The Lyric is the first 100% invisible hearing aid that can be worn 24/7, only having to be removed when the unit battery needs to be replaced. The Lyric hearing aid is made by Phonak, a well known hearing aid company, and has been around for many years – they are now on the fourth version of the device.
Below, we have completed an in-depth review of the product to break down each aspect of the device, and provide you with all of the necessary information to see if the Lyric is right for you. Phonak also claims that the Lyric Hearing Aid provides 24/7 relief from tinnitus – does this claim hold up? Let’s take a look.
Device Use And Looks
Appearance is almost as important as functionality when it comes to devices worn on the head. The beauty of the Lyric is that it fits so snugly into the ear canal that it is essentially invisible to others, making it very cosmetically appealing.
The Lyric works by using the natural anatomy of the ear to its advantage. It fits into the ear canal where natural ear canal acoustics enhance the sound quality, and then further amplifies these sounds as needed, providing a more natural sound. After a one to two week period, the Lyric adjusts comfortably into your ear and becomes almost unnoticeable to the user.
Even though this device sits deep in the ear, it conforms well to your ear and is completely safe – once it’s in the ear, it won’t move around. These hearing aids are FDA-approved and have been monitored for over 15 years, being used by hundreds of thousands of patients with only extremely rare cases of users having complications.
In addition to the visual aspect, there are several other helpful features. There are different size options available based on the ear canal size of the user, ranging from XXS to XXL. During the initial fitting, you will be sized to ensure that you are receiving the right hearing aid for your anatomy.
In terms of technical specs, Lyric hearing aids can be worn until the battery dies – which can be up to 120 days. This means that they do not have to constantly be put in and taken out of the ears – once they are fit for your ears, they are not taken out until they need to be replaced. There are no batteries to change or charge. The Lyric Hearing Aids work on a subscription basis, either 1 or 2 years, which includes replacement devices and servicing throughout the subscription period. You can also sleep and shower while wearing them, which is extremely unusual for most hearing devices.
Fitting of the hearing aids is a quick and easy process, taking only around one hour for the initial counseling, placement, and programming. To ensure a perfect fit, a measurement is taken of the ear canal and its diameter to see how far the device will need to be inserted.
The device is then inserted deeply into the ear canal, only 4mm away from the tympanic membrane, with the use of a special placement tool. This deep placement of the device can help maintain directionality and localization, as well as reduce the occlusion effect, which is common with other types of in-the-ear style hearing devices. The device is then programmed using a programming wand and the Phonak Target fitting software.
Once a device wears out after a few months of use, it only takes about 10 minutes to reprogram the replacement device. Patients can even replace the worn-out device on their own after receiving training from their healthcare provider. This means that patients only need to see their healthcare provider for every other Lyric replacement in order for them to evaluate the fit of the device and the health of the ear canal, but are always more than welcome to see their provider for each replacement.
When it comes to every day adjustments, it is extremely easy for the user to adjust the volume of the device, turn it on and off, or put it into sleep mode via the SoundLync – a magnetic adjustment tool. Sleep mode provides acoustic transparency- the Lyric accounts for the damping of sound that the Lyric causes in the ear, so it sounds as though you are not wearing a hearing aid. You can also remove the Lyric from your ear with this SoundLync tool.
A Certified Lyric Fitter will evaluate candidacy based on four main criteria:
- Hearing loss within a mild to moderately-severe fitting range
- Medical history and conditions
- Ear geometry and anatomical features
- Lifestyle (motivation level, the limitation not to swim underwater
or skydive/scuba dive when wearing a device)
Lyric is purchased via a yearly subscription plan that allows for up to 8 replacements per year. Professional and appointment fees vary depending on your insurance plan and your specific provider.
While the ultimate price depends on the provider, it is much more expensive than traditional premium hearing aids at about an annual cost of $3,000 per pair. It is not covered by Medicaid or Medicare, but other insurances may provide some coverage, and your provider may offer some financing options. There is also a risk-free trial session of at least 30 days available.
Comparison To Other Products And Options For Tinnitus Treatment
When we compare the Lyric to other hearing aids, the research shows that the Lyric is as or more effective as traditional hearing devices for tinnitus. A 2016 study showed that the Lyric was as effective as other hearing devices at improving the negative response associated with tinnitus. For Lyric, there was at least a 13 point reduction in the TFI score (a tinnitus measurement) in 82% of participants. For daily wear hearing aids, this was the case for 67% of participants. For participants wearing the daily wear hearing aid plus a noise generator it was 79%. The average improvement in TFI scores was 31 points for Lyric and 21 points for daily HA users and 32 points for daily HA users with masking noise. This means that hearing aids with sound therapy, like those offered in the Treble Maskers Bundle, were the premier approach for tinnitus treatment devices, followed closely by Lyric.
A study from 2017 looked at the benefits of Lyric versus daily wear hearing aids on people’s sleep. Lyric users had a greater reduction in tinnitus within one month as compared to the daily wear group. However, both groups had significant improvements in tinnitus and sleep. The study size was small but Lyric was shown to be more or as effective as other hearing aids. This means that Lyric is an effective tinnitus treatment and hearing aid in general.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of The Lyric Hearing Aid
The Lyric is water-resistant but not waterproof. This means that you should not go swimming and submerge your head underwater without the use of a custom waterproof earplug. Skydiving is also off-limits with the device because the pressure changes can affect both the comfort and functioning of it, however, they are safe to fly in a plane.
Because of the metal parts, the Lyric must be removed before MRIs. If you require frequent MRI’s, you may not want to use the Lyric for your hearing device. However, the replacement appointments are very fast and usually only take a few minutes of your time, so this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Other scans like X-rays and CT (or CAT) scans are generally okay to keep the device in for, but you should tell the technician that you have the hearing aid in.
- Can provide some relief for tinnitus
- Quick placement times
- They do not have to be taken out to sleep
- Water-resistant (you can shower with them in)
- No batteries to change
- Can wear a helmet and play sports with it in
- XXS to XXL range of ear canal sizes
- Can wear external headphones and some earbuds
- Can talk on the phone by placing the phone on your ear
- Not waterproof (no swimming)
- Must be removed for MRIs due to metal parts
- May not work for those with severe hearing loss
- Has no Bluetooth streaming capability
We really like how freeing the Lyric is. You don’t have to charge it, worry about batteries, or take it out for showering and sleeping. This is a game-changer for the world of hearing aids as it’s much less restrictive than many others. While there are a few drawbacks, the Lyric are excellent invisible hearing aids. This is a good hearing aid for tinnitus since it can be worn non-stop, and we support trying this hearing aid for those who qualify.