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Choosing the Ideal Hearing Aid: Lyric vs. Over-the-Counter Completely in the Canal vs. Completely in the Canal Options

Invisible hearing aid

Unveiling Invisibility: A Comparative Look at Lyric and Other Small, Invisible Hearing Aids

In this blog post, we will explore the distinctions between Lyric hearing aids, completely-in-the-canal hearing aids, and over-the-counter completely in-the-ear hearing aids. We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options. Helping you gain the insights you need to make an informed choice that best suits your unique needs.

The Lyric Device:

The Lyric hearing aid emerged as a product of InSound Medical, which has since become part of Phonak, a well-known hearing aid manufacturer. Introduced in the mid-2000s, Lyric marked a substantial innovation in hearing healthcare. Lyric revolutionized the hearing aid industry by situating itself deep within the ear canal. Providing a level of discretion and comfort that surpassed traditional models worn behind or inside the ear. Over the years, Lyric has undergone continuous enhancements, with newer versions delivering superior sound quality, extended battery life, and increased comfort for its wearers.

Audiologists primarily recommend Lyric hearing aids for individuals with mild to moderately severe hearing loss who are seeking a discreet and user-friendly hearing solution. In essence, the Lyric hearing aid functions as an inconspicuous and innovative means to improve hearing and has played a significant role in advancing hearing healthcare.

The Lyric hearing aid, a discreet and compact device designed to aid individuals with hearing loss, operates as follows:

First, a trained audiologist or hearing specialist places the Lyric hearing aid deep within your ear canal, in close proximity to the eardrum. This strategic positioning enables it to capture sounds effectively. The Lyric hearing aid features a miniature microphone that captures sounds from the surroundings. Once captured, it processes these sounds, enhancing their clarity and adapting them to your specific hearing requirements. The processed sounds are then delivered directly to your eardrum. Therefore, bypassing the outer ear, and resulting in a more natural listening experience.

The Lyric hearing aid employs digital processing technology. Digital hearing aids use microprocessors to convert incoming sound waves into digital signals. These can then be manipulated to enhance sound quality and cater to an individual’s specific hearing needs. This digital processing technology allows for more precise adjustments and customization compared to analog hearing aids.

With digital processing, the Lyric hearing aid can filter, amplify, and shape sounds to optimize speech understanding and listening comfort. It can also adapt to various listening environments and reduce background noise. Providing a more natural and tailored listening experience for the user. Additionally, digital technology enables the Lyric hearing aid to be programmable. Allowing audiologists to fine-tune the device to suit each individual’s unique hearing profile.

The combination of its discreet placement within the ear canal and advanced digital processing technology has made the Lyric hearing aid a popular choice for those seeking a highly inconspicuous and effective hearing solution.

Powered by a small, durable battery, the Lyric hearing aid remains in your ear for several weeks to months, depending on usage. When the battery eventually depletes, a visit to your audiologist becomes necessary for a professional battery replacement.

Hearing Loss:

The Lyric hearing aid is designed to address a specific range of hearing loss. It may not be suitable for all types and degrees of hearing loss. It is typically recommended for individuals with mild to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s what that means:

Sensorineural Hearing Loss is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. It occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or the auditory nerve. Sensorineural hearing loss is often caused by aging, exposure to loud noise, genetics, or other factors.  Lyric hearing aids are suitable for people with a range of hearing loss, from mild to moderately severe. This means it can help individuals who have difficulty hearing softer sounds, conversations, and some everyday noises.

Shape of Ear:

The suitability of Lyric, however, for an individual may depend on various factors, including the shape and size of their ear canal, lifestyle, and specific hearing needs. An audiologist or hearing specialist will evaluate your hearing and determine if the Lyric hearing aid is a good fit for you.

The Lyric hearing aid is designed to accommodate a wide range of ear shapes and sizes, with several factors influencing the comfort and fit of the device. The Lyric aid comes in many different sizes (one technology for all).  Ear canal size plays a significant role, and Lyric offers various sizes to suit different ear canals. Audiologists or hearing specialists use precise measurements to select the most comfortable Lyric size for each individual.

The shape of the ear canal is also a consideration, as Lyric is designed to adapt to various contours. However, some individuals may have uniquely shaped ear canals, which can affect the fitting process. Audiologists assess the specific shape to ensure a secure fit.

Ear Wax:

Excessive earwax production can occasionally impede the placement and functioning of the Lyric hearing aid. Audiologists evaluate earwax production levels and recommend solutions to manage any related issues.  The overall health of the ears is vital for a successful Lyric hearing aid fit. Any existing ear conditions or concerns should be addressed and resolved before considering Lyric.

OTC Hearing Aid:

Choosing between an over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid and a Lyric hearing aid entails considering various benefits and drawbacks. OTC hearing aids offer accessibility, affordability, and the ability for self-adjustment. They are readily available for purchase without the need for professional appointments, providing immediate access to a hearing solution. Moreover, OTC options are generally more budget friendly, making them a cost-effective choice for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who are conscious of their finances. Users can also make basic sound adjustments to fit their preferences.

On the other hand, OTC hearing aids may come with limitations in terms of customization and personalized fitting, potentially leading to suboptimal sound quality and comfort for some users. Quality and performance can vary significantly among OTC options, affecting their suitability for individuals with more complex hearing loss. Additionally, OTC hearing aids lack professional guidance, which may not be ideal for those with severe or unique hearing issues that require a more tailored solution. The absence of professional assessment and fitting raises the potential for improper use, which can lead to discomfort or even ear damage.

Conversely, Lyric hearing aids offer advantages such as discretion and convenience for users with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. These devices are virtually invisible and require minimal maintenance, making them hassle-free. However, Lyric hearing aids are not available over the counter and necessitate professional fitting and periodic maintenance. The choice between OTC and Lyric hearing aids depends on your specific hearing needs, budget constraints, and personal preferences. It is crucial to consult with an audiologist or hearing specialist to ensure the most suitable hearing solution is selected based on your unique circumstances.

A tiny completely-in-the-ear Hearing Aid:

A completely in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid and a Lyric hearing aid each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Whether one is better than the other depends on individual preferences and specific hearing needs.

Here are some reasons why a completely in-the-ear hearing aid might be preferred over a Lyric hearing aid:

User Replaceable Batteries:

Most completely in-the-ear hearing aids use user-replaceable batteries. This can be more convenient for individuals who prefer to change their hearing aid batteries themselves, without the need for frequent professional appointments for battery replacements.


ITE hearing aids can be custom-made to fit the individual’s ear shape and hearing needs. They offer a high level of personalization, allowing for precise adjustments and fitting.

Easier Maintenance:

User-replaceable batteries and the ability to remove and clean the device can make ITE hearing aids easier to maintain for some users.

Variety of Styles:

ITE hearing aids come in various styles, including full-shell, half-shell, and canal, which can cater to different degrees of hearing loss and aesthetic preferences.

Variety of technology:

Because the in-the-ear hearing aid is a style there are many brands that have different features and levels of technology offering more choices than that of the Lyric.  If one doesn’t like the sound of one hearing aid, there is another choice.

Cost Considerations:

Completely in-the-ear hearing aids may be more cost-effective for some individuals, as they typically have a lower upfront cost compared to Lyric, which involves ongoing professional service fees for battery replacement.

On the other hand, there are reasons why someone might prefer a Lyric hearing aid:


Lyric hearing aids are placed deeper in the ear canal and are virtually invisible to others, making them very discreet. The completely in-the-ear or the invisible-in-the-ear hearing aid can also be pretty discrete as well. So this may not be a true differential benefit.

Continuous Wear:

Lyric can be worn continuously for several weeks, which can be convenient for people who don’t want to deal with daily removal and reinsertion. You may sleep, eat, shower and even swim with them.

The Lyric hearing aid is not considered waterproof. While it is designed to be worn continuously for extended periods, including during activities like showering and exercising, it is not recommended for prolonged or submersion in water. The device can withstand some moisture exposure, but it is not entirely waterproof.

It’s important to take precautions to protect your Lyric hearing aid from excessive moisture, such as using a shower cap or protective cover during water-related activities and ensuring it is dry before reinserting it in the ear. If you have specific questions or concerns about using your Lyric hearing aid in wet or humid environments, it’s advisable to consult with your audiologist or the hearing healthcare professional who fitted the device for personalized guidance on its care and usage.

Comfort and tolerance for having a device positioned deep within the ear canal can vary among individuals. While many users find Lyric to be exceptionally comfortable, others may require an adjustment period to fully adapt.

Designed for long-term, continuous wear, Lyric hearing aids emphasize the importance of a proper fit for both comfort and effectiveness. Audiologists offer guidance and support to ensure a positive and successful experience with the Lyric hearing aid.

No User Maintenance:

Lyric users can leave the device handling, battery changes, and cleaning tasks to professionals, as all maintenance is performed by a professional during scheduled appointments. This can be an issue, however, as many people go away for the winter and are not able to come in to see their audiologist as needed.

Sound Quality:

The Lyric’s placement near the eardrum can provide natural and high-quality sound.

Reduced Feedback:

Because of their deep placement, Lyric hearing aids are less prone to feedback (whistling sounds).  The in-the-ear hearing aid may also not cause feedback depending on a number of factors.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice between a completely in-the-ear hearing aid and over the counter hearing aid  and a Lyric hearing aid depends on an individual’s priorities, lifestyle, and hearing needs. Consulting with an
audiologist or hearing specialist is crucial to determining the most suitable hearing solution for your specific case. They can provide guidance and help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and hearing requirements.

It’s essential to have a professional assessment to determine the right hearing aid for your specific hearing loss, as there are various hearing aid options available to address different degrees and types of hearing impairment.

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