What Are the Different Styles of Hearing Aids?

It's not the number of features that matters when it comes to the hearing aid you choose; it's about the features that serve you best at every part of the day

When it comes to choosing the best hearing aid, it’s natural to instantly turn to the internet to find out who the top manufacturers are and what their hearing aids can do. However, given the surplus of false information online, these should be some of the later considerations.

While both of the above questions are significant, keep in mind that you’ll be wearing your new hearing aids for the next few years. Therefore, it is important to first consider the following questions:

  1. Does this device serve the severity of my hearing loss?
  2. Is this a hearing aid I can use easily, based on my manual dexterity and eyesight?
  3. Do I like the way this sits in/on my ear in terms of look and comfort?

Because Inland Hearing Aids has been helping people choose their hearing aids since 2002, we are confident that we can help you choose the best style and features to serve you alone.

Hearing Aid Manufacturers and Brands

We have a wide range of hearing aids from brand name manufacturers such as Starkey, ReSound, Unitron, Widex, Phonak, Signia, Oticon, and more. We continue to be amazed at the way technology is developing in these devices and how all the manufacturers manage to pack so much into such a small tool.

We remain unbiased as to which hearing aid we will recommend you try because each style and brand has its own benefits. Ultimately, our recommendations will be based on what might best suit your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, style preference, and budget.

Want to find a hearing aid that feels custom designed for you? Consult with an expert

Types of Hearing Aids

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

In the Ear Canal

These hearing aids fit inside the ear canal, and they are custom fit to each person’s ear canal size. They are easy to put in place and remove.

  • IIC: Almost invisible in the canal – for mild to moderate hearing loss
  • CIC: Partially visible and completely in the canal – for mild to moderate hearing loss
  • ITE: Visible and in the canal or just outside the ear canal – for mild to mildly severe hearing loss
  • ITC: Partially visible – a smaller version of an ITE that fits farther into the ear canal

All of these hearing aids are controlled with an app, making them easier to use. The ITE is easier to extract and can be more comfortable.

Due to being in the ear canal, all of these in-the-canal devices can be vulnerable to earwax and moisture damage.

To get the hearing aid size perfect on these, we will make a mold or imprint of each ear.

Receiver in the Canal

  • RIC: The receiver is in the ear canal and it connects to the mold behind the ear via an electrical wire – for mild to moderate hearing loss.

There are lots of brands in this style, and their sound quality and rechargeable features make them a popular choice. Many offer streaming and telecoil options, and they can be controlled through an app.

The smaller ones might be more difficult to use for those whose dexterity is challenged.

Behind the Ear

  • BTE: The mold and receiver are visible and sit behind the ear – for moderate to severe hearing loss.

The device delivers sound through an acoustic tube to a fitted earmold in the ear canal.

This type is also popular and is best for children. It’s easy to extract, has more features and controls, is less likely to suffer moisture damage, and has a longer battery charge.

Features on Your Hearing Aids

It’s not the number of features that matters when it comes to the hearing aid you choose; it’s about the features that serve you best at every part of the day. This is why we ask about your daily life and factor in all the things you might need your hearing aids for.

All the things we consider include:

  • Manual dexterity – Are the batteries easy to swap out? Are the earmolds easy for you or a caregiver to put in and take out?
  • Technology – Can everything be controlled through an app? Is it compatible with your Apple or Android product? Does it include additional features on the app such as tinnitus management? Does it require the purchase of accessories?
  • Earmold – Are the earmolds replaced separately?
  • Telecoil – Can it connect to a telecoil system at events or public spaces, like an airport?
  • Remote support – Can it be adjusted from our hearing office through the app?
  • Cleaning and maintenance – Is it easy to clean and maintain?
  • Color – Does it come in a shade that matches your skin tone well?

Have Questions about Hearing Aid Styles?

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about your hearing aids and your hearing treatment, and we can help you choose the best hearing aid for you.

We have so many hearing aid brands and styles to choose from, and we offer several price points to suit your budget.

The first step to ensuring you get the right hearing aid is getting a comprehensive hearing evaluation.

Schedule yours here.

We look forward to helping you advance on your hearing journey.

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Dan Morehouse, HIS

As a hearing instrument specialist and owner of Inland Hearing Aids, Inc., Dan Morehouse has spent more than 20 years earning the trust of physicians, community organizations, and thousands of residents through providing top-level hearing care to Moses Lake and nearby communities.

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