Types of hearing aids

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The types of hearing aids

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

The main section of BTE hearing aids is contained inside a durable case that is hidden behind the outer ear. Sounds are transmitted to the ear directly via a small tube attached to a dome or earmould. BTE hearing aids have traditionally been the largest in size and are also the best hearing aids for those needing the most power.

Suitable for all types of hearing loss

Receiver-in-Canal or Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIC or RIE)

Another type of hearing aid is RIC. These rest behind the outer ear, just like BTE hearing aids. The difference is that the speaker sits inside the ear — in an ear mould or dome. It is separate from the rest of the device and the case is then connected by a wire to the speaker. This type of hearing aid is traditionally smaller, lighter and more discreet than a BTE, but not powerful enough for wearers with profound hearing loss.

Suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing loss

In-the-ear (ITE)

In-the-ear devices sit entirely inside the ear. These hearing aids range from the those that fit completely in the canal up and are virtually invisible to a full in-the-ear style. The latter is less cosmetically appealing but fulfills a useful purpose when higher power is required or if manipulation may be difficult with a smaller hearing aid.

Suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

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