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BTE Hearing Aid

Behind The Ear

A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an ear mold that fits in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of hearing loss


Behind-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible

  • Has directional microphones

  • Is capable of more amplification than are other styles

  • May pick up more wind noise than do other styles

  • May be available with a rechargeable battery.


RIC/RIE Hearing Aid

Receiver in Canal or Receiver in the Ear

The receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) styles are similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid with the speaker or receiver that sits in the ear canal. A tiny wire, rather than tubing, connects the piece behind the ear to the speaker or receiver.

Receiver-in-canal hearing aid:

  • Typically has a less visible behind-the-ear portion

  • Has directional microphones

  • Has manual control options

  • May be available with rechargeable battery

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker



In The Canal

An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. This style can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is less visible in the ear than larger styles

  • Includes features that won't fit on completely-in-the-canal aids, but may be difficult to adjust due to its small size

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker



Completely in the Canal (CIC)

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

Completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is the smallest and least visible type

  • Is less likely to pick up wind noise

  • Uses very small batteries, which have shorter life and can be difficult to handle

  • Often doesn't include extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker



Invisible in the canal (IIC)

Rest in the second bend of the ear canal where no one can see them.

Completely-invisible-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Custom-fit to your ear

  • The smallest, most discreet hearing aid made

  • Rests deep in the second bend of your ear canal

  • Small size may be challenging to wearers with dexterity issues

  • Small batteries require more frequent changing

  • Small size cannot accommodate manual volume or memory controls

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