Hearing aids have transformed how people with hearing loss communicate and interact with the world. Small hearing aids have become a popular choice for many. But what are they and why are they becoming so popular?
Small hearing aids are discreet and designed for subtlety and comfort. They nestle in or behind the ear. They are nearly invisible.
The reason small hearing aids are popular is that a person with hearing loss can wear them without detection. In a society where hearing loss can still be stigmatized, these devices provide a subtle way to cope with hearing loss–without interference from others.
Second, the technological advancements in small hearing aids make them not just compact, but also powerful. Despite their size, they come packed with features such as noise cancellation, connectivity options, and personalized settings.
In short, small hearing aids bring together the best of both worlds–cutting-edge technology packaged in a discreet design–making them a popular choice for many.
What Are Small Hearing Aids?
Small hearing aids, often referred to as mini or invisible hearing aids, sit discreetly in the ear canal. Despite their tiny size, they pack a punch in terms of functionality and sound amplification.
In recent decades, the focus on aesthetics and comfort has driven the trend toward smaller designs. Today's small hearing aids, nearly invisible when worn, have made them more accessible for people who prefer discretion when wearing them.
When coping with hearing loss, finding the right hearing aid can be an important step toward improving daily life and social activities.
Small hearing aids, while compact in size, deliver powerful performance, making them significantly beneficial for users. Along with their discreet design, these devices have many advantages.
Advantages of small hearing aids:
Light and comfortable
Less affected by wind noise
May feel more natural
The Downside of Small Hearing Aids
Despite the many advantages of small hearing aids, they may not be the best fit for everyone. There are some potential drawbacks to consider when choosing these small devices.
Let's explore some reasons why small hearing aids might not be the best option for some people with hearing loss.
Limited power: Small hearing aids may be inappropriate for severe to profound hearing loss due to their limited power.
Battery life: A small size often means a smaller battery, which might mean more frequent battery changes or recharging.
Manual adjustments: Because they're small, changing settings or volume might be tricky for people with poor dexterity.
Durability: Due to their small size, small hearing aids can be delicate and may not withstand rough handling.
Wax buildup: Small hearing aids placed in the ear canal are more prone to earwax and moisture.
No extra features: While small hearing aids do have advanced features, their size leaves little room for other extras like telecoil or directional microphones.
Who Are Small Hearing Aids For?
While small hearing aids have many benefits, they may not be right for everyone. Understanding how these devices are designed can help you make a more informed decision.
Small hearing aids work well for people who:
have mild to moderate hearing loss
care about how hearing aids look
wear glasses or play sports often
prefer smaller, less visible hearing aids
Now let's look at the best four small hearing aids in 2023.
1. Eargo 7
The Eargo 7 is a small hearing aid with top sound quality. It fits completely inside the ear, making it nearly invisible.
Can buy over the counter (OTC)
Removable mic cap and petal tip
Clearer speech in any environment
Self-fitting technology with a personalized listening experience
Price: $2,590-$2,950 ($360 discount for limited time; visit website for more details)
The Eargo is ideal for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. This is a comfortable solution packed with premium features, making it the ideal choice.
2. Phonak Virto Paradise
Phonak Virto Paradise is a custom-made hearing aid that looks like a wireless earbud. It's both stylish and high-tech.
Universal connectivity from Bluetooth-enabled devices
Speech Enhancer to boost low-sounding speech
Superb sound quality
Compatible with Roger devices
Price: $1,500 to $3,500
The Phonak Virto Paradise is most suitable for those who prefer the custom solution paired with the best hearing performance.
3. Starkey Genesis AI
The Starkey Genesis AI is a hearing aid that uses AI and sensors for an incredible hearing experience.
Durable and discreet
Fall detection and emergency alerts
Fitness and health monitoring
Optimizes sound quality on demand
Fans of the Starkey Genesis AI appreciate the traditional style that comes with its advanced features.
4. Audicus Mini
Audicus Mini is a customized hearing aid that fits directly in the ear canal, making it invisible.
Auto-adjustable based on the environment
Suppresses feedback noise
The Audicus Mini is ideal for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and want an affordable option.
When picking a small hearing aid, think about the features and design that suit your lifestyle and needs. The Eargo 7, Phonak Virto Black, Starkey Genesis AI, and Audicus Mini are great choices for 2023. They all offer virtually invisible designs and helpful features like noise reduction, sharp sound, and custom settings.
Talk to a hearing care professional about the best small hearing aid for you so you can enjoy better hearing with comfort and style.
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The founder of Being Access-able, an accessibility resource hub for brands and entrepreneurs. She also writes about accessibility and advocacy.