What Are the Different Types of Hearing Aids?

Here at Almond Hearing, we receive all sorts of questions about hearing loss and hearing aids. We are happy to serve our community by providing useful resources and answers to common questions.

One such question is about the various types of hearing aids. There are quite a few, and understanding the differences can be a bit to absorb — especially right after receiving a hearing loss diagnosis.

On that point: if you suspect that you or a loved one are dealing with hearing loss, don’t wait. Get evaluated by your GP or by audiology specialists like Almond Hearing as soon as you can. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can potentially improve the quality of your hearing.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-understand guide to the different types of hearing aids, you’ll find it just below. Most of these perform the same essential function; it’s just a matter of how they do it and where they are positioned.

The different types of hearing aids
The different types of hearing aids

Behind the Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)

The most common hearing aid is the behind the ear (BTE) hearing aid. This is the type that comes to mind when most people think of a hearing aid. It has a plastic body that rides behind the ear. This part is connected via plastic tube to an earpiece or earmould that sits on or fits into your outer ear.

BTE hearing aids are widely compatible and can support a wide range of hearing loss levels. You can find them in neutral skin tones or in vibrant patterns as well.

Receiver in the Ear hearing Aids (RITE)

RITE hearing aids have a slightly smaller body but otherwise look similar to BTE devices. The chief difference here is that the speaker rests in the ear, inside the earmould or dome. BTE devices place the speaker in the plastic body and transmit the sound through the tubing.

RITE devices are slimmer and perhaps more attractive, but they cannot produce as much magnification and aren’t appropriate for those with severe hearing loss.

In the Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)

If you cannot or do not want to wear anything behind your ear, an in the ear hearing aid may be your ideal solution. This style sits in your ear just as modern “true wireless” earbuds do, so it’s visible from the side (but not from the back).

In the Canal Hearing Aids (ITC)

Shrink down an ITE device so that it barely extends past the ear canal, and you have an ITC device. They’re hardly visible but can be hard to keep perfectly in place. They also lack amplification power due to their small size.

Completely in Canal and Invisible in Canal Hearing Aids (CIC & IIC)

If you want the smallest, most discreet hearing aid available, look for CIC and IIC hearing aids. Be aware of the downsides, though: these, too, are not powerful enough for those with severe hearing loss. They are also more likely to require repair from sitting in a hot, moist environment (in the ear canal). Further, this style of aid is not suitable for individuals who produce a lot of wax or sweat.

Unsure Which Type Is Right? We Can Help

The differences between many of these types are slight, and it takes professional skill to evaluate which type is right for your unique situation. Schedule a visit with Almond Hearing today to discuss which type of hearing aid is best for you.