Hearing aids have evolved greatly over the last 50+ years. While all of them will help improve your hearing quality, there are differences between each type. Figuring out which type is best for you ends up being a matter of personal preference of look and performance.


There are three main factors that go into choosing the right hearing aid type for you: hearing loss, ear anatomy, and your specific hearing needs.

Hearing loss ranges from mild (having trouble with certain frequencies) to profound (can barely hear any sound). Some hearing aid types are more appropriate to specific levels of hearing loss. 

Each ear is unique, just like our fingerprint. Some types of hearing aids might fit better than the others, and those specificities are important drivers when choosing the type of device to wear.

Hearing needs have no linear relation with hearing thresholds. That means each individual has its own needs regardless of how the hearing loss looks. A hearing care professional needs to access those needs in order to address the most suitable features from different hearing aid technologies.


These are what most people think of when it comes to hearing aids. These devices wrap all electrical components inside its housing, which sits behind the ear. As amplified sound coming out of the BTE needs to reach the ear canal, a connection tube is used, which can either be a personalized earmold or an instant fit with a thin tube. BTE hearing aids are usually more powerful than other types and cover a wider range of hearing loss, from mild to profound. BTEs are easy to clean and handle, and normally offer longer battery life.

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They have become the most popular type of hearing aids because of a highly flexible and practical fitting.

With one of the electrical components (the receiver) sitting in the ear canal, connected by a wire to the remaining components wrapped in a small housing behind the ear, RIC hearing aids are commonly smaller than BTEs and the best solution for those seeking for discreet fitting.

Hearing losses from mild to severe can benefit from a RIC device, and thanks to a variety of instant fit options for couplers, it can be fitted without a specific earmold.

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Personalized hearing aids, tailored accordingly to user's ear impression to deliver more comfort and audibility.

In-The-Ear (ITE) hearing aids

Thanks to massive improvements in technology, hearing aids can be made so small that they sit right inside the ear with no pieces outside. That way, nothing will interfere with your glasses, mobile phone, or lifestyle. These hearing aids are best for those with mild to moderate hearing loss and can limit its use if the ear anatomy is too narrow or if the type of hearing loss needs an open fit concept, not locking entirely the ear canal.

In-The-Canal (ITC) hearing aids

ITC hearing aids are slightly bigger than CIC but still discreet. All components are in the shell making this format indicated to mild to moderate hearing loss. They are easy to insert, can have wireless functionality and have longer battery run time. 

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Completely-In-Canal (CIC) hearing aids

CIC hearing aids have a microphone, speaker and all the electrical components in between inserted all the way into the ear canal. If there‚Äôs not enough room in the ear, this fitting might not be ideal.  These hearing devices sit very deep in the ear canal, and are hardly seen from outside. They are meant to help with mild to moderate hearing losses. A customized production is made to fit the very unique anatomy of each ear.

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