Trial of Phonak Nano and other IICs

I have mild to moderate hearing loss. Invisibilitty of the hearing aid is the main concern for me. So I’m trying out hearing aids of type Invisible in the Canal (IIC) types.

So the first hearing I tried is Lyric. I tried Lyric for 3 weeks. There was itch and some pain in the beginning. But they went a way after few days. After couple of weeks, I almost forgot that I wore hearing aids. But music didn’t sound good. Almost there is no bass which is a BIG deal for me. I’m able to hear bass without HAs. My audioligist to reprgram but I didn’t see any difference.

I asked my Audi about Starkey Soundlens. She said Phonak Nano is latest one and I should try it besides Phonak is swiss company known for reliability.

She took my ear impression and got the Phonak Nanos 3 days back and I’ve started my trail. I have pain in my right ear. Besides I find my own voice hollow. I think this is occlusion. I read that IICs sit nearer to ear drum and hence no occlusion. But these Phono Nano HAs are just sitting at the entrance of my ear canal. Should they go be going little deeper like the Lyric does ?

Does Starkey Soundlens go deeper as does Lyric ? On the dummies, I see they are close to the ear drum.

Thank you,


might want to take a look at Siemens iMini

I have to disagree with the logic that the Phonak Nano is newer and therefore better. If it is newer than the Starkey it is only by about a year, and Starkey have continued to update the capabilities of the SoundLens while refining the very difficult concept of creating a custom extra deep fitting.

If anything I’d argue that Starkey’s extra year or so of experience working with their IIC makes them, and their hearing professionals who have fitted a number of them more effective.

As for Swiss reliability, Phonak is not Rolex! In fact I’d be prepared to bet that your Phonak aid was made right here in the US (just like any other brand). I don’t think they FedEx impressions back to Switzerland where a bunch of retired Patek Philippe employees sit constructing your aids to Swiss Chronometer standards!

With an IIC, it’s all about the impression. It had better be taken with the perfect material, and it better be incredibly deep; the special vented otoblock should almost touch the ear drum. This issue is so important Starkey sent out a specific IIC kit with special otoblocks, impression material (after exhaustive research to find which one was consistently delivering good results on an IIC).

It’s taken a while for Starkey to work out the kinks in the process, because this is one of the most difficult aids to create. Not only are you working against the size restrictions of the ear canal, but if you are in the bony section there is almost no margin for error, as there is no real give at that part of the ear. So a bad fit that would go unnoticed on another aid style will hurt a lot on this size.

A true IIC should not be sitting so close to the entrance to your ear as you describe. I’m guessing that the impression your hearing professional took was not accurate enough, and this resulted in them stepping the aid out and basically making a small CIC rather than a true IIC. This would tie in with your observation about lack of comfort.

Also since an IIC works on the concept that an aid fitted in the bony portion of the ear canal will handle occlusion differently, so if you move it out into the softer cartilaginous portion of the canal, the vent size won’t be correct, and occlusion will occur.

If fitted correctly the SoundLens will go very close to the ear drum, almost where the Lyric goes. With the benefit of better sound processing technology, and the ability to easily remove it and re-insert it.

That you, ZCT for your detailed response.

Yes, they are more like a smaller CIC rather than an IIC.

I’m going to see my Audi and will ask for Starkey soundlens. I will also ask her to take the impression again.

Thanks again.


Keep in mind, Lyric is made by Phonak. So chances are the audiologist only carries Phonak products. If you are not satisfied, find an office that fits Starkey. There is a difference, I have fit many Soundlens to much satisfaction.