The hearing aid market is rich with options, offering designs and features to meet every type of hearing need, lifestyle, and budget. Smaller styles are designed to fit deep within the ear canal, making them nearly invisible, while other options include features that capitalize on Bluetooth® technology. Now more than ever before, there are a wide variety of choices for individuals who could benefit from hearing aids, and our professionals are experts at educating you on the options that would best meet your specific needs.
Hearing Aid Styles
Today, there are more hearing aid models available than ever before. This wide range of options falls into two types of styles: Behind-the-ear (BTE) and In-the-ear (ITE). Below is an overview of these styles. In the end, the best hearing aid for you will address your unique hearing ability, lifestyle, and budget
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
BTE hearing aids sit behind or on top of the outer ear with a tube that connects to an ear tip or mold inside of the ear canal. BTE’s offer the widest range of features, colors, sizes, battery types, and degrees of power. Today, they’re offered in small, discreet designs that are often unnoticeable when worn. There are a variety of BTE styles available including:
Mini BTEs are the smallest of the BTEs and equipped with a soft tip at the end of the tubing to enable airflow and sound to enter the ear canal along with the amplified sounds, creating a more natural experience.
Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) or Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)
RITE hearing aids are designed with the speaker built into the ear tip instead of the main body of the hearing aid. They are often similar in size to the Mini BTEs and are also relatively unnoticeable when worn. Mini RITE’s are also available.
BTE with Earmold
BTEs with Earmolds are designed with a custom earmold at the tip of the discrete tubing directing sound into the ear canal. These have a longer shape that follows the contour of the outer ear and enables them to house more features and power.
In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
ITE hearing aids are worn in the ear instead of resting behind it, and are custom-fit based on an impression of the ear. There are a variety of ITE styles available including:
Invisible In-the-Canal (IIC)
IIC instruments are the smallest custom hearing aids available. They sit deep within the canal and are nearly invisible to the naked eye.
Completely In-the-Canal (CIC)
CIC instruments fit into the ear canal, but not as deeply as the IIC models. Slightly larger than the IIC, they are still relatively hard to see.
In-the-Canal (ITC) or Half Shell
ITC instruments sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl. Since they are slightly larger than the CIC, they are able to hold additional features, including a larger battery, directional microphones, and volume controls.
In-the-Ear (ITE) or Full Shell
ITE instruments fill the entire outer ear bowl. Their larger size allows for more features and functions, including a larger battery, directional microphones, volume controls, and larger receivers for more severe hearing losses.