The Pros & Cons of Different Hearing Aid Types

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.Blog-post, Hearing Aid Technology, Hearing Aids, Hearing Health, Research

The Pros & Cons of Different Hearing Aid Types
Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.
Latest posts by Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D. (see all)

Whether you are getting ear impressions or other listening technologies. There couldn’t be a better time to be shopping for hearing aids. Today’s market marries both technology and design resulting in sophisticated products throughout the spectrum. And there’s no shortage of options, either. In fact, it can be difficult to navigate your way through such a dense marketplace to find what suits you best.

Everyone’s pattern of hearing loss is unique, just as lifestyle and habits of the hearing aid wearer adds another layer of individual need when looking to intervene in hearing loss. Meeting with an audiologist you trust is an important part of narrowing down options to make a choice that is the best fit for you. There are a few categories of fit that help steer your audiological journey; see which one most appeals to you!

Behind the Ear hearing aids

A behind the ear hearing aid suits more severe hearing loss types or wearers with hard-to-fit ear canals. All electronic parts are housed in a small compartment behind the ear. The actual sound is transmitted via a tube.

Pros: Behind the ear models are super comfortable, which makes them great for first-time wearers. They’re also easy to insert and manipulate, so folks with a long history of hearing aids simply looking for a newer model will be drawn to these. They’re reasonably priced and suit mild to moderate hearing loss and ear canal differentiation.

Cons: A bit on the bulky side, you wouldn’t say that a Behind the Ear hearing aid is the most discreet available.

Mini behind the ear

These slightly smaller options appeal to those wishing for additional discretion, while still preserving that ease of use that comes with a behind the ear model. Like it’s big sister, all components are house behind the ear that delivers sound to inside the ear via a small tube.

Pros: Again, because all processing components are housed behind the ear, the ear canal is largely left unobstructed which delivers a comfier fit and better sound performance. This also allows for hard-to-fit ear canal sizes and can suit a mild to moderate hearing loss.

Cons: Smaller than a regular sized Behind the Ear, this is still not the most discreet option on the market.

Receiver in Canal

These are extremely popular types of hearing aids because they suit a wide range of use. The microphone and amplifier are housed behind the ear and connect to the receiver discreetly through a thin tube. They provide some of the best assisted hearing experiences available to people with hearing loss, making them attractive to folks who are looking for the most listening ease and true-to-life sound.

Pros: These models offer supreme comfort and ease of use. Customizable ear molds offer opportunities to increase comfort even more. Suits a mild to moderate hearing loss. Large color selection offers some discretion.

Cons: The open ear canal also leave wearers more open to ‘wind noise.’ The receiver end which sits in the ear canal is sensitive to moisture and may require frequent repair.

In the ear (ITE)

These custom hearing aids are housed entirely in the outer ear. The audiologist will take a custom mold of your ear, from which a shell is created that encompasses all components of the hearing aid and sits in the outer ear.

Pros: These are very easy to use and essentially foolproof. They also suit a wide variety of hearing losses.

Cons: Perhaps the least undetectable option available. These come is a variety of color options to assist in discretion, however, they do sit right outside the ear canal in the ear and are thus hard to miss.

In the canal (ITC)

These are one of the subtler designs available. These models are similar to behind the ear configurations, but smaller and thus more discreet. They are still powerful enough to treat mild to severe hearing loss.

Pros: They’re so small that they’re almost unnoticeable. Plus, their customizable requirements mean that they’re comfortably suited to your unique ear canal contour.

Cons: Some ear canals are simply not wide enough to accommodate this type of device. Prone to feedback.

Completely in canal (CIC)

While these models are the almost always the smallest on the market, they retain a good amount of functionality and power. They can often deliver sound quality on the level of a much larger model but are nearly invisible to others. While an In the Canal hearing aid has a small portion, which sits above the canal, the Completely in Canal is almost undetectable.

Pros: Their near invisibility is a draw for first time hearing aid wearers, who often report feeling self-conscious about wearing a hearing aid. They’re also so light and small that the wearer finds them unnoticeable, too, which speaks to their comfort.

Cons: They lack sound multi-directionality because their size dictates that they contain only one microphone. They size also requires a smaller battery and thus Completely in Canals have a short battery life.

Visit Us at Atlanta Hearing Doctor

Are you in the market for a new pair of hearing aids? At Atlanta Hearing Doctor, we offer an array of hearing aids from leading manufacturers. Our team will help you find the perfect pair to meet your hearing needs. Contact us today for a consultation.