Phonak is the flagship hearing aid brand of Sonova, the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturer. The company offers one of the broadest lines of hearing aids in the world, and within those lines you can find almost any feature, style, color, and technology that you can imagine. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak has more than 60 years of experience producing premium hearing aids, and has positioned itself as one of the most innovative and consistent hearing aid brands on the market. Phonak continues to push the envelope in an attempt to give everyone with hearing loss a shot at a premium listening experience.
The Phonak Virto M Titanium is another in a long line of innovative hearing aids by Phonak. It is an invisible hearing aid with an outer shell made of titanium. It is so small that it can fit closer to your ear drum which makes it imperceptible to others but also gives it some acoustical advantages as well. It can be challenging to put in and remove as well as changing the battery because of the small size of the device, but it is that size that is also one of its greatest strengths. Because it can fit so far in and so well, it is a very comfortable hearing aid that can also use the size and shape of your ear to improve its acoustics. If you want an invisible hearing aid and have good dexterity in your finger and hands, the Virto M Titanium is a good option to check out. The following is a review and description of that device.
Things to Consider Before Buying
If you are looking for an invisible hearing aid with good sound quality and high end features, the Phonak Virto M Titanium is a good place to start. With the Titanium version of the Virto M, you only have the option of one model and the two highest technology levels that Phonak offers, M70 and M90. The Virto M Titanium is one of the smallest and most discreet devices on the market, and with the help of the titanium fitting guide it can be placed as far into the ear canal as is safely possible. The titanium construction makes it extremely durable, looks great, easy to clean, and even helps with the acoustics of the device. There is very little wind noise or feedback and it is not really affected by the elements because of where it is placed. The device is so small that it can be difficult to work with, and some people may prefer a larger device
- It is a virtually invisible hearing aid, an Invisible-In-the-Canal (IIC) style.
- The titanium construction makes it as durable as any you will find in the market as well as easy to clean.
- The titanium fit guide takes into account the flexibility of the ear canal to make it even more invisible than past models.
- Custom fit to the size and shape of your ear.
- The fitting process done by your audiologist means that it will fit better than most other hearing aids.
- The IP68 rating means that it is dust and water resistant, but the device should be removed prior to bathing, swimming, or any other time they could be submerged in water.
- The occlusion effect is much less obvious than most IIC hearing aids.
- AutoSense 3.0 means that your hearing aids adjust automatically to your listening environment.
- Many of the same features and technology found in the Marvel line of hearing aids are present in the Virto M Titanium.
- Only IIC styles are available so if you are looking for anything larger, you are out of luck.
- No streaming or connectivity features available.
- For the higher end technology models, you could pay $5,000 or more for a pair.
- The size is dependent on your ear canal which means that not everyone will be eligible to use the device.
- May require more in-office maintenance than other hearing aids.
- You need good dexterity in your hands and fingers to change the battery and to put them in and take them out.
Features & Benefits (link a benefit to each feature)
Design/Type of Hearing Aid
The Phonak Virto M Titanium hearing aids are some of the smallest CIC hearing aids you will find. Their titanium construction means that the outer shell is considerably thinner than any acrylic hearing aid and stronger too. There is a titanium fitting guide that allows you to take the flexibility of your ear canal into account offering you the best and deepest fit possible. It is one of the most well designed and durable hearing aids you will find. The Virto M Titanium was created for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
Fit and Wearability
When you purchase the Phonak Virto M Titanium, you are also purchasing a custom fitting from an audiologist or other hearing healthcare professional. These hearing aids are placed in your ear canal, close to your eardrum, and as such they must be fitted to your particular ear size and shape. The fitting is professional and customized and so are the settings and features of the device itself, but once those things are taken care of, the wearability of this hearing aid becomes one of its greatest features. It is so small and lightweight that it is one of the most comfortable devices you will find and the fact that it is virtually invisible makes it a desirable hearing aid.
There are no rechargeable versions of the Virto M Titanium, but instead the device uses a disposable battery. On average you will get about 60 hours of usage with the size 10 battery, but that depends greatly on your level of hearing loss. While a rechargeable option is more convenient, it is not yet possible in a device as small as the Virto M Titanium. It is also important to note that changing a battery every five days in a device this small takes some dexterity that not all hearing aid wearers possess.
- Sound quality
Uses UltraZoom and Real Ear Sound to both pinpoint the direction of speech and other sounds. The ability to pinpoint specific sounds allows you to hear speech with more clarity and to more clearly hear the things that you need to hear. There are multiple microphones in each Virto M device so that they can work together to triangulate sounds.
Almost any hearing aid is going to take some time to adapt to. However, the small size and professional customization and fitting that go along with the Virto M Titanium make these hearing aids much easier to adapt to than most. They sit so far in your ear that you do not physically see them, and after a while you do not even think about them anymore. They use the natural shape and acoustics of your ear to aid in hearing, and the occlusion that is common with many hearing aids is virtually non-existent with these.
- Noise cancellation
WhistleBlock and WindBlock work together to take away two of the most annoying noises that can affect a person with hearing aids. They work together with NoiseBlock to effectively cut down on the amount of ambient and extra noises that creep into your hearing aids. The size and placement of these IIC hearing aids also help to keep out any extra environmental noises.
With most In-The-Ear (ITE) hearing aids, occlusion is one of the most annoying aspects of the device. Because of where they sit, many of them cause you to hear your own voice differently when speaking or to make chewing and yawning louder than they are without hearing aids. The Phonak Virto M Titanium hearing aids are so small and fit so deeply inside your ear, the occlusion effect is largely removed.
- Adaptive noise reduction
Noise Block Processing is Phonak’s noise reduction technology. It is effective at reducing the environmental noise, especially in louder environments, that may make hearing more difficult or uncomfortable. NoiseBlock can also reduce the very loud and uncomfortable noises in your environment so you can focus on the sounds that are important. NoiseBlock recognizes speech and differentiates it from non-speech sounds so that it can remove the unwanted noise and you can focus on speech.
- Automatic sound adjustment based on environment
AutoSense 3.0 is one of the features that sets the Marvel line of hearing aids apart. With AutoSense 3.0 your hearing aids can sense your environment and adjust settings and features to predetermined levels based on your environment. With this feature, you do not even have to touch your device or the app as your hearing aids do the work for you.
There are no direct streaming options with the Phoank Virto M Titanium hearing aids. Headphones can fit over your ears when the hearing aids are in place, and you can listen like you would listen to anything else through your hearing aids.
Some Virto M Titanium models are compatible with Roger Microphones when using an external receiver.
Unique Perks and Features
One of the biggest downsides of the Phonak Virto M Titanium is that it does not connect to other devices. It is a small hearing aid, and you cannot connect directly even to other Bluetooth-enabled devices because the Virto M Titanium does not have Bluetooth technology.
The Phonak Virto M Titanium is made from medical grade titanium that is durable and lightweight. It is more durable than any acrylic hearing aid on the market, and because of its strength and durability the outer shell can be made much thinner than any other material out there. Because the shell is so much thinner, Phonak has the room to include more technology within the device while keeping it one of the smallest hearing aids on the market.
Invisible Hearing Aids
After in depth study of why so few people who need hearing aids actually get them, Phonak found that the stigma associated with hearing loss and subsequent hearing aid usage was one of the major reasons people who suffered from hearing loss would not purchase hearing aids. By making some of the smallest hearing aids on the market that sit far enough inside your ear canal that they are invisible, much of the stigma that comes along with hearing aids is gone because people do not even know they are there.
The personalization and customization of this device is one of its most important features. The Phonak Virto M TItanium is one of the smallest hearing aids on the market, and as such there are some challenges to it. It is difficult to put in and take out, the battery can be challenging, and there is no streaming or Bluetooth connectivity. The reason that people like this device is because it is invisible and comfortable to wear. There are some really good technology features as well, but it is the ability to customize this device and place it deep inside your ear canal that sets the Virto M Titanium apart.
- Titanium Fit Guide
One of the reasons that the Phonak Virto M Titanium can be placed farther into the ear canal than most other IIC devices is the titanium fit guide. The ear impressions that are taken to make an earpiece like the Virto M Titanium are static in nature. Your ear canal, on the other hand, is flexible. The titanium fit guide takes that flexibility into account and allows you the best and most discreet fit possible.
The “Tinnitus Balance Noise Generator” generates a broadband sound for use in tinnitus management therapies. You can either mask the effects of tinnitus or add a sound therapy like “Tinnitus Retraining Therapy” to train your ears to fight against it.
The Phonak Virto M Titanium can be found, at the highest technology level, for upwards of $5,000 or more per pair. The titanium construction along with the host of features in a small body make the device more expensive than most. If you get the lower technology level, you could find the Phonak Virto M Titanium for a slightly lower price.
- How much does the Phonak Virto M Titanium cost?
The cost of the Virto M Titanium depends on where you purchase it, which technology level you use, and how customized you need the fit. If you get the higher technology level it could cost $5,000 or more and as low as $4,000 for a pair of the lower technology level.
- Is the Phonak Virto rechargeable?
No. The Phonak Virto M Titanium uses replaceable zinc air batteries. The batteries average about 60 hours of use, but that depends on the level of hearing loss and the way that each person uses their hearing aid. While many hearing aid wearers are moving to a rechargeable option, the Virto M Titanium is too small to have that option available.
- Who makes Titanium hearing aids?
Phonak produces the titanium line of hearing aids. Titanium is lightweight, very strong and durable, and it allows Phonak to make one of the thinnest shells in the hearing aid world. This extra space allows for more technology and the titanium is both extremely durable and easy to clean.
- What is an invisible hearing aid?
One of the reasons that many people who would benefit from hearing aids do not wear them is because of the stigma that comes when people know that you have hearing aids in your ears. Invisible hearing aids were made to fight against that stigma, and it has been successful. Invisible hearing aids, or IIC devices, sit inside your ear canal, and the smallest of these devices are virtually imperceptible to the rest of the world. There are other benefits to IIC hearing aids as well, but the invisible nature of them is what really sets them apart and what make many people desire this style of hearing aid.
There are a lot of “invisible” hearing aids on the market, but the Phonak Virto M Titanium is one of the smallest. The titanium construction makes it durable and lightweight so that the fit is comfortable. WIth the titanium fit guide you can get the Virto M Titanium as deep into the ear canal as possible so that it is imperceptible to anyone else. In addition to the invisible nature of the hearing aid, you also get the sound quality and speech clarity that the Marvel line of Phonak hearing aids are known for. If you want a high quality, invisible hearing aid that fits comfortably and provides good sound quality, the Virot M Titanium is a good choice. There are other Virto Marvel devices that are small and discreet, but none of the other devices sit as far in the ear canal as this one does.