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A Comprehensive Guide to the Different Hearing Aid Types and their Benefits

Hearing Aids Types

As we well know, hearing aids are fantastic devices which can be used to help those hard of hearing or who suffer from hearing loss. But did you know there isn’t just a one-size-fits-all when it comes to hearing aids? There are several different types of hearing aids, which vary in cost, size, and the way they are placed in the ear. They can also come with a whole host of special features. Taking all these factors into account is essential when it comes to selecting the right hearing aid for you.


Below, we’ll take a closer look at the hearing aids available, how they work, and how they can benefit the user.


Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids


Perhaps the most well-known type of hearing aid, behind-the-ear or BTE hearing aids, rest behind your ear. They work by sending sound through a piece of clear plastic tubing connected to a custom-made earmold that sits inside your ear. Although they tend to be the largest of hearing aids, new mini stream-lined designs are becoming more popular. 


BTE hearing aids:

·       are suitable for mild to profound hearing loss.

·       are durable

·       are easy to maintain


In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids


Another popular option for many hearing-aid users is an in-the-ear or ITE hearing aid. These hearing aids fill the entire outer ear and have microphones in the earmold itself. They are less conspicuous than the BTE hearing aids but are still visible from the side. 


ITE hearing aids:

·       are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss

·       have natural sound quality

·       are comfortable


In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids


Although very similar to ITE hearing aids, in-the-canal hearing aids are slightly smaller and sit deeper in the ear canal. A small part of the device sits in the outer ear, so it is still visible, though less so than ITE and BTE hearing aids.


ITC hearing aids:

·       are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss

·       are discreet

·       are comfortable


Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids


The completely-in-the-canal or CIC style of hearing aid is one of the most discreet. It sits further in the ear than an ITC hearing aid and is practically invisible unless someone looks very closely at your ear. Due to being fitted deeper in the ear, it allows the ear to have a much more natural sound quality than some other styles. 


CIC hearing aids:

·       are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss

·       are very small, allowing wearers to use telephones, helmets, and other headgear more comfortably

·       are incredibly discreet


Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) Hearing Aids


Receiver-in-the-ear or RITE, also known as receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids are similar to BTE hearing aids in that they hook behind the ear. However, they are smaller and connect the earpiece to the receiver/speaker via a tiny wire instead of tubing. 


RITE or RIC hearing aids:

·       are suitable for mild to profound hearing loss

·       are very durable

·       have high-quality sound


Still not sure which hearing aid might be right for you? Here are some of the key points and differences to keep in mind between these five styles of hearing aids:


Factors That May Affect your Choice of Hearing Aid


Level of hearing loss


BTE and RITE hearing aids are the most suitable for mild to more profound cases of hearing loss. ITE are appropriate for mild to severe hearing loss, whereas ITC and CIC are more suited for mild to moderate hearing loss. 




The BTE and RITE are the largest and are therefore less discreet than the other models. CIC hearing aids are the most discreet. Remember, the larger the device, the less fiddly and easier to maintain they will be, meaning larger models are often a better option for those who may struggle with small buttons.




When purchasing hearing aids, there is much more to it than just the devices themselves. Our prices include hearing tests, hearing aid maintenance, manufacturer’s warranty, and support in using your hearing aids. The prices are mainly affected by the technology used within the hearing aids, with features such as customization and wireless capability adding to costs. 


We know there is a lot to consider when choosing the right hearing aid for you. Your choice will be affected by your age, the size of your ear canal, your level of hearing loss, your lifestyle and, of course, your budget. That’s why our professionals assess a variety of factors before making recommendations. 


To find out more about our hearing aids and the best option for you, book a free hearing test today at your nearest clinic and talk to one of our experts.



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Hear Right Canada

At Hear Right, we provide a high level of care for the treatment and rehabilitation of hearing loss utilizing highly skilled hearing care professionals and advanced technology at a lower cost to our patients.
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