gain here.

As for your comments about channels. This is a complete misnomer. More does not always mean better. As an example, TV where you live updates 50 times per second. Here in the States, it updates 60 times a second. So the US has a better picture right? No. Not at all. European TV looks way sharper, crisper and more natural. Last time I was in England, I kept asking my parents if they were watching high definition TV, because it looked so sharp. It wasn’t, it was just regular TV. But it looks so much better than it does in the States, despite the slower refresh.

In another example, do you believe that a blender with sixteen speed settings is always superior to one with eight?

In hearing aid terms it does not follow that more channels always equals more sound quality. There is also the issue of bands, and just how adjustable each of these channels/bands are. It’s way more complex than just comparing one number to another.

You would be well advised to seek out some quality CICs from a manufacturer of your choice. Their regular higher powered CICs will do a great job for you. You are a long way from needing either the Nitro or the eXtreme power CIC. (Again assuming I understand what you said about your loss).

Good luck becoming a police officer.

I paid £855 for my Nitros delivered from the USA. I am in Australia.
Search my posts with NITRO as the search word.

Send me a message if you would like a name and an e-mail address for the USA seller or if you have any questions. (I did a lot of research).

Thanks everyone. Sulla I will send you a quick message.

ZCT thanks for your comments. In your opinion could I even detect a change in sound with an aid that has 8 channels compared to one with 16 channels? I believe I understand the general concept of channels and if my audiogram was a bit more linear I would perhaps be fine with fewer channels. But my audiogram, whilst generally U shaped, is up and down and there is quite a lot of variety. Also on some audiograms my loss goes up to 75db, and once when I was a kid it went up to 80 db loss. I personally do not think my hearing has changed at all, and I believe these variations are subjective. But it does leave a question mark over how much loss I do have - 70-80db? One audiologist looked at other CICs (such as the phonak) and the fitting range went up to 70db, and I explained because my hearing may be slightly worse I’d rather not have an aid where the fitting range was that tight. I imagine they would need to be powered up to their absolute max to get the benefit.

I have this with my current aids - Triano. They are powered to their max as at all other settings they were too quiet - so I went against the audiologists advice and he powered them up, and now I do get feedback because of this (but they are at a sound level that I feel more comfortable with).

Whilst this is not my area of expertise I am more comfortable getting an aid that does have that extra power so it doesn’t need to be set at its max for me to hear comfortably. Also I would rather there was some gain left in the event my hearing does deteriorate in the future.

I am strongly considering the Starkey ones again because in my opinion the only main difference is the channels and Starkey apparently have better feedback control (important to me as I use phones a lot and am sick of the aids whistling when anything is close to them).

Just for info my audiograms over the years have gone up and down since I was a kid (I’m 30 now) and the type of loss I have shouldn’t change until I get old (hence why I think the variation is due to subjectivity / type of machine used / if I had a cold at the time etc):

Right ear:
200hz: 45-60 (latest was 50dB)
500hz: 50-65 (latest was 50dB)
1000hz: 65-80 (latest was 70dB)
2000hz: 65-70 (latest was 70dB)
4000hz: 60-70 (latest was 65dB)
6000hz: 25-50 (latest was 50dB)
8000hz: 25-55 (latest was 55dB)

Left ear:
200hz: 50-55 (latest was 55dB)
500hz: 50-60 (latest was 55dB)
1000hz: 70-70 (latest was 70dB)
2000hz: 65-75 (latest was 70dB)
4000hz: 65-70 (latest was 65dB)
6000hz: 45-60 (latest was 60dB)
8000hz: 50-65 (latest was 65dB)

If from my audiograms you think either the Nitro or Starkey would be suitable (or any other CIC that I may not have considered for that matter) I would love to hear you opinion

Many thanks :slight_smile:


Now that I’ve seen your results (assuming no air bone gap) I stand by my assertion that you don’t need 75dB of gain.

As for the channel/band thing. Take a look at your results; you only have seven different frequencies tested, and frankly, the results at 8KHz aren’t much use anyway. If testing every little frequency were important, the test would include measurement at 16 different frequencies as opposed to 7.

As I have already mentioned, it’s not the NUMBER of channels a hearing aid has, it is how controllable and independent each is. I’ve seen aids in years gone by that brag all these different channels and bands but when you go to adjust one channel, other channels move too. So while on paper it may look like 16 channels, if they are not truly independent your effective number of channels is less.

So I don’t buy into the fact that fewer channels on the Starkey aid would make it in any way inferior to your old aid.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. A good specialist should have some BTE test aids you can listen to, that will give you at least some idea of what the new aids would sound like. In fact, back when I practiced in the UK, it was a legal requirement that a Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser had demonstration aids available when testing.

When it comes to hearing aids, what matters above all else is your subjective response to listening to them. I don’t care if it has one channel or 200 channels, if it sounds like crap to you, you won’t want to wear it!

Thank you ZCT. I understand what you mean about the channels and I will put the question to the audiologist I’m seeing on Tuesday, that if only 7 frequencies are tested, how can 16 channels fit that degree of variation more so than 8 channels (unless I’ve misinterpreted what you have said).

Yes the aids I am after are more powerful than my requirements. However as I’ve stated before the less powerful CIC’s I’ve come across only just fit my range of hearing loss and I want some ‘spare’ gain (in case my hearing worsens). Unless I’ve missed something I’m yet to find CICs inbetween the ones I’ve looked at thus far. Besides I’m sure the more powerful ones can be set at my range of hearing loss, which several audiologists have already stated it can be done.

So I’m still left undecided between the Starkey and the Nitro, and it seems not many on here have tried either as I’ve yet to hear opinions on them. I will ask the audiologist if they have any demonstration aids so I can at least compare the sound.

Thanks everyone, will let you know which aid I decide to go for.


It doesn’t follow that a 75dB loss requires 75dB of gain. I honestly don’t believe that you’d need to go that far.
Perfectly correct ZCT. Stef, there is a thing called ‘the half gain rule’.
It says that for a loss of X dB you need a boost of only HALF that i.e. X/2 dB gain. So, allowing for headroom for the future etc, maybe 45dB or 50dB or gain would be OK for you.

As for Nitro prices, my pricelist has them starting at £1760 a pair … BUT sadly this is an advisory price only as I do NOT fit CICs at my practice … sorry.

Thank you EnglishDispenser for your reponse:

Also, an update: I’ve decided to go for the Starkey CIC’s now, as the Nitro’s were ridiculously overpriced. The audiologist where I got my Siemen’s Triano’s from (only 2.5 yrs ago) had the audacity to quote nearly £6000 (!!!) for two Nitros. I honestly do not believe any hearing aid is worth that much money so I’m sticking two fingers up at Siemens and am giving Starkey a chance.

Hoping to get them next week and will report back my opinion of them


I had a client last week who had been quoted elsewhere £12,600 for a pair of aids!!!

My price for the most top-end aids is around £3000.

Don’t forget the price of the aid is NOT closely related to brand or model … it is however much more related to the specific dispenser.

An expensive dispenser will charge a LOT for ALL models and ALL manufacturers.


I saw your website an Notice you dispense
oticon, Phonak, Siemens, Unitron and Starkey

What products do you like to fit… (brand and models)
and Why?

I’m in business so my criteria include:

  • Is the hearing aid technology good?
  • Is the quality of the plastics OK?
  • Is the local ‘rep’ from the manufacturer friendly & knowledgeable?
  • Does the manufacturer like - or actively dislike - discounters?
  • Is the telephone tech support good & rapid?
  • Is the PC fitting software effective & reliable?
  • Are the aids good value for money?
  • Are the aids reliable?
    etc etc etc

I end up ‘scoring’ each manufacturer & each product day by day.

The ‘best’ manufacturer and model for a specific hearing loss can vary day to day.

In other words, there is NO one ‘best’ manufacturer or product.

Geesh, almost $25K for a pair of aids? Unbelievable. I do get people in my office who were quoted elsewhere $8000 for a pair, which I think is highway robbery. My prices are similar to yours, I think. I want to make a living, but not a killing off of others.

Verve is a super premium instrument
what is your quoted price?

I’m curious, why won’t you fit CICs?

I am a discounter … I haven’t been invited to stock Verve.

Anyway, Verve seems to simply be the Savia with voice messages instead of beeps. Or have I missed something?

I’m curious, why won’t you fit CICs?

I am a discounter. I can’t afford the several remakes a CIC or similar deep fitting can require.

The additional risk relating to a deep impression is also something I will not put up with. If I ever need to send a patient to Casualty (ER) for resin removal I’m in trouble!

I have low prices, so I fit a lot of aids, so statistically I am more likely to experience an ‘incident’ than the high priced outlets which can survive on a single high profit sale a week!

Overall, the increased workload & risk is not worth it for me.

I make it clear to all prospective customers about my position on CICs and other aids requiring deep impressions.

My audiologist quoted me $2200 a piece however she didn’t recommend them because she was afraid that they might be right on the edge for me now and would hate to recommend an aid that might be less than adequate in a year.