Phonak Lyric is an extended wear invisible hearing aid that is inserted deep into the ear canal at a specialist centre, this hearing instrument sits in the ear for 2-4 months before being replaced, so can be considered a semi permanent device.
Not all hearing aid suppliers can supply the Phonak Lyric, to be able to fit the Phonak Lyric to clients, a supplier needs special training and a substantial investment on the part of the hearing aid specialist, and also a substantial investment from the wearer too.
The cost of wearing Phonak Lyric in comparison to a typical custom built hearing instrument that is removed daily is relatively expensive. Typically the running cost of Phonak Lyric have evened out at around £1400-£1500 per ear per year, that’s near the same price per year you would pay in total for the most expensive custom products. (Put another way, if you consider custom hearing aids have an average five year lifespan, over that period Phonak Lyric is around five times more expensive than the most expensive custom IIC products such as Starkey SoundLens, Phonak Virto B Titanium and Oticon IIC.
Aside from price there are plenty of pluses (and also some negatives) with this type of hearing aid, some of the arguments are the same as extended wear contact lens’, these types of products tend to polarise opinion. From a wearers point of view it could all be looked at in a very positive light, particularly at first glance, whereas some professionals might not like the idea of a hearing aid being placed deep in the sensitive areas of the ear canal for extended periods of time, where others can see great benefits for the end user.
Deep seated in the ear canal = invisible.
Close to the eardrum = efficient, no occlusion.
No need to remove every day = convenient.
The Phonak Lyric can be used for 2-4 months before it needs to be replaced, it’s a disposable analogue hearing aid and if removed early cannot be re-inserted. It is water resistant but swimming with the Lyrics is not advised.
There are a few negatives to consider;
The cost of ownership is quite high, at the moment it is approximately £1400-£1500 per year per ear, against this if the technology is improved you will benefit as you receive new Lyrics every few months.
The Phonak Lyric needs to be placed deep in the ear canal by a specially trained person with specialised equipment. At present there are very few professionals in the UK who can do this, because of the specialised nature of this type of product, the equipment needed and the relatively small number of anticipated customers we anticipate the availability only in centres rather than on a home visit service, and only in high net worth areas of the country with large populations. The client will need to visit the centre every 2-4 months for insertion of new Lyrics, maybe more often if any problems need to be taken care of.
Candidacy – Phonak expect around 2-3 people out of 10 may be suitable for this type of product with the best shape of ear canal and no medical issues or excessive wax etc.
At Digital Hearing Care our opinion is that it is a good idea for the health of your ear to rest the ear canal nightly by removing your hearing aids. As a company we do not supply this product but if you are interested in finding out more about it please contact us and we will help as much as we can.