Finding the right types of hearing aids is not a ‘one size fits all’ procedure. This quick guide teach you the basics of hearing aid types and the factors you should consider when choosing you model.

Hearing aids vary a lot with regards to price, size, special features, placement in ear and how visible they are when you wear them. On this page you will find an overview of all types of hearing aids.

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In the ear hearing aids

There are many in-the-ear hearing aid types available. They all fit directly in the ear so it is important to get the right shape and fit for optimum comfort and sound quality. In the ear hearing aids are custom-made to you so they fit your ear perfectly.

These types of hearing aids are suitable for most types of hearing loss and are considered less noticeable than behind the ear hearing aid types, since there are no external wires or tubes.

There are five types of in-the-ear hearing aids, ranging from the invisible-in-canal to the full-shell type of hearing aid. The smallest style is completely hidden inside the canal of the ear. The largest fits completely inside the outer bowl of the ear, with a small portion extending into the ear canal to direct sound.

Due to their slightly larger size, the full shell ITE hearing aid type can accommodate larger batteries and additional features, such as a telecoil, directional microphones, volume wheel and even wireless streaming.  

In-the-ear hearing aids are suitable for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

 

Features and benefits

  • Discreet and less noticeable than other hearing aid types
  • May be easier to handle
  • Can accommodate telecoil, volume control and other extra features
  • Susceptible to wind noise and damage from earwax and moisture in the ear

    Read more about invisible hearing aids 

  • Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids

     

    These types of hearing aids (IIC) are the smallest hearing aids available.

    They offer the ultimate discretion as they are custom-made to fit inside your ear canal
    making them almost, if not completely invisible. Tiny cords are fit into this type of hearing aid
    so you can insert and remove them easily.

    These hearing aid types usually adapt automatically to the sound environment so there is no need to touch them or adjust settings throughout the day. People with limited dexterity may find these types of hearing aids difficult to adjust and remove because they are so small but this style is popular with people who prefer a more discreet type of hearing aid.

    Due to the positioning of this hearing aid type, they can be vulnerable to earwax and moisture build up, so it is important to ensure there is adequate ventilation when they are used.

    The IIC hearing aid style is helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

    Speak with one of our hearing care professionals for more guidance on IIC hearing aids

    Read more about in-the-ear hearing aids

  • Completely in-the-ear hearing aids

     

    cic-bc-380x380This type of hearing aid (CIC) is the smallest aid available before the invisible-in-the-canal hearing aid was introduced.

    The completely-in-the-canal hearing aid styles are custom-designed to fit discreetly just inside the ear canal. Most CIC hearing aid types are invisible to people you encounter throughout the day. The slightly larger size accommodates an optional button that allows you to manually control settings for different environments. The only thing visible to the eye is normally the face plate and battery drawer.

    Due to the positioning of this hearing aid type, they can also be vulnerable to earwax and moisture so it is important to ensure there is adequate ventilation when they are used.

    Speak with your hearing care professional for more guidance on CIC hearing aids.

    Read more about in-the-ear hearing aids

     
  • In-the-canal hearing aids

     

    This type of hearing aid (ITC) is slightly larger than completely-in-the-canal hearing aids. itc-na-380x380

    They fit the lower third of your external ear and are custom made. This hearing aid type has a slightly longer
    battery life as it can house a slightly larger battery.

    They are still discreet, however if you are looking for almost complete discretion it is advised to
    look at the completely-in-the-canal and invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids types.

    These types of hearing aids are easy to insert and remove and are a great choice for push button controls.

    Speak with your hearing care professional for more guidance on CIC hearing aids.

    Read more about in-the-ear hearing aids

     
  • In-the-ear half shell hearing aids

    The in-the-ear half shell hearing aid (ITE half shell) type is designed to fit half of your external ear. ite-hs-pt-380x380

    The shell of the hearing aid is made to fit the shape of your ear. Depending on the size of your ear, these types of hearing aids can be relatively discreet.

    The half shell hearing aids have a longer battery life than the in-the-canal hearing aids because they
    are slightly larger. They are suitable for anyone with profound hearing loss and are a good option if
    you want an easy-to-handle device.

    Due to their slightly larger size, ITE hearing aids can additional features from the in-the canal,
    completely-in-the canal and invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids.

    Speak with your hearing care professional for more guidance on half shell hearing aids.
    Read more about in-the-ear hearing aids

    The in-the-ear half shell hearing aid style is designed to fit half of your external ear.

    Read more about in-the-ear hearing aids

  • In-the-ear full shell hearing aids

    ite-fs-rc-380x380The full shell hearing aid (ITE full shell) type is designed to fit all-of your external ear. These types of hearing aids are the largest of the custom hearing aids. The shell of the hearing aid is made to fit the shape of your ear. Depending on the size of your ear, these types of aids can still be relatively discreet.

    The full shell hearing aids have a longer battery life than the in-the-canal hearing aids because they are slightly larger. They are suitable for anyone with profound hearing loss and are a good option if you want an easy-to-handle device.

    Due to their slightly larger size, full shell hearing aids can additional features from the in-the canal, completely-in-the canal and invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids.

    Speak with your hearing care professional for more guidance on full shell hearing aids.

    Read more about in-the-ear hearing aids

Hearing aids placed behind the ear

These types of hearing aids are perfect for users with a more severe hearing loss or smaller ear canals. All the components in these types of hearing aids are housed behind the ear with a clear tube that connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an earmold that fits in your ear canal.

These types of hearing aids are a lot sleeker and slimmer than older, more traditional models and are great for people with less dexterity. They are still also very discreet, although not invisible and hugely powerful.

With this type of hearing aid you can choose the colour of the hearing aid housing from a range that you either prefer or that match your skin tone or hair colour.

There are three types of hearing aids that sit behind the ear, BTE, RIG and Open Fit. Below you will find an overview of each style.

Features and benefits

  • Is capable of more amplification than are other styles and has a larger battery life
  • Some users find them more comfortable as they do not fit deep within the ear
  • Less vulnerable to moisture and wax build up


Read more about Oticon Opn S hearing aid

  • oticon-opn-bte-pp
    Behind-the-ear hearing aids

    This type of hearing aid (BTE) fits discreetly behind the ear.

    A thin, clear tube connects this hearing aid type to an earmold that fits inside the outer ear. BTE hearing aids are robust and easy to repair. They are suitable for all types of hearing loss and sizes of ears since the custom earmold can be replaced if needed when the ear grows.

    The larger size accommodates more features. Telecoil and volume and program controls are easy to manipulate, and the larger battery size provides more power. 

    The BTE hearing aid type is the most versatile.

    Speak with your hearing care professional for more guidance on BTE hearing aids.

    Read more about behind-the-ear hearing aids 

     

     

  • oticon-opn-minirite
    Receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids

    Similar to BTE hearing aids, the receiver in the ear hearing aid type has two styles of aid that are very similar, you can opt for a receiver-in-canal (RIC) or receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aid depending on your preference and hearing loss. 

    Both types of hearing aid sit discreetly behind the ear and are connected by a thin wire with a speaker or receiver placed inside the opening of the ear or the ear canal. They are less noticeable than more traditional BTE hearing aids types but are also vulnerable to moisture and earwax build-up.

    Speak with your hearing care professional for more guidance on RIC and RITE hearing aid types.

    Read more about behind-the-ear hearing aids

     

     

  • oticon-nera2-opendome
    Open fit-hearing aids

    Similar to the receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid styles, open-fit hearing aids sit behind the ear and are connected by a thin, almost invisible wire to a speaker. 

    Open fit hearing aids keep the ear canal open, so sound enters the ear more naturally. This allows you to hear background noises easier while the sound you most need to hear  clearly, like voices, are fed through the hearing aid.

    Battery size is larger than ITC styles and models are available with convenient rechargeable batteries. These types of hearing aids do not require an ear-mould. 

    Read more about behind-the-ear hearing aids

     

     

What to consider when choosing type of hearing aid?

1. Talk to an expert
Choosing the right hearing aid can be complicated. There are lots of factors to consider and it is always best to get the advice from an expert. An audiologist has vast knowledge of the different types of hearing loss and how to find the best hearing aid for your individual hearing loss. 

The process of choosing the right hearing aid starts with measuring your hearing loss with a hearing test.

You can book a free hearing test in one of our clinics.  

2. Lifestyle type for noise reduction
If you would benefit of turning certain noise like background noise down, then you need to consider a hearing aid type that has enough noise reduction management to suit your lifestyle.

All hearing aids have some amount of noise reduction available. The amount of noise reduction varies from model to model.

Modern hearing aids often feature some kind of noise reduction or noise management functionality. These features assist the hearing aid user in situations that are noisy by reducing the volume of loud background noises.

This feature works automatically in most hearing aids and turns itself off or down when it becomes quieter. Or if there is a speech signal present.

3. No more feedback noise
Historically, hearing aid users have suffered from uncomfortable feedback noises. For example, the simple act of hugging someone used to cause an annoying high-pitched feedback sound.

Some of the latest hearing aids feature dramatically improved feedback cancelling which allows for a better hearing experience and makes the hearing aid more discreet.

Oticon Opn S



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4. Wireless connectivity
Most hearing aids can wirelessly connect with certain Bluetooth devices, such as mobile phones, music players, televisions and even doorbells and baby monitors. This means that you get the sound directly in your hearing aid so it is easier to hear.

If your type of hearing aid has this feature you can be automatically notified through your hearing aid when you receive a text message.

Digital hearing aids


5. Rechargeable hearing aids for ease of use

Some hearing aids offer the convenience of rechargeable batteries. An easy overnight charge allows for hassle-free maintenance by eliminating the need to regularly replace batteries.

Having a rechargeable type of hearing aid removes the inconvenience of having to change batteries which is a benefit for people with lower dexterity.

 
 



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