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Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing aids come in a wide range of styles based on the physical shape of the instrument and the position in which it's worn. There are many factors your hearing specialist will consider before recommending a hearing aid style, including your hearing needs, your preferences for fit and the look of the hearing aids.

Hearing Aids

Learn More About the Various Hearing Aid Styles

Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

The hearing technology is housed in a casing that rests behind the ear. A clear plastic acoustical tube directs amplified sound into an earbud or a customized earmold that is fitted inside the ear canal. The BTE device is for moderate to severe hearing loss.

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)

Barely visible when worn, the RIC is an instrument in which the receiver, or speaker, is inside the ear canal. Thin electrical wires are used instead of a plastic acoustical tube, reducing distortion. RIC hearing aids provide a comfortable, open fit for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

In-the-Ear (ITE)

The technology components are housed in a custom-formed earmold that fits within the outer portion of the ear canal. ITE hearing aids are custom made for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

In-the-Canal (ITC)

Features an earmold that fits down into the ear canal. It has a smaller profile than the ITE. ITC hearing aids are custom made for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Completely-in-Canal (CIC)

CIC hearing instruments fit completely in the ear canal. Only the tip of a small plastic "handle" shows outside the canal, which is used to insert and remove the instrument. CIC hearing aids are custom made for people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Invisible-in-Canal (IIC)

This custom-fit style is inserted farther into the ear canal than other styles, so it's completely invisible when worn. IIC hearing aids are designed to be removed daily to promote good ear health and are best for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Within these various hearing aid styles, there is a range of technology features that can be used to manage and amplify sound. Today's hearing instruments offer many kinds of advanced programmable and digital processing features to enhance the listening experience in different environments. Your hearing professional will demonstrate the various styles and explain the technology features available, recommending the combination that best suits your hearing needs and lifestyle. Read more about digital hearing aid technology.

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