If you or a loved one is struggling with hearing loss, you may be wondering about the different types of hearing aids available on the market.
Maybe you've heard about Lyric hearing aids, the genuinely invisible style deep inside the ear. Some people call Lyric contact lenses for your ears.
In this guide, we'll take a closer look and examine how these devices work, who can benefit from them, and their pros and cons.
What is a Lyric hearing aid?
A Lyric hearing aid is a type of device that is placed inside the ear canal. Unlike other types of hearing aids, Lyric devices are entirely invisible.
They are also the only type of hearing aid that can be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for weeks or months at a time without needing to be removed for charging or cleaning.
This special kind of hearing aid is made possible by its small size and unique placement.
While most hearing aids are placed in the ear canal each morning and removed, each night, Lyric hearing aids are placed deep inside the ear canal by a licensed hearing professional and swapped out every 4-6 weeks.
This allows your hearing aids to stay in place and function properly even when you are asleep or engaging in activities such as showering or exercising.
Who is a candidate for a Lyric hearing aid?
If you have mild to moderate hearing loss and desire a truly invisible hearing solution, you might consider Lyric hearing aids.
Lyric is best For those with a licensed Lyric clinic nearby.
Unlike other types of hearing aids, Lyric hearing aids are only available through clinics with trained Lyric audiologists. This is because a Lyric hearing aid depends on the ear anatomy due to its deep placement in the ear canal: just 4 mm from the eardrum. Lyric hearing aids must be changed every 4-6 weeks so you will want to choose a clinic near your home. Use this page to search your area.
Lyric is best for those in good health.
To qualify for Lyric, your ears should be healthy. Anyone with the conditions below will not be an ideal candidate:
- History of ear infections, middle ear disease, or eardrum perforation
- Skin disorders
- Head or neck radiation
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Active scuba diving or skydiving history
- Severe hearing loss
How do Lyric hearing aids work?
Like traditional hearing aids, Lyric devices amplify sound and make it easier for users to hear conversations, the TV, and other environmental noises. However, they differ from traditional hearing aids in several ways.
The Lyric device is placed deep inside the ear, in the bony portion of the ear canal. This makes it possible for sound to be delivered naturally, in almost the same way as sound naturally enters the ear. Both the placement and the shape of the device also limit the occlusion effect. Due to the deep insertion, these hearing aids are also truly invisible.
Unlike traditional hearing aids that require regular battery replacement or charging, these devices are powered by tiny batteries that last for weeks or months at a time. Users will schedule regular follow-up appointments with their audiology clinic to have new ones inserted.
Regular Visits to the Audiologist
Lyric is different from a traditional hearing aid, which may only require maintenance every six months. The battery life of a Lyric hearing aid lasts somewhere in the range of several weeks to several months. This means you can plan on regular, scheduled visits with an audiologist to have your Lyrics replaced.
A Lyric hearing aid works differently from the typical hearing aid in that it creates sound in an "analog" form.
Today's hearing technology mainly uses "compression" and other forms of digital processing, which allow the hearing aids to make sophisticated choices about how much (or little) to amplify sound based on its loudness coming in.
For example, you'll want to boost someone whispering to you much more than you want to amplify someone shouting at you. Modern hearing aids use digital sound processing to continuously 'sift' speech versus background noise and deliver sound that increases understanding.
Lyric takes a different approach with analog technology that helps keep its battery life low for extended wear. This means Lyric hearing aids have less sophisticated technology to process background noise.
Some users actually prefer the analog sound in quieter environments and report that it feels more natural than today's digital sounds.
Can I stream my music to Lyrics?
Unfortunately, due to their tiny size, Lyric hearing aids do not offer enough room for Bluetooth streaming technology.
Additionally, these hearing aids cannot be adjusted on an app like other hearing aids. However, they come with a small wand that can be used to adjust the volume.
Lyric hearing aid prices
Unlike traditional hearing aids, Lyric devices are not sold by the pair. Instead, lyrics are purchased through an annual membership.
The membership price varies slightly by geography but is typically around $4,000 annually.
A Lyric membership covers the cost of all follow-up care and unlimited device changes throughout the year.
How to Get a Lyric Hearing Aid
If you think you might benefit from wearing a Lyric hearing aid, your first step should be to talk to an audiologist who fits Lyric.
Your hearing test results, lifestyle, communication needs, and budget are all crucial pieces in determining whether a Lyric will be an appropriate solution.
Next, the audiologist will analyze your ear canal's size, shape, and anatomy to determine which size device will provide the best fit.
Depending on the clinic and your ear history, an ENT may also examine your ears to understand your ear health better.
Pros and Cons
This unique hearing aid has both pros and cons. Let's consider what to think about when considering a Lyric.
- Natural use of the ear anatomy
- Occlusion is greatly reduced due to placement
- Reduced wind noise and feedback risk
- Comfortably use headphones or wear a stethoscope
- Deep insertion allows for lower power output, longer battery life
- Tinnitus masking 24/7
- High price tag
- Heavy wax production may require more frequent replacement
- Lyric may not perform as well in background noise
- No app adjustments
Like other hearing care solutions on the market, there are both pros and cons associated with Lyric hearing aids.
Some of the benefits of these devices include their small size (which makes them practically invisible when worn) and long battery life (weeks at a time!).
However, some drawbacks include the fact that they are not suitable for everyone (only those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss) and their high price tag, and their subscription model.
As an audiologist, I've seen some patients love their Lyric hearing aids due to this product's (essentially) effortless wear. It's convenient not to have to change batteries, be able to hear 24/7 and even have the potential of all-day tinnitus relief. However, Lyric is not the perfect solution for everyone.
While Lyric is made of medical-grade foam for maximum comfort, some patients with sensitive skin have difficulty tolerating the deep insertion of this product or long-term wear on their skin. And unfortunately, if the device cannot be inserted to the appropriate depth, it won't be effective.
It's also important to note that your Lyric product may stop working before a scheduled replacement appointment. Generally speaking, the concierge care that comes with Lyric will take care of any disruptions to your hearing and get you in quickly. However, it is still inconvenient if it goes out sooner than expected.
If you struggle, especially with background noise, it's important to consider whether Lyric will fully meet your communication needs.
However, if you have the budget and are looking for an invisible and 24/7 hearing solution, Lyric could be an excellent option for you.
If you struggle with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and want an option that is practically invisible and can be worn 24/7, then Lyric hearing aids may be right for you!
These tiny devices are placed inside the ear canal and use small batteries to amplify sound and make it easier for users to hear conversations and environmental noises.
While they come with a pretty hefty price tag, many people feel they are worth the investment. Are you interested in Lyrics? Look for a local audiologist in your area that works with Lyric hearing aids here.