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3755 N Business Center Dr, STE 4, Tucson, Arizona care@heroesofhearing.com

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Hearing Aid Styles


There is a variety of hearing aids styles available to you when you go to be fitted for your next pair of hearing aids. Which style is right for you will be based on different factors, such as:

  • Your level of hearing loss
  • The shape of your ears
  • Level of concern over visible hearing aids
  • Interest in technology extras

As you review the different hearing aid styles available at our hearing clinic, keep your preferences in mind. That way, once a hearing aid style catches your eye, you can tell our hearing instrument specialist at your fitting appointment.  

In-The-Ear Hearing Aid Styles

Designated In-The-Ear (ITE) hearing aids due to the main body of the device resting in the ear, these hearing aids are popular with many wearers. One of the most attractive points of ITE hearing aids is the low-profile design of these hearing aids. A couple of styles of ITE hearing aids can still be seen by others, but others rest within the ear canal, making them practically invisible.

There are a few drawbacks which most ITE hearing aids share. Their smaller size requires a smaller battery, which has a shorter lifespan. Also, not all of the ITE hearing aid designs are powerful enough for all levels of hearing loss. Lastly, with their compact size, most ITE hearing aids lack the latest technological extras such as Bluetooth streaming.  

Invisible-In-Canal


Smallest hearing aid style currently available, the Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) hearing aid can rest entirely inside of your ear canal. The only visible portion would be the thin plastic rod which allows you to remove and insert your hearing aid.

Advantages Of the IIC

  • Built to assist mild-to-moderate hearing loss
  • Custom-shaped to fit your ear
  • Next to no wind interference
  • Practically invisible when in use

Possible Disadvantages of the IIC

  • Not as effective for severe hearing loss
  • Can be difficult to handle due to the small size
  • Sensitive to earwax buildup and moisture
  • Small batteries, short battery life

Completely-In-Canal

Similar to the IIC, the Complete-In-Canal (CIC) style of hearing aids is tiny and can be discreetly used. There is also a plastic rod to make removal and insertion of the CIC hearing aid easy.  

Advantages of the CIC

  • Built to assist mild-to-moderate hearing loss
  • Custom-shaped to fit your ear
  • Next to no wind interference
  • Outer shell potentially the only visible portion

Possible Disadvantages of the CIC

  • Not as effective for severe hearing loss
  • Can be difficult to handle due to the small size
  • Sensitive to earwax buildup and moisture
  • Small batteries, short battery life

In-The-Canal


The In-The-Canal (ITC) hearing aids are a significant size up from the IIC and CIC hearing aids. This style of hearing aid will fill up the opening of your ear canal, making it more visible though still low-profile. With its larger size, you can have more technology included, depending on the manufacturer of the ITC hearing aid.

Advantages of the ITC

  • Built to assist mild-to-severe hearing loss
  • Smaller than ITE but as easy to care for and handle
  • Custom-shaped to fit your ear
  • Often comes with multiple volume control options
  • Low profile and visibility

Possible Disadvantages of the ITC

  • Will still be visible when in use
  • Potential for feeling plugged up
  • Can experience some wind interference
  • Sensitive to earwax buildup and moisture
  • Does not have as long battery life as ITE or BTE hearing aids

In-The-Ear


Largest of the hearing aids which rest in the ear, the In-The-Ear (ITE) hearing aids are also the most powerful. This hearing aid style can come in a half- or full-shell variant, which will alter how much of your outer ear the ITE hearing aid will take up. Also, some ITE hearing aids have comparable battery lives to the larger BTE hearing aid styles, thanks to their larger size.

Advantages of the ITE

  • Built to assist mild-to-severe hearing loss
  • Easy to care for and handle
  • Custom-shaped to fit your ear
  • Often comes with multiple volume control options
  • Low profile
  • Can often find more technology included

Possible Disadvantages of the ITE

  • Will still be visible when in use
  • Potential for feeling plugged up
  • Can experience some wind interference
  • Sensitive to earwax buildup and moisture

Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aid Styles


When most people think of hearing aids, they likely are imaging the Behind-The-Ear (BTE) style of hearing aids. These hearing aids have the main body of the device rest behind the ear, allowing for a larger-sized hearing aid than the ITE-style of hearing aids. With this larger size, the BTE hearing aids often come with helpful extras such as Bluetooth streaming, rechargeable batteries on select models, smartphone app control, and more.  

Also, a major factor in favor of the BTE style of hearing aids is that they are powerful enough to accommodate all levels of hearing loss.

Behind-The-Ear

With the Behind-The-Ear (BTE) style of hearing aids, these devices will rest behind your ear, with a tube which extends down to your ear canal. At times, BTE hearing aids will terminate in an earmold, which helps guide the sound to your ear. Our hearing instrument specialist can fit you with a custom earmold to make your BTE hearing aid fit comfortably.

Advantages of the BTE

  • Built to assist mild-to-severe hearing loss
  • Easy to care for and handle
  • Often comes with multiple volume control options
  • Can accommodate the most technological extras

Possible Disadvantages of the BTE

  • Will be visible when in use
  • Potential for feeling plugged up if using earmold
  • Can experience wind interference
  • Vulnerable to moisture exposure
  • Can interfere with how your glasses sit

Receive-In-Canal


Similar to the BTE hearing aids, the Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) style of hearing aids rest behind your ear with tubing extending to the ear canal. However, the RIC hearing aids terminate with a receiver, allowing you to receive clear, crisp sound.

Advantages of the RIC

  • Built to assist mild-to-severe hearing loss
  • Easy to care for and handle
  • Often comes with multiple volume control options
  • Can accommodate the most technological extras

Possible Disadvantages of the RIC

  • Will be visible when in use
  • Can experience wind interference
  • Vulnerable to moisture exposure
  • Can interfere with how your glasses sit

Mini Behind-The-Ear / Receive-In-Canal

If you like the sound of the BTE or RIC style of hearing aids but are not a fan of their size, you can opt for a mini-version of these hearing aids. The smaller size makes the Mini BTE or RIC style hearing aids more discreet while still preserving the functionality of the larger versions.

Advantages of the Mini BTE / RIC

  • Built to assist mild-to-severe hearing loss
  • Easy to care for and handle
  • Often comes with multiple volume control options
  • Can accommodate the most technological extras

Possible Disadvantages of the Mini BTE / RIC

  • Will be visible when in use
  • Potential for feeling plugged up if using earmold
  • Can experience wind interference
  • Vulnerable to moisture exposure
  • Can interfere with how your glasses sit

Find The Right Hearing Aid Style For You At Heroes Of Hearing

It is one thing to look at pictures of hearing aids and another to understand how they feel in your ears. Here at the Heroes of Hearing, our hearing instrument specialist will work with you to determine your ideal hearing aids based on your hearing loss level and preferences.

To have your hearing tested and to try out hearing aids with our hearing specialist, schedule an appointment today. We look forward to hearing from you!