Styles of Hearing Aids
There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting the perfect hearing aid style, and each style has unique features that will provide clear hearing in every listening environment. Your audiologist will help you choose from this wide range of hearing technology, so you’ll have the best hearing aid to perfectly match your lifestyle, hearing needs, and budget. From entry level programs all the way to premium technology, you’ll be sure to find a style you love.
If you select basic digital hearing aids, you’ll manually adjust the devices based on the listening environment, and change the volume settings throughout the day. Premium hearing aids, on the other hand, will automatically switch between programs, and this advanced technology will scan the environment to make sure you’re always hearing clearly. If you select a premium device, you’ll also be able to access more advanced features.
What to Consider When Selecting a Hearing Aid Style:
- Your level of hearing loss, and the power requirements
- Lifestyle and hearing needs
- Manual dexterity, and ability to change settings on your hearing device
- Medical considerations
Styles of Hearing Aids
Ready for your first hearing aids? Hearing devices come in a variety of styles to match every level of hearing loss, and these sleek, sophisticated hearing aids get smaller every year, offering a wide range of choice to hearing aid users that match lifestyle and power requirements.
Behind the Ear
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) devices are the most common hearing aids on the market, and they nestle behind the ear. A small tube connects the hearing aid with an earmold in the ear canal, directing the sound from the hearing aid right to the ear. You can choose from a wide range of colors to match hair or skin tone, or even select a bright, bold color that makes a statement or matches your personal style. The size of the device will determine what programs and settings you’ll have available, and those with severe hearing loss, or who need to run more complex programs, will require a slightly larger hearing aid to accommodate a larger battery with more power.
BTE with Earmold
BTE devices that have an earmold can be worn by anyone, from those with mild to severe hearing loss. They sit snuggly behind the ear and have enough power to run many advanced programs and features, such as easy connectivity to your smartphone, and audio streaming right to your ears. BTE hearing aids can be controlled using the program button and volume control located on the hearing aid shell.
Another favorite BTE device is the Mini BTE which is smaller than traditional BTE hearing aids. The tubing connecting the hearing aid and the earmold is also ultra-thin, and the soft tip that sit in the ear canal doesn’t block the canal. This is an “open fitting” and you’ll experience more natural sound. Mini BTE devices are a great choice for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Receiver in Canal (RIC)
Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aids are the most popular hearing aid style, and are similar to Mini BTE devices. The big difference is that the hearing aid speaker is in the ear tip that sits in the ear canal, rather than in the hearing aid behind the ear.
In the ear (ITE)
In-the-Ear (ITE) devices are another popular choice when it comes to hearing aid styles. These custom-fit devices sit in the outer ear, and are made to match your skin tone.
Full Shell ITE
Full shell ITE hearing aids sit in the outer ear, and they can accommodate an array of advanced programs and features to help you hear, such as directionality microphones, background noise reduction, and speech enhancement. The battery size has enough power that even those with severe hearing loss can wear ITE devices to help them hear.
In the Canal (ITC)
In-the-Canal (ITC) hearing aids rest in the lower part of the outer ear and in the ear canal, and they’re very comfortable. They have a moderate battery life, can support a number of programs and features, and are recommended for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Completely in canal (CIC)
Completely-in-Canal (CIC) devices are among the smallest hearing aids on the market, and they sit in the ear canal, leaving the outer ear empty. They’re often selected by those with mild to moderate hearing loss, and are nearly invisible.
Invisible in Canal (IIC)
The smallest hearing aids on the market are Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) hearing aids that sit deep within the ear canal. They’re completely invisible, and the only thing people will notice is how great you can hear.