Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing instruments are the smallest and least visible of custom ITEs. First introduced in 1993, CIC instruments have since grown in popularity to comprise about 15% of all hearing instruments dispensed (HIA statistics, 3rd Quarter, 2001). Today’s CICs range from analog linear to digital programmable, and have a great number of benefits beyond their cosmetic value including enhanced telephone use, improved sound localization, wind noise reduction, and high frequency gain.
This section of The Hearing Review is intended to provide information about the latest CIC hearing instruments. Descriptions of the products listed below were provided by the manufacturers upon request of The Hearing Review.

image Audina Hearing Instruments
Audina Hearing Instruments’ CIC programmable product line includes: the Nueve Digital nine-channel instrument with expansion technology; the new Paragon 4 digital with choice of syllabic, phonemic, fast-fast, slow-slow and twin-average detection time constants in each independent channel; the DynamEQ3 with eight adjustable parameters, including expansion, feedback control, and AGC-o limiting; the DynamEQII with WDRC; and AGC-o circuitry with compression limiting. All programmable and digital technology uses the company’s ezFIT software. In addition, the company’s conventional CIC product line includes K-Amp, DynamEQII, DynamEQI, Class D, and AGc-o circuitry. Longwood, FL: (800) 323-7700.

imageBell Hearing Instruments
Bell Hearing’s CIC is available with 100% digital, programmable and non-programmable circuit options. The circuits include the Summit 100% digital and Pro-Dynam EQ II, Pro-Dynam EQ 3 and Pro-Output compression. All programmables are available with the optional multi-memory wand. These models are programmed via flex connect cables and the company’s Quick-Fit software. The non-programmable models are Class A linear, Class D, K-Amp, and Dynam EQII. Models are available in eight shell colors with four faceplate color options. Oldsmar, FL: (800) 535-0516

imageBeltone Electronics Corp.
The Beltone Invisa CIC is available with four programmable digital circuit options including the Lumina multi-channel WDRC circuit with curvi-linear compression, Speech Pattern Detection™, and Silencer System™. The Polara, Silica, and Beltone Digital circuits are designed to meet the specific DSP and budget needs of patients. The programmable CIC line also includes the CSPII-P, K-amp-P, and Linear-P analog-programmable circuits. Two non-programmable circuits, the K-Amp and Class-D linear circuits, are available.

imageElectone
Electone offers CIC models across its range of custom products, including Class A and Class D linear, Class D AGC-O, K-AMP, and DynamEQ®-II compression, SDM™ and The Pointe™ programmable instruments, and its latest 100% digital product, Sierra™. A manually adjustable hearing instrument, Sierra offers a high-quality input/output compression function and is virtually distortion free, according to the company. While all circuits are appropriate for mild-to-moderate hearing losses, Class D and Class D AGC-O circuits are also appropriate for severe hearing losses. Longwood, FL: (800) 432-7483.

imageLotus Technology
Lotus Technology Inc offers CIC hearing instruments with an array of circuits and options, including a programmable AGC-O circuit with five adjustable parameters, and the Legacy™, a higher-performance 100% four-channel DSP circuit, designed to fit a wide variety of hearing losses with high quality digital sound. Each of the Legacy’s four channels feature adjustable compression ratios and attack and release times. The AGC-O and Legacy CICs are available with screw-set volume controls and multi-memory buttons, and are programmed via PC fitting software and HI-PRO interface. Mooresville, NC: (877) 483-1072.

imageBernafon Inc.
Bernafon provides 100% digital, programmable and conventional CICs to fit patients with mild to moderate hearing losses.
Smile hearing instruments combine the advantages of DSP with flexibility. Smile features two programs, two channels, a five-band equalizer for fitting flexibility and an optional remote control.
Audioflex features two memories with a flexible four-filter network designed for easy fitting. An optional remote control is also included.
The Opus2 CIC features an optional Class H circuit. Bernafon Inc., Eden Prairie, MN: (888) 941-4200

imageGN ReSound
The GN ReSound Canta is available in two CIC models. The Canta7 710 CIC features advanced noise reduction strategies, 64-band Spectral Enhancement and Digital Feedback Suppression with no gain reduction, according to the company. The Canta4 410 CIC features the company’s patented Digital Cochlea Dynamics signal processing and a subset of its noise reduction strategies and feedback suppression. Bloomington, MN: (800) 248-4327.

imageMagnatone
Magnatone’s CIC instruments are available in a wide array of circuits. The company’s TruVoice™ 100% digital CIC offers a choice of a one-, two-, or four-channel circuit in a single instrument. Other models include Class A, Class D, programmable AGCo, programmable EQ3, and the One-Touch with digital VC. Available options include multi-memory switch, on-off switch, and manual VC. In addition, the company’s DigiPro 6 software is NOAH compatible. Casselberry, FL: (800) 327-5159.

imageMicro-Tech
Micro-Tech offers a full line of CIC instruments, including the 100% digital Dx3 and the programmable Nx2 with Resonance Booster. Dx3 harnesses the flexibility of digital processing in a coherent straightforward approach while providing excellent sound quality, according to the company. In addition, the Nx2 combines dual-band versatility with a unique Resonance Booster. Plymouth, MN: (800) 745-4327.

imagePhonak
Phonak introduces two new digital CICs, the Claro 11 and the Aero. The Claro 11 incorporates digital perception processing, automatic program selection, fine-scale noise cancellation, and a digital microphone into a CIC instrument. The signal processing is digitized from the microphone to the receiver. The Aero CIC is a digital custom instrument that offers a choice of signal processing strategies and three programmable memories. Warrenville, IL: (800) 777-7333.

imageSiemens Hearing Instruments
Siemens offers its Phoenix™ CIC, which features several fitting controls and contains basic digital signal processing for quality performance and easy adjustments. The Prisma™ CIC features digital signal processing, voice activity detection, multiple channels and high-resolution response shaping and compression. The Music® digital CIC is a digital version of the Music analog hearing instrument. The company also offers programmable Music and Infiniti™ 3 CICs, and the fully digital Signia™ Select CIC, which features ConTrast™, a speech processing system that reportedly uses artificial intelligence that monitors the input signal, analyzes it and decides how to process the sound for optimum hearing in many environments. Piscataway, NJ: (800) 766-4500.

imageOticon Inc.
The Adapto CIC, the newest premium digital instrument from Oticon, is 56% smaller than its predecessor and reportedly features a 30% reduction in battery consumption. The instrument addresses the challenges of poor speech understanding, feedback and occlusion through: VoiceFinder,™ a combined speech detection and comfort system designed to maximize speech understanding; OpenEar Acoustics,™ a dynamic feedback cancellation system that allows for larger vents designed to eliminate occlusion; and Client-Focused Fitting,™ an individualized hearing solution that incorporates the users’ lifestyle and hearing aid experience. Somerset, NJ; (800) 526-3921.

imageRexton
Rexton offers a wide selection of CIC hearing instruments with today’s latest technological advancements, from conventional to 100% digital, including the new 3D Ultra, as well as Sensation and gran-D Custom digital hearing instruments. The 3D Ultra CIC utilizes 100% digital technology to provide high sound quality. 3D offers up to three programmable memories, sensitive voice processing, microphone noise reduction, and a full-shell and half-shell directional microphone option. In addition, the Optifit and Timeloop programming features are designed to further enhance the performance of this digital circuit. Plymouth, MN: (800) 876-1141.

imageStarkey Laboratories
Starkey Laboratories’ new Genesis product line offers a variety of unique completely-in-the-canal choices with flexible configurations. The company’s newest digital CIC instruments include: Axent,™ Sequel II,™ and Endeavour.™ Axent is designed to offer fitting flexibility, and features feedback cancellation, noise management, adaptive noise reduction and a host of programmable features. The company also offers the Libra Digital Hearing System, Gemini Digital Hearing System, and Aries Digital Hearing System digital CIC instruments. Eden Prairie, MN: (800) 328-8602.

imageTrillium Hearing Technologies
Trillium offers an array of CIC digital technology: the Rival Series, featuring the new Rival D7 (7-channel 14 band), the Rival D3 (3 channel-7 band), and the Rival D2 (2 channel-7 band). The company’s products offer microphone noise reduction, multi-memories, a speech management system, and a choice of digital or user VC. The Rival D7 has a maximum drain of 0.7mA, reportedly increasing battery life up to 30%. Clearwater, FL: (866) 449-9757.

imageWidex
Widex offers a wide variety of digital CICs. The Senso Plus CIC offers a cross-channel Speech Intensification System (SIS), Sound Stabilizer compression technology, Automatic Output Control (AOC), extended input dynamic range up to 100 dB SPL, Direct Digital Drive (DDD), feedback management circuitry, and long battery life. The company also offers the Senso Performance Series CIC and the new Bravo CIC that features compression with expansion. Widex’s digital CICs can be fit by a hand-held programmer or through Compass Fitting Software. Long Island City, NY: (800) 221-0188

imageSonic Innovations
Sonic Innovations’ completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are available in its Natura® 2 SE and Altair™ product lines. The Natura 2 SE CIC is reportedly clinically proven to enhance speech intelligibility in the presence of background noise. The Altair CIC hearing aid offers digital technology at an affordable price. Salt Lake City; (888) 423-7834.

imageUnited Hearing Systems
United Hearing Systems (UHS) CICs are designed to offer small size, comfort, reliability and value in one hearing instrument, according to the company. Intended for mild-to-moderate severe hearing loss, the company’s CICs are available with digital, programmable, analog, IROS venting, and soft shell options. Central Village, CT: (800) 835-2001.

imageUnitron
Unitron Hearing’s CIC instrument is available with a wide variety of digital, programmable, and non-programmable circuit options to address a wide range of hearing losses. Digital options include Nexus and Axiom. Nexus CIC offers the flexibility of digital sound quality and narrow-band noise reduction. Axiom CIC offers four distinct processing schemes that automatically engage as the listening situation changes. Both Nexus and Axiom CICs come with a push-button switch for changing memory. The software allows for up to three independent memories to be programmed into the CIC instruments. Both are also software upgradeable as new technologies become available. Programmable options include Sound F/X series, Quadrasound, Triad, and OnQue, and non-programmable options include Enhanced Linear, AGC-O, K-AMP, Sound F/X and Manhattan II. Plymouth, MN; (800) 888-8882.