Completely in the Ear Canal: Pros, Cons, and Reviews
- Completely in the canal hearing aids are small, comfortable, and discrete ways to amplify your hearing.
- Their small size comes with a minor drawback in battery life and power, making them suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Several top brands sell completely in the canal hearing aids, so you can get a good price if you compare brands.
Hearing aids were once thought of as being large and unsightly, but that’s no longer the case. If you have only mild or moderate hearing loss, you have a number of options for smaller, more inconspicuous devices.
Ahead, we take a look at completely in the ear canal hearing aids. We’ll give you more information about the pros and cons of these hearing aids, and review a few popular brands that sell them.
The Benefits of Completely in the Ear Canal Hearing Aids
Completely in the canal hearing aids have several advantages over larger models of hearing aids, which is why they’re so popular.
Here are some of the benefits you can experience from this type of hearing aid.
The first—and possibly the strongest—benefit of completely in the canal hearing aids is that they’re very small. While these hearing aids aren’t exactly invisible, they’re very difficult to notice if someone isn’t looking for them.
Completely in the canal hearing aids fit deep into the ear, meaning anyone who sees you likely won’t notice that you’re wearing hearing aids. Their size and position make them some of the least visible hearing aids on the market.
Older versions of completely in the canal hearing aids contained wires, but relatively recent innovations created hearing aids that are completely wireless. They’re less detectable than ever, which is why many Australians choose them over other versions.
Those who want a boost in their hearing without the traditional behind the ear style of hearing aids can look to completely in the canal hearing aids for similar performance.
Easy to Use With Your Phone
One of the disadvantages of larger, behind the ear hearing aids is that they’re awkward and sometimes difficult to use with your phone.
The microphone on these devices is located outside of the ear, so you have to hold your phone differently to hear through them. When using a cellphone—especially a smaller one—this can mean moving your phone back and forth from behind your ear to your mouth.
As their name suggests, completely in the canal hearing aids sit inside of the ear, so you can use your phone the same way as you would without a hearing aid.
While it’s true that people don’t talk on the phone as much as they used to, we still do occasionally, especially in work situations. Completely in the canal hearing aids work well in these situations, where other hearing aids can fall a bit short.
Part of the reason completely in the canal hearing aids are so popular is they offer you the best of both worlds in some respect. They’re small enough to sit inside the ear canal without others noticing, but they’re large enough for a natural sound and volume control.
One of the issues with some larger hearing aids is that they plug the ear canal and make the sound a bit awkward.
Sound is more natural with completely in the canal hearing aids than it is with devices that plug up your ear canal. You’ll be better able to tell where a sound is coming from (though not as well as some other devices—see downsides below), which makes adjusting to the devices relatively easy.
The ability to hear your own voice is also better with completely in the canal hearing aids. Some hearing aids create a strange or distorted sound when it comes to your own voice, which can be hard to get used to
Completely in the canal hearing aids virtually eliminate this problem by sitting much closer to the eardrum than other versions do, meaning they won’t vibrate as much and distort the sound coming into your ear.
Downsides of Completely in the Ear Canal Hearing Aids
Of course, there’s a trade-off with completely in the canal hearing aids, and most of the disadvantages relate to their small size.
Weighing the pros and cons is important when making your decision, so here are the areas where this version of hearing aid may fall short.
No Directional Microphone
One of the biggest downsides to completely in the canal hearing aids is that these hearing aids are too small to contain directional microphones.
They might be difficult to notice when they’re in your ear, but you’re trading aesthetics for direction, which can be difficult to adjust to at first.
Larger hearing aids have several microphones, so you can tell where a sound is coming from. They are also better at focusing sound, so side conversations are less distracting.
With normal hearing, the ears filter out background noise, making it easier to focus on the primary sound.
Directional microphones artificially simulate this feature, but completely in the canal hearing aids don’t have them. You may notice that background noises are a bit louder, which means it’s more difficult to hear and focus on your present conversation.
Lack of Power
Those who have slightly to moderately impaired hearing will find that completely in the canal hearing aids serve their needs well. They probably won’t do the trick for those with more severe hearing loss, however.
The hearing aids are small, which is one of the major benefits. Of course, that means they don’t contain the powerful speakers and microphones that larger models have.
If you’re someone who needs a stronger hearing aid, you’ll need to look at another option.
The battery life is another disadvantage that relates to the size of completely in the canal hearing aids. They’re small, which means the battery is small. The smallest batteries on the market have the shortest lifespan on the market, so you’ll need to charge them more frequently.
Feedback is another issue associated with completely in the canal hearing aids. The ‘in the canal’ hearing aid whistling sound is relatively common and is something you’ll need to get used to when using these devices.
The feedback may not be constant, but it’s likely to come up from time to time. Since the hearing aids sit so closely to your eardrum, they can be more prone to feedback than other hearing aids.
Reviews of Completely in the Ear Canal Hearing Aids
Starkey is one of the leading global hearing aid brands, with a strong presence in Australia. They have a wide range of products, including several completely in the canal hearing aids.
The brand has an excellent reputation, and make some of the best completely in the canal hearing aids on the market. The top complaint about this type of hearing aid is the cost and replacement expense when broken, but that can be the case with many brands.
Widex is another global hearing aid brand that services Australian customers. Their line of completely in the canal hearing aids are excellent as well, although some customers who review the brand have complained about more feedback coming from these devices.
Oticon has received several positive reviews, especially relating to their completely in the canal hearing aids. Most users seem to be happy with their hearing aids, although one complaint is that background noise is louder with this brand, making it more difficult to hear speech.
One review stated that their pair of Widex hearing aids did a better job filtering out the background noise.
Sonic is another popular hearing aid brand, with some decent prices. Hearing aids can be expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance.
Some users have complained of poor sound quality with the completely in the canal hearing aids, though, so that’s worth noting before you buy.
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