Hearing Aid Styles

BTE (Behind-the-Ear) / mini BTE

  • Sit behind-the-ear with a sound tube or wire going in to the ear.
  • There may be a thin tube and dome, an earphone (receiver in the ear, RITE) or a custom made ear mould.
  • Available in a range of sizes, some are very small (with small battery).
  • Suit most levels of hearing loss.
  • Easier to physically manage than In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids.
  • “Open fittings” are often possible which are comfortable and sound natural.
  • miniBTE hearing aids are slightly smaller in size.

 

ITE/ITC  (In-the-Ear/In-the-Canal)

  • Fit completely in the ear.
  • Available in a range of sizes and are custom made to fit individual ear shape.
  • May not be suitable for people with a significant hearing loss.
  • Are generally more prone to moisture and wax issues/damage which may result in more repairs.
  • May be more difficult to physically manage than Behind-the-Ear models.
  • May create occlusion, so less suitable for mild or high tone hearing loss.

CIC

  • Completely in the canal aids are invisible or virtually invisible.
  • They are very small and are custom made to fit inside the ear canal.
  • They are not suitable for more severe hearing losses, and can block the ear too much for mild or high tone losses.
  • Are generally more prone to moisture and wax issues/damage therefore prone to more repairs.
  • May be more difficult to physically manage.
  • May be difficult to make a comfortable fit especially in small ear canals.

 

Water Resistant

  • Many manufacturers hearing aids have a degree of water resistance. Resistance can vary from a plastic nano-coating to a completely waterproof coating - varying from a plastic coating inside to those which are completely swimmable.
  • Moisture and wax are the main reasons hearing aids need repair.
  • Water resistant hearing aids are good for people who sweat a lot, spend time outdoors, or worry they might walk into the shower with their hearing aids on.