Hearing Aids Types | What Types of Hearing Aids Are There?

Hearing Aid Types

Hearing aids come in a variety of types.  Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and are typically suitable for certain types of hearing loss.  Click on any type below for more detailed information.

Receiver-In-Canal (RIC)

Reciever In The Ear Hearing Aid

Receiver-In-Canal hearing aids, also known as RIC, are extremely popular because of their comfort and performance.  These discreet hearing aids fit behind the ear but have a plastic tube with a soft tip that extends into the ear canal making the whole hearing aid smaller than normal Behind-The-Ear models making them less visible and more comfortable to wear. These models can come with many mid to advanced features and are good for a range of hearing loss levels.

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Behind-The-Ear (BTE)

Behind The Ear Hearing Aids

The most common hearing aid is the Behind -The-Ear type. It’s the type that most people picture when discussing hearing aids. This style sits behind the ear with a plastic ear mold that then sits inside the ear opening (not in the canal like the Receiver-In-Canal style). The unit is typically larger and more visible than other styles. They also offer the advantage of offering more affordable styles but at the same time more advanced versions from manufacturers can include state of the art technology. This model is good for everyone, all budgets and all levels of hearing loss. Children’s versions can also come in fun and playful colours.

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In-The-Ear (ITE)

In The Ear Hearing Aid

In-The-Ear, also known as ITE are discrete, but not as discrete as other ITE types and typically available in a range of skin tone colours to camouflage the hearing aid even more.  It is the only In-The-Ear type that is suitable for both mild to severe hearing loss and is custom made to fit your ear specifically.  In-the-Ear types are typically more sought after for comfort and their ability to be more discrete than Behind-The-Ear models but are typically a bit higher priced than Behind-The-Ear models because they are custom moulded to your ear specifically.

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In-The-Canal (ITC)

In-The-Canal is the largest of the truly In-The-Ear styles and also smaller than ITE In-The-Ear models.  They still reside in the canal but are larger and a little less discreet than Invisible-In-Canal or Completely- In-Canal styles.  Their larger size tends to make them a bit more powerful and able to stay in place better especially when talking or chewing.  Like the others they are custom molded to the wearer’s ear and best for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.

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Completely-In-Canal (CIC)

Completely In The Canal Hearing Aids

Completely-In-Canal hearing aids are just that, inserted completely into the ear canal of the wearer and no part is visible other than a small plastic tab which is used to insert and remove them. These hearing aids are custom molded to the wearers ears to ensure a proper fit and are best for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.  Manufacturers provide typically provide a good variety of these hearing aids that can have basic to advanced features including rechargeable batteries and high sound quality despite it’s small size.

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Invisible-In-Canal (IIC)

Invisible hearing aids are the smallest sized In-The-Ear styles available.  Like all In-The-Ear styles they are custom fit and moulded to the wearer’s ear and with this size they are typically placed further into the ear canal with a plastic tab to remove them making them “invisible” from the outside.  Because of their placement in the ear the sound quality can be a bit better than other In The Ear models.

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