Which Are the Most Popular Types of Hearing Aids?

a display of different hearing aid styles

Hearing aids come in a variety of different sizes and shapes; however, the right one for you is going to depend on your level of hearing loss, budget, lifestyle and aesthetic needs. 

Your hearing instrument specialist is going to help you find the best suit for your level of hearing loss. They will look at things like your lifestyle, the size of your ear canal, and your hearing loss level, how much you’d like to spend. 

Some of the most popular types of hearing aids include: 

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

BTE hearing aids have microphones that sit closely behind the ear. They pick up sounds and process them digitally to make it clearer and louder. You will see these with an earmold that is attached to a clear tube and are custom made for your ear. They can be used for anyone with mild through to profound hearing loss. You can also get open-fit BTE hearing aids that send sound down a very thin tube connected to a soft, small tip that sits inside your ear canal (a dome). It’s often used for people who can hear low pitches well and have mild to moderate hearing loss. If you find fiddly tasks difficult or have regular ear infections, then the open fit may not be for you. 

In-the-ear (ITE) and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

ITE hearing aids and ITC hearing aids both have earmolds that contain microphones. This means the entire hearing aid sits inside your ear. ITE’s come in a variety of different sizes, but they are visible from the side of the ear. ITC’s are a lot smaller and much less visible; however, they can be a little trickier to look after and put in. They’re both used for people with mild to severe hearing loss. If you have small ear canals or get frequent ear infections then they may not be the best choice. 

Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) and receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids

RITE (Receiver-in-the-ear) RIC (receiver-in-the-canal) are similar to open-fit behind-the-ear hearing aids. The part of the hearing aid that is behind the ear is smaller than what you would find on BTE hearing aids. It has a thinner wire to connect it to a speaker inside the opening of your ear. Both RIC and RITE hearing aids are less visible than behind-the-ear hearing aids. They can be used for mild to profound hearing loss. 

Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids

CIC hearing aids fit father into your ear canal than ITC hearing aids. They aren’t usually visible unless someone looks really closely at your ear. These devices are incredibly small, making it difficult to load them with a multitude of features and posing challenges if you have dexterity issues. 

Invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids

IIC hearing aids are worn deep in the ear canal. Some of the models will remain in your ear for a few months. They are only ever removed by your hearing instrument specialist; they will clean them, maintain them, and place them back for you. There are a few models you can place in your ear yourself; however, they have fewer features because they are smaller in size. These are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. 

CROS and BiCROS hearing aids

CROS and BiCROS hearing aids are for people who have hearing loss in only one ear. They are similar to conventional hearing aids. But it is placed on the hearing ear and then there is a microphone that sirs in the ear with no hearing. 

  • CROS (contralateral routing of sound) hearing aids will pick up sounds from the side without hearing and then feed it to the hearing ear. This type of aid is ideal for people who have a good level of hearing in their hearing ear. 
  • BiCROS (bi-contralateral routing of sound) aids work by amplifying sounds from both sides and feed it into the ear with better hearing level. This is used for people who have hearing loss in their hearing ear, but only mild. 

Sometimes you can struggle to recognize where the sounds are coming from; however, you no longer have to ask people to speak in your good ear. 

If you want to know more about the popular types of hearing aids and learn more about The Hearing Aid Place, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 510-768-7091, we’re here to help.