With the exception of audiologists and the rare audio enthusiast, not many people find the subject of hearing aids very interesting. So if the headset is similar to the Lyric, it’s hard to ignore. The lyrical audience is treated to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The Doctors and Dr. seuss. oz. Bloggers and forum members from all over the world have also written about it. As with anything that gets this much attention, some of the information there is correct, though not much. As an independent audiologist and one of the few hundred doctors who actually fit Lyric on patients, I want to offer you my perspective.
“The lyrics are completely invisible.” – Over the years, the term “invisible” has been used quite broadly to describe certain types of hearing aids, although in practice probably “much smaller” and “less attentive than other hearing aids”. For the first time in history, the word “invisible” can be used without reservation. In most patients, the device is placed so far into the ear canal that you cannot see it if you look at it. However, in patients with lower ear canals, this is obvious (if you are looking for it).
“The singing equipment is replaced every 3-4 months.” – TRUE – This device is FDA approved for use by patients up to 4 months. However, most devices die before 4 months of age. The cause of death is usually related to loss of fluid reaching the energy source and relief, or corrosion/clogging caused by earwax. In some patients it takes between 3 and 4 months. In other cases, it can happen much sooner.
“Lyric has no batteries” – Massa – All hearing aids use electricity and therefore batteries.
The electricity has to come from somewhere and most hearing aids don’t want to be plugged in. The difference is that the Lyrics does not use a typical hearing aid battery and there is no battery to replace the media. It has a built-in power supply that cannot be replaced. If the battery is empty, the device cannot be used. So instead of replacing batteries every week, the entire device is replaced every two months.
“Lyric is an analog hearing aid.” – Absolute Truth – While most modern hearing aids use a digital circuit, the Lyric uses an analog amplifier circuit. Digital technology consumes more energy than analog. It would take 3-4 months to run a huge battery in a digital audio circuit. The Lyric needs to be small enough to fit in the ear canal, so the giant battery won’t fit – hence the analog circuitry.
“Lyrics are an outdated/inferior technique.”
– MALSA – This claim is often made by audiologists and hearing aids who do not have access to Lyric. They hear the word “analog” and equate it to hearing aids from the 1970s. It doesn’t work that way. Many of the digital features used in modern hearing aids are required to compensate for the unnatural placement of the hearing aids. When placed 4mm from the eardrum, Lyric preserves the ear’s natural acoustics and resonance, rivaling and often surpassing the best digital hearing aids.
“Lyric’s ordering model is a product of the company’s greed.
” – Malsa – Some critics, mainly outside the audio industry, see the Lyric subscription model as an obvious attempt to raise more money. Although every business wants to make money, I must say that the only practical way to buy in this case is the order model. Song actually offers a no-order/pay-per-device option. If you want to pay $300 to $400 for a device, you can. However, you won’t be happy if the device dies in three weeks instead of three months. The subscription model eliminates the financial disappointment associated with premature device failures.
“Lyrics don’t work for many people.
” – THE TRUTH – Lyric’s maker, InSound Medical, claims that approximately 50% of hearing aid candidates are not good candidates for Lyric. This can be due to the anatomy of the ear, degree of hearing loss, lifestyle or general health. I’ve also found that a patient may start out as a good candidate for the Lyric, but it turns out they have some type of earwax (liquid wax) that consistently destroys the device prematurely. This is one of the reasons why a 30-day trial is necessary. In my experience, the song may not be right for everyone (or even most people), but most who try it will like it.