Deaf in One Ear ?

There are three main difficulties for those people who suffer complete deafness in one ear:

  1. Loss of localising sound direction – using just the one ear makes it very difficult to know where sounds have come from.
  2. Understanding speech in noise – the brain has an amazing ability to suppress out unwanted sounds, but it can only do this when listening in stereo.
  3. The head shadow effect – low frequency sounds are longer in wavelength and can travel around the head, but high frequency sounds are shorter in wavelength and are shielded by the head. And because high frequency components of speech dictate clarity this makes it difficult for people to follow conversations from their dead side without turning their head all the time.

CROS and BiCROS hearing aid solutions are for those who suffer with total deafness in one ear.


CROS stands for ‘Contra-lateral Routing of Signal‘.


CROS hearing aids are used by those who have 1 dead ear + 1 ear with NO hearing loss.

Bi-CROS hearing aid solutions are  for those who have 1 dead ear + 1 ear WITH hearing loss.



Latest CROS Hearing Aids

There are several leading brands offering good CROS solutions

Phonak offer both behind ear (RIC) and custom in ear (ITC) products, and a rechargeable RIC.

Signia now offer the SILK CROS which is a very discreet IIC solution, and also rechargeable RIC, and now the first ever made-for-iphone (MFi) CROS hearing aids in Signia Nx range.

Widex can link a stylish RIC CROS aid to a CIC aid (or any other style)

(Styles explained here)

Find out more – CLICK THE LINKS

Resound, Oticon, Bernafon and Starkey do not offer CROS hearing aids

Please watch this excellent video by Phonak

(Note: CROS II has been superseded)

What is the best set-up?

Firstly, for both CROS and BiCROS you require a CROS hearing aid (in the dead ear) AND a hearing aid (in the good / better ear).

If you have a perfectly good ear and require a CROS hearing aid solution you just need the most basic level hearing aid available in the good side to pick up the signal from the CROS hearing aid. Cosmetics may then dictate which brand you opt for.

But, when you need a BiCROS, we recommend the Phonak CROS hearing aid alongside the best level of Phonak hearing aid to suit your budget – and set up with a Phonak remote control. Then ask your Audiologist to set up the push button the hearing aids to act as a CROS balance (a see-saw volume effect to raise the volume on either aide, the volume on the remote can adjust overall volume in sync on both sides (up and down), and you can have an extra programme with the CROS turned off.

Hopefully soon manufacturers will develop a solution that integrates the above features into a phone app which will allow better control without an accessory, along with direct phone and TV streaming. Watch this space!

An alternative to the above is the Signia Nx made-for-iphone set up using the Signia MyControl app – download the app here and try the demo mode.

With Signia Nx Bi-CROS you have the added benefit of being able to use the Spatial Configurator in the MyControl phone App to choose which direction you want sounds to be focused – a key benefit you do not get with the Phonak Bi_CROS. (more on ‘made for iphone / android’ here)


signia spatial confirgurator


Signia SILK CROS – In-Ear

Signia have introduced  CROS hearing aid technology in their SIGNIA SILK miniature in-ear modular hearing aids, using high speed inter ear wireless hearing aid transmission technology.


signia silk domes
Rechargeable CROS Hearing Aids


Dear John, Just to let you know that I have already received my hearing aids back from Phonak repair. A very good service. This CROS system that you recommended has been a great success and the service received from both Phonak and yourself has been extremely professional. Thank you. Peter Bywater.

Hi John, 
    Just to let you know I am really pleased with the volume remote, it is excellent. I am also amazed that with my good ear having the volume to max or just under I can hear  quite well through my deaf ear without the Cros. As stated before this is  just incredible and do not understand why my deaf ear can hear at all, let alone well. The Cros makes the hearing really good so I will still need to wear this as well, especially in group situations. 
   So all I can say is a big thank you and hope everything continues as of now.   Obviously I will need to see you again from time to time so do I just wait until I need my ears cleared of wax again, or what ? I am so pleased I came to you and thank you for your patience. Your web attachment will mean I can purchase everything I need in the meantime. 
John B
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