Here at Audiology and Hearing Aid Associates, we offer many types of hearing aids that can help you enjoy better hearing. We won’t recommend one brand over another, because we are not tied to any one manufacturer.

Instead, we truly help you decide which hearing aid is best suited to fit with your lifestyle, degree of hearing loss, budget, and preference as to how it appears.

There are two main types of hearing aids — in the ear and outside the ear — and many styles within those two categories.

Types

IN THE EAR HEARING AID COMPARISONS

  Hearing Loss Pro’s Con’s

Invisible in the Canal

(IIC)

Mild to moderate
  • Practically invisible
  • Controlled with app
  • Good sound quality
  • Vulnerable to ear wax and moisture damage
  • Connection to app might be difficult

Completely in the Canal

(CIC)

Mild to moderate
  • Almost invisible
  • Controlled with app
  • Good sound quality
  • Vulnerable to ear wax and moisture damage
  • Connection to app might be difficult
Visible outside the Canal or In the Ear (ITC) Mild to mildly severe
  • More comfortable
  • Easy to extract
  • Longer battery life
  • More features
  • Vulnerable to ear wax and moisture damage
  • Connection to app might be difficult
Visible in the Ear (low profile) Mildly severe to severe
  • Manual controls
  • Large size helps with manual dexterity
  • More visible
  • More features and controls
  • Easy to extract

1.   In the Ear Canal

In the canal hearing aids are usually custom fit and easy to insert and extract. The custom-fit is done with either 3D imaging or by making a mold or imprint of the ear.

  • IIC: Practically invisible in the canal – for mild to moderate hearing loss
  • CIC: Completely in the canal, partially visible – for mild to moderate hearing loss
  • ITE: In the canal, visible – for mild to mildly severe hearing loss

2.   In the Ear

  • ITE: Just outside the ear canal, visible – for mildly severe to severe hearing loss

BEHIND THE EAR HEARING AID COMPARISONS

  Hearing Loss Pros Cons
Receiver in the Ear or Canal (RITE OR RIC) Mild to moderate
  • Above-average sound quality
  • Multiple brands to choose from
  • Speaker can be replaced separately
  • Rechargeable battery option
  • Controlled with app
  • Telecoil options
  • Manual dexterity difficult on the small ones
  • Speaker vulnerable to earwax and moisture damage
  • Visible microphone and sound processor
Receiver Behind the Ear (BTE) Moderate to severe
  • More features and controls
  • Longer battery charge
  • Reprogrammable
  • Replaceable earmold
  • Multiple brands to choose from
  • Least likely to suffer moisture damage
  • Best for children
  • Easy to extract
  • Visible unit
  • Makes wearing glasses more difficult

3. Receiver in the Canal

  • RIC: The mold is behind the ear, but the receiver is in the ear canal. They are connected by an electrical wire – for mild to moderate hearing loss.

4. Receiver Behind the Ear

  • BTE: The mold and receiver are behind the ear, and the sound is delivered through an acoustic tube to a fitted earmold in the ear canal – for moderate to severe hearing loss.

Hearing Aid Features

The visibility of the hearing aid is usually the main thing people with hearing loss care about, but the features can be just as important.

How easy is it to change the settings or the batteries? How good is the sound quality? Will it filter out background noise well? Will it stay in place well? Can I keep them in while I’m exercising or participating in outdoor sports?

  • Color – Almost all hearing aids come in a variety of skin tones.
  • Manual dexterity
     – Most ITE and BTE hearing aids use large batteries that are easy to swap out.
    – The earmolds are larger and easier to put in and take out.
    – Many caregivers prefer larger earmolds, as they are easier to insert and extract.
  • Remote control – easier to adjust – no buttons or dials to use.
  • Separate earmold can be replaced separately, lowering maintenance cost.
  • Batteries or rechargeable batteries – easy to manage if you can recharge them at night without replacing batteries.
  • Telecoils – copper coils that transmit electromagnetic sound signals directly to the hearing aid. They help the hearing aid to focus on the sound of a speaker or singer and cut out background noise.
  • Remote support – can be adjusted and optimized from our hearing office through the app.
  • Easy to clean

At Audiology & Hearing Aid Associates, our local hearing care and audiology experts have access to many types of hearing aids and have different hearing aid packages you can choose from.

Contact us with any questions you have about hearing aids. Our team is ready and happy to help.

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Erika Shakespeare CCC-A

Erika Shakespeare CCC-A

Erika Shakespeare, CCC-A, specializes in pediatric and adult diagnostics and amplification. Working with adults to help manage tinnitus and hearing loss since 2002, she is an expert in both of these areas. Additionally, she is a pediatric audiology mentor and educator for pediatric audiologists across the country and is one of the most respected experts on pediatric audiology.