Phonak recently unveiled their Virto B-Titanium hearing aids. Virto hearing aids have been available for quite some time, as they are simply Phonak’s name for completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aids. What makes the B-Titanium so exciting is that the traditional acrylic casing of most hearing aids has been replaced with titanium on this model. The Virto B Titanium invisible hearing aids come in two performance levels, the V70 and V90. The main difference between the two is that with the V90 model, there are more programming channels for your audiologist to make adjustments to better match your unique hearing prescription and profile.
Pros of Phonak Virto B Titanium Hearing Aids
Using titanium in their new hearing aids has allowed these hearing aids to be extremely tiny and virtually invisible. Titanium takes up about half the space of the acrylic that is typically used as the casing for hearing aids. Because of this, these titanium hearing aids are extremely discreet. They are also highly comfortable, as they are custom molded to fit perfectly inside your ear canal. Phonak uses their new Titanium FitGuide to help ensure that these hearing aids are even more discreet than ever before, by measuring how deep a hearing aid can be safely and comfortably inserted into each individual’s ear canal.
These hearing aids are a great option for those who do not want anyone to know they wear hearing aids, without the need to give up any of the features or technology one may expect from larger devices. Although Virto B-Titanium can be made a accommodate severe hearing loss, they are not recommended for those with severe or profound loss, unless a patient is unwilling to wear slightly more visible aids.
Technology and Features
Unlike most invisible in the canal hearing aids, with these hearing aids wearers do not need to forego advanced technology and features for size. Using titanium rather than acrylic, Phonak was able to keep most of the technology in-tact.
Cons of Phonak Virto B Titanium Hearing Aids
The most important issue with hearing aids that are not wireless is that they do not allow inter-ear communication. This means that your hearing aids will not be able to transmit information back and forth. Hearing aids equipped with inter-ear communication abilities tend to perform better in distinguishing background noise and communicating in noisy environments, as they are able to work more similarly to your natural ears and hearing.
Limited Button Control
These hearing aids do have one button that can be used as either volume control or program control. For people who like to adjust their hearing aids manually this can be an issue. We usually give patients the volume control option, however, because the auto sense on the Phonak hearing aids is so good, that it typically does a better job choosing and setting a program than the wearer would herself.
Phonak Virto B Titanium Versus Starkey SoundLens
The Starkey SoundLens is also an invisible in the canal hearing aid that is quite discreet. When out of the ear, the SoundLens looks quite a bit smaller than the Virto B Titanium. When in the ear, however, the SoundLens has been found to be about the same degree of invisibility as the B Titanium.
In terms of performance, the Virto B Titanium seems to deliver a better overall experience for wearers than the Starkey SoundLens in all other areas.
Overall, if you are a person who values the aesthetic look of hearing aids, does not want to give up many features and does not mind hearing aids that are not wireless, the Phonak Virto B Titanium aids may be a good fit for you.