Find helpful hearing aid information including wearing styles, leading manufacturers, the latest models and more. Dr. Kevin Ivory provides comprehensive hearing aid services to those in La Cañada Flintridge and surrounding areas.
Though small, and often invisible, hearing aids are powerful electronic devices that reconnect you to the sounds of your life and empower you with confidence in your hearing abilities. Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes, but they all share the same components: microphone, processor, amplifier, receiver, and battery. The configuration of these components differ depending on the style of the hearing aid. Check out our quick guide to buying hearing aids.
The main hearing aid styles are:
Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids look like BTE hearing aids; the difference is that the receiver is worn in the canal. RIC hearing aids are discreet and treat a wide range of degrees of hearing loss. Like BTE ones, they may pose a challenge for those who wear glasses due to their placement.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are worn on the back of the ear with a plastic tube that delivers sound to a custom ear mold. BTE hearing aids are easier to control and treat a wide range of degrees of hearing loss. They may be inconvenient for people who wear glasses, but the placement of their controls will be easy for people who have dexterity issues.
Completely-In-Canal hearing aids are similar to IIC in that they are custom made and fit inside your ear canal. Only a very small “tip” of the hearing aid or a small clear plastic “handle” will show with CIC hearing aids. Most people who choose CIC hearing aids report that people typically do not know they are wearing hearing aids. CIC hearing aids are also most suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are worn inside the ear, with the shell of the hearing aid at the surface of the ear. The options are full shell or half shell. ITE hearing aids house all of their components in a plastic shell. While these hearing aids benefit people who wear glasses or experience arthritis, they may not be convenient for those who have dexterity issues due to their small controls.
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are a form of in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, which are worn deep inside the ear canal. These are usually custom made devices made to fit inside your canal, which gives them the benefit of being visually discreet. ITC hearing aids may be difficult for people with dexterity issues to control, while the lack of a directional microphone means they are better suited for people with moderate levels of hearing loss. They come in completely-in-canal and invisible-in-canal styles.
Although all modern hearing aids are small and discreet, IIC hearing aids are by far the least detectable. These hearing aids are custom made to fit your ear’s anatomy and fit further into the ear canal than other hearing aid style – thus causing them to become completely invisible. These hearing aids are suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
We offer a wide variety of hearing aid brands and options from the top hearing aid manufacturers in the world. Below is a list of the manufacturers we most often recommend for our patients. In addition to the brands listed below, we can also service hearing aids by Siemens, Sonic, Rexton and more.
Oticon is a Danish manufacturer of hearing aids, with the new open-solution hearing aid, OPN S. OPN S builds on previous Oticon technological successes, such as BrainHearing Technology. With the understanding that hearing happens in the brain, Oticon has designed features to support brain function as it makes sense of sound in the auditory process.
Powered with the new Velox S Processing Platform, OPN S reduces listening effort by 20% in noisy environments and improves speech recognition by 30%. OPN’s most remarkable innovation is the ability to connect to the internet through the web service If-This-Then-That (IFTTT).
Founded in 1967, Starkey Hearing Technologies is committed to their mission, “Alone we can’t do much. Together, we can change the world.” As the sole American hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey Hearing Technologies created the first in-canal hearing aid and first custom, digital and fully programmable hearing aid. Their latest innovation, the Livio, is the first to incorporate artificial intelligence and activity sensors.
Starkey uses evidence-based design and research to update their hearing aids, thoroughly testing them at the Starkey Hearing Research Center in Berkeley, California. The Starkey Hearing Foundation donates hearing aids to developing countries for every purchase made of a Starkey hearing aid; to date they have gifted over 1 million hearing aids.
Phonak is one of the top manufacturers in the world. With their Lyric hearing aids, Phonak is the first company to unveil truly 100% invisible hearing aids, that are intended to be work 24/7, for months at a time.
With a full range of hearing products and new rechargeable hearing aid technology, users can now enjoy superior hearing performance while freeing themselves from the hassles of disposable batteries.
Their latest product, the Marvel, was the first hearing aid with the ability to stream directly from Android and iOS (Apple) smartphones. Phonak also offers custom-made titanium hearing aids equipped with Binaural VoiceStream™, Roger Wireless, and AutoSense OS technologies.
Signia came into its own in recent years with the Primax, NX and Xperience listening platforms. Signia was the brand previously owned by Siemens Hearing Instruments and is currently part of WS Audiology (which also owns Widex).
Signia Xperience hearing aids are powered by YourSound technology, which combines superior sound processing with acoustic motion sensors. These next-generation hearing devices deliver enhanced sound localization, own voice detection and signal-to-noise ratio to help deliver natural soundscapes.
Widex was a family owned company founded in Denmark in 1956. Most recently, they owned with the owners of Signia to create WS Audiology. As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hearing aids, their approach to innovation has led to such advances as the world’s first fully digital in-the-ear hearing aid, as well as their own revolutionary wireless technology.
Widex believes that hearing aids are more than the technology inside them. In addition to focusing on helping people hear better, Widex also ensures their products are comfortable and easy to wear. Widex focuses just as much on design of hearing aids as on technology to create a near-natural hearing experience.
Widex’s newest model, EVOKE connects wirelessly to your cell phone and allows you to stream calls, music, and other media directly to your hearing aids. The Evoke hearing aids are also the first to use machine learning, which allows the devices to adjust and adapt over time.
ReSound is among the leading hearing aid manufacturers offering advanced hearing technology. Resound was founded in 1943 and has been a force in the industry producing reliable, innovative hearing aid technology. ReSound focuses on creating technology to make their hearing aids smarter, and better able to adapt to their users.
ReSound is responsible for the ReSound LiNX, the first Apple-certified "MFi" or Made for iPhone hearing aid that connects directly to the iPhone or other iOS device without any intermediary devices. Their latest iteration, the LiNX Quattro, offers direct streaming and rechargeable capabilities.
Founded in 1964, Unitron is a Canadian hearing aid manufacturer owned by Sonova Group (one of the largest hearing aid producers). Unitron develops reliable hearing aids with innovative features. They are committed to outstanding product performance, design, and customer satisfaction. Their latest product, Unitron Discover, uses their new SoundCore technology that classifies sound more precisely than previous models.
Audiologist & University Instructor Dr. Kevin Ivory offers comprehensive hearing aid services. Services include hearing aid evaluations, hearing aid fittings/programming, real ear measurements, hearing aid maintenance, and hearing aid repairs.
The process of adjusting to hearing aids requires professional guidance from a trusted audiologist. Dr. Kevin Ivory will ensure you are fitted with the best hearing aid for your situation and program them using real ear measurements.
The importance of a properly fitted and programmed hearing aid cannot be emphasized enough. Learn more about the process of hearing aid fittings & programming.
Real-Ear Measurements are the gold standard used to determine whether or not a hearing aid user is receiving the precise level of amplification needed at every frequency in order to achieve the best hearing improvement possible.
During Real-Ear Measurements, a thin probe microphone is inserted into the ear canal alongside the hearing aid. The audiologist obtains readings of the exact sound levels the patient is receiving from the hearing aid while listening to various recorded speech samples (live speech mapping).
This part of the process doesn’t require a behavioral response from the patient and the audiologist can then precisely adjust the sound levels to match target amplification levels based on the hearing aid user’s hearing loss across the speech frequencies. You are able to “see” what you are hearing through your hearing aids on a screen in real-time.
Dr. Ivory is one of less than 30% of hearing care providers that routinely uses Real-Ear Measures when programming hearing aids and never “guesses” the prescription. Hearing aid fittings using real ear measurements result in superior outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, higher long-term benefit and usage, as well as, improved aided benefit both in quiet and in noise.
Learn more about Real Ear Measurements
Getting hearing aids doesn’t mean your journey to better hearing ends. After purchasing hearing aids, we walk you through the adjustment period that accompanies new hearing aids as well answer any questions or concerns that may arise.
We'll also schedule periodic clean & check appointments. During these appointments Dr. Ivory will professionally clean your aids and ensure they are working at their best for you.
While you may take daily steps to care for your hearing aids at home, we recommend that you bring your hearing aids in for repair if they should malfunction. Dr. Ivory is trained to provide repair services for hearing aids manufactured by the major hearing aid brands.
Often times repairs can be performed on the spot, while you wait in our comfortable office. If your devices require extensive repairs, we will send them to the manufacturer on your behalf to get them in great working order once again.
Learn more about Hearing Aid Repair Services