Hearing aids are available in many different sizes and styles thanks to advancements in digital technology and miniaturization of the electronic components. Today's hearing aids are sleek, compact, and innovative – offering solutions to accommodate your specific listening needs. A wide range of technology and a host of features are available in each hearing aid style. The cost of hearing aids is dependent on the technology and the number of features in the instrument.
When selecting a style your Audiologist will consider the following:
- The degree of hearing loss (volume/power requirements)
- Anatomical/medical considerations
- Manual dexterity and visual abilities
- Skin sensitivities
- Your personal preference
- Need for wireless options
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) models sit behind or on top of the outer ear, with tubing that directs sounds down into the ear canal. The tubing connects to an ear tip/dome or ear mold to secure the hearing aid in the ear canal. BTEs come in a variety of colors to blend with hair or skin tones, or other fashion colors to suit personal styles. Different BTE sizes accommodate different degrees of hearing loss, features, controls, and battery types.
Receiver in the ear (RITE)
RITE models, also known as RIC (receiver-in-canal) models, are mini BTEs that have the speaker of the instrument incorporated in the ear tip, instead of in the main body of the instrument. RITE instruments fit mild to severe hearing losses. This hearing aid style looks similar to the Mini BTE when worn on the ear.
Mini BTE with slim tube and tip
Mini BTEs are designed to hide behind the outer ear and have thin tubing to route sound into the ear. The tubing connects to a dome or ear molds that sits in the ear canal.
BTE with ear mold
BTEs with ear molds fit mild through profound hearing losses. They can house many features such as a program button and volume control. The ear mold color and style, as well as the wearer’s hairstyle, determine exactly how they will look on each person.
Hearing aids worn in the ear are custom-fit based on an impression of your ear. They are available in different skin tones. Different in-the-ear sizes accommodate different degrees of hearing loss, features, controls, and battery types.
Invisible In-The-Canal (IIC)
The smallest custom style, IIC instruments sit invisibly in or past the second bend of the ear canal. IIC are specifically designed for mild to moderate hearing loss.
CIC instruments fit deeply and entirely within the ear canal.
ITC instruments sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, making them comfortable and easy to use. They are slightly larger than CIC models, have a longer battery life, and can host additional features such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments and controls such as volume controls.
Full Shell or In-the-Ear (ITE)
Full shell models sit flush within the outer ear bowl. Their size allows the maximum number of additional controls and features such as directional microphones, which require space on the outer portion of the instrument. They use a larger battery size than smaller styles.