Hearing Aid Styles

There are two basic category styles to hearing aids. There are hearing aids that go behind –the-ear (BTE) and in-the-ear (ITE). These two basic categories can be separated even further.

BTE Style Hearing Aids

Receiver in the ear (RIC)

oticon receiver in the ear hearing aidmini-receiver-in-canal-hearing-aid-in-ear-RIC

Very popular choice as it leaves the ear open with no plugging feel while still giving you the volume you need to hear better. The slimming wire allows the hearing aid to be concealed and the behind-the-ear component is very lightweight. The receiver is located in the ear canal and may be enclosed in a dome earpiece or an earmold (custom fit earpiece). The appropriateness of the device will depend on the degree of your hearing loss. Can have Bluetooth/wireless technology capability.

Traditional behind-the-ear (BTE)

oticon bte hearing aid 2    behind-the-ear-hearing-aid-on-ear-BTE

All of the hearing aid components are housed within the device that fits behind the ear. A slim tube or regular tubing extends to the dome ear piece or earmold (custom fit ear piece)  located at the end of the wire. Regular bi-yearly maintenance is recommended to maintain the tubing of the aid. These devices are appropriate for any hearing loss. This style is preferred for pediatric patients and patients with excessive moisture and earwax. Can have Bluetooth/wireless technology capability.

In-the–Ear Style Hearing Aids

Traditional in-the-ear (ITE)

in the ear hearing aidin-the-ear-hearing-aid-in-ear-ITE

This hearing aid fills the outer portion of the hearing aid and is a popular choice for many patients with dexterity difficulties. This style is appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses. Can have Bluetooth/wireless technology capability.

In-the-canal (ITC)

in the canal hearing aidin-the-canal-hearing-aid-in-ear-ITC

The majority of this hearing aid is located within the canal with a very small portion of the outer ear taken up by the hearing aid. May or may not have Bluetooth capabilities. Very good dexterity is needed for this size aid. This hearing aid can be appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses.

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC)


The entire hearing aid is located within the ear canal. Very good dexterity is needed for this size aid. This hearing aid does not have Bluetooth capabilities and takes a very small battery that may need to be changed every 3-4 days. This hearing aid is mostly appropriate for hearing losses that are mild.