The two major categories of hearing aid styles are in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids.

Hearing aids come in a wide range of technology levels and styles

While there are quite a few different styles of hearing aids, they all fall into two basic body style categories:  

Our most popular model of hearing aid is the RIC, which is suitable for most type of hearing loss.

In-the-ear styles

Invisible in the canal (IIC) & Completely in the canal (CIC)

IIC and CIC styles are the smallest and most discreet hearing aids available. “Invisible in the canal” IIC styles are as described—virtually invisible. A wearer places them very deeply in the ears, and they must be removed by tugging on a small pull-out string. “Completely in the canal” CIC are very similar, but don’t sit quite so deeply within the ears.

These styles are typically fit for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Because of their small size, they don’t usually come with any manual controls, like volume wheels or program buttons.

In-the-ear styles

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

ITC hearing aids sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, making them comfortable and easy to use. Because they’re slightly larger than IIC and CIC styles, they tend to have a slightly longer battery life and can fit a wider range of hearing losses. Their size also allows them to host additional features such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments and manual controls, like a volume wheel, if desired.

In-the-ear styles

Low-profile hearing aids

Low-profile hearing aids are similar to ITC styles, and range from half-shell designs that fill half the bowl of the outer ear to full-shell designs that fill almost the entire outer ear bowl. Like ITC styles, low-profile designs are large enough to feature directional microphones and manual controls, such as a volume wheel and a push-button for changing programs. The size of a low-profile style makes it desirable for people with dexterity issues because it is easier to handle than the smaller sizes.

Behind-the-ear styles

Receiver in the ear (RITE)

One of the most popular hearing aids styles are what’s known as either “receiver in the ear” (RITE) or “receiver in canal” (RIC), depending on the manufacturer. But they essentially mean the same thing—an open-fit hearing aid style that has the speaker built into an insertable ear dome, instead of the main body of the hearing aid. In other words, the speaker of the hearing aid rests in the ear canal, but the microphone and processor sit in a tiny case behind the ear. They are connected by a thin wire. This style of hearing aid tends to have above-average sound quality and is made by all major hearing aid manufacturers.

If it gets damaged, the speaker portion of the hearing aid that fits in the ear can often be replaced at the hearing aid clinic, instead of having to be shipped off to the manufacturer for repair.

Behind-the-ear styles

Behind-the-ear with earmould

BTE styles that come with earmoulds can fit any type of hearing loss, from mild to profound. Their longer shape follows the contour behind the outer ear and can generally house more features, controls and battery power than any other style of hearing aid. A BTE with earmold style is commonly used for children because the BTE can be reprogrammed as needed and the earmold can be replaced as the child grows.

We offer a 30 day, no-obligation, FREE trial on all our hearing aids