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Small & Discreet Hearing Aids: The Best Small Hearing Aids UK

By: Paul Harrison Updated: 20th January 2022 in: Hearing Aid Advice, Latest News, Articles
Advantages & Disadvantages of the World's Smallest Hearing Aids

Small & Discreet Hearing Aids UK

Advantages & disadvantages of some of the smallest hearing aids in the world


Wondering if small hearing aids are right for you?

There are many people with hearing loss that are concerned about the devices themselves being too conspicuous.  We know that looking after your hearing health is the most important, but confidence is just as important and often being self-conscious about wearing your hearing aids affects that.

With more hearing aid manufacturers tapping into the invisible hearing aid market there are more device options to choose from that will not only support your hearing but give you the confidence you need to wear your hearing aid and feel comfortable doing so.

When people first think about hearing aids - how hearing aids look is one of the main factors that generally determine what hearing device they choose.   Or in some cases, it is the reason why so many people don't seek professional help with their hearing loss in the first place.  With every year that goes by and the smaller hearing aids become - we hope this inspires change.  


How Small Can Hearing Aids Be?


Are you looking for the newest invisible hearing aids? 

So, what are invisible hearing aids?  Small hearing aids deliver big power and offer modern design and advanced hearing solutions. The smallest hearing aids are also referred to as invisible hearing aids and discreet hearing aids by both consumers and the industry itself.

‘Cosmetic’ and 'Invisible' are often subjective and can mean different things to different people. When it comes to hearing aids, people usually mean they want something that looks aesthetically appealing, isn't too big and perhaps compliments their own sense of style.  In regards to invisible, they are probably looking for a hearing aid that is very discreet and unnoticeable to others.  


Invisible hearing aids are a personal choice

For those who don't want to hide their hearing aids - there is a plethora of hearing aid options of nice-looking hearing aids on the market.  There are now BTE hearing aids that are small and sleek - giving you the opportunity to show off your individuality.  We talk about this more in-depth further down the page.

On the other hand, some people, when they talk about hearing aids, is that they will feel old and they think other people will treat them differently.  


Small Hearing Aids have become more modern & more accessible

The good news here is that hopefully with an ever-growing accessible education and awareness, the introduction of modern digital hearing aids and offerings of discreet hearing solutions - the negative attitude towards hearing devices are on the verge of change.  Changing perception and dissolving the stigmas surrounding hearing aids - a positive step in the right direction.

In this article, we will be talking mainly about IIC hearing aids, which are the smallest hearing aids available in the industry and what most class as invisible.  We also aim to cover the most common questions from consumers like:


  1. What are the smallest hearing aids?
  2. Who makes the smallest hearing aids?
  3. What are the new smallest hearing aids?
  4. What small behind ear hearing aids are available?
  5. What small inner ear hearing aids are available?


What Do Small Hearing Aids Look Like?

Below is a visual of how invisible hearing aids are custom made

Invisible Hearing Aids

Small & Invisible Hearing Aids

What small hearing aids are available today?


Small hearing aid categories

Small and discreet hearing aids are broken down into different categories. These are:


  • ITE:  In the Ear hearing aids are quite small and as the name suggests, sit just in the ear canal. They can still be seen but are far more discreet than the Full Shell or Half Shell aids (ITC). Some manufacturers also offer colours to match hair or skin tones.
  • CIC:  Completely in the Canal hearing aids sit further into the canal and are almost unnoticeable.
  • IIC:  Invisible in the Canal hearing aids are even smaller than the CIC and sits deep into the ear canal making it ‘invisible’. 


Why do people opt for small and discreet hearing aids?

In today's world, people are responding to the modern, digital and discreet hearing aids on the market to tackle their hearing loss.  Consumers who are anxious about the effect of their hearing aids appearance or how they look to others, almost always go for invisible hearing aids. 

In some cases, they provide advanced technology in a smaller device and this in itself attracts the modern consumer.  Giving them functionality and subtle hearing solutions along with the confidence to wear them.  Invisible hearing aids or IIC hearing aids are sometimes so small it is quite possible that you forget you're wearing them!

'Smallest hearing aids' and 'Discreet hearing aids' deliver big power and offer modern solutions in a modern world of style and technology.  Giving consumers exactly that - power, style and technology.


How small are hearing aids now & what are invisible hearing aids?  

Invisible hearing aids are designed and created to be undetectable, as they sit comfortably and securely within the ear canal.  Due to the lack of components outside your ear - other people won't know you are wearing hearing aids. 

Although the times of the chunky and rather large Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids are behind us and have gotten smaller in size - we are still seeing an increase in first-time wearers opting for IIC hearing aid models.

Most invisible hearing aids give the wearer the flexibility of hearing aid control and hold the same if not sometimes more powerful technology within the small casing.


IIC Hearing Aids

Small & Discreet Hearing Aids

Are small hearing aids any good?


Are small hearing aids right for everyone?

The honest answer here is no.  If you are conscious about wearing hearing aids like Reciever in the Ear (RIC) or Behind the Ear (BTE) models, then - yes - invisible devices might be worth considering and opting for.  However, they are not appropriate for everyone or every ear.  Let me explain...


Level of hearing loss

ITE hearing aids are generally compatible with people who have mild to moderate hearing loss.  Because they are small they are not suitable or recommended for people who have severe to profound hearing loss. 

They are also much trickier to handle and put into your ear or can be a challenge when you replace your batteries.  So if vision or dexterity is an issue, this type of hearing aid is probably not the best style for you.


Ear shape

Comfort is so important when choosing hearing aids.  If they are a bad fit they won't just deliver poor sound,  but they will also hurt your ears and cause irritation.  Invisible hearing aids are known to be comfortable, but they are not compatible with all ear shapes. 

For instance, if your ear canals are short or thin an ITE hearing aid may not sit comfortably within your ears.  However, there are options to try this style of hearing aid before you commit to purchasing with your audiologist - which we would highly recommend.


Examples of the Smallest BTE Hearing Aids

If invisible hearing aids or small hearing aids aren't right for you in the end - there are plenty of other great options available on the market.  Like I mentioned earlier, BTE hearing aids for severe hearing loss are now smaller than past designs and can provide a more beneficial hearing experience for a greater hearing loss.

There are some small, sleek and stylish RIC's out there that offer rechargeability, Bluetooth connectivity and great hearing control and streaming features. 


Small BTE Hearing Aids - Signia Styletto X hearing aids

A great example of a small and stylish BTE hearing aid with advanced Bluetooth and rechargeable technology is the Styletto X hearing aid range.  Here are some of the main features of this hearing aid model at a glance:


  1. A complete hearing experience by combining award-winning design.
  2. Portable rechargeability.
  3. Bluetooth connectivity – with all the audiological benefits of the Xperience platform.
  4. Beautifully crafted to seamlessly fit your lifestyle, Styletto X combines a sleek form with metallic accents, evocative of familiar high-end Bluetooth devices. In five contemporary colours, you will want to show this device off!

Signia Styletto X

Discover More  >>  View the Signia Styletto 7X here for more information.


Let's look at the disadvantages of small hearing aids


  • Features:  In the Ear hearing aids historically don't have the same feature catalogue as other styles.  This is because of the size of the devices and not having enough room to store such technology.  This means that invisible hearing aids have shorter battery life.
  • Sound:  Because ITE hearing aids sit inside your ear, the sound is collected and amplified.  You don't have the assistance of directional microphones, which are hugely beneficial if you find a conversation in noise difficult to understand.
  • Connectivity:  BTE hearing aids provide advanced Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls and streaming audio and TV programmes.  You might miss out on Bluetooth connectivity with most IIC or ITE hearing aids, so if this is important to you then you need to look at other options.


Small hearing aids NHS

Can you get small hearing aids on the NHS?  Quite a lot of consumers choose to go private for their hearings aids to benefit from a more discreet in-the-ear device, which is historically not as available on the NHS if not at all.  The latest and most modern hearing aids which private audiologists have to offer such as advanced technology, mobile compatibility and sophisticated Bluetooth connectivity.


Small Hearing Aids

3 of the Best and Smallest Hearing Aids 2021 / 2022

Our smallest hearing aids 2021 / 2022 picks by our audiologists


Small CIC hearing aids recommendations

Below are our audiology expert's top picks of good small hearing aids available today.  Below you will find information on the following:


  • The hearing aids main features and benefits.
  • Smallest hearing aids with Bluetooth.
  • Smallest hearing aids for tinnitus.
  • Small hearing aids cost.
  • Smallest CIC hearing aids.

Signia Silk 7X

Small Hearing Aids Recommendations - Signia

Smallest Signia hearing aids 

Signia Silk X Hearing Aids

This ready-to-wear hearing aid is pretty much invisible - sitting discreetly and giving you the confidence to wear them and even forget about them.  Another great benefit of Silk X hearing aids is that they are bespoke to your ear shape instantly, so you don't have to wait for your device sleeves to be custom-made. 


Small ear canals and hearing aids

Looking for hearing aids for small ears?  The beauty of this hearing aid is really down to the great design which allows those who require an open fitting to still wear a CIC. You might have been told that you can't wear an in-ear hearing aid. The good news here is that you might be able to wear this one.  


The instant fit of an invisible hearing aid

Because this hearing aid range offers various adaptable silicone sleeves - all you have to do is pick the right sleeve for your ear shape, click it in and gain from some of the advanced hearing experiences in the industry.  Secure and comfortable fit without the wait.

When compared to BTE hearing aids, Silk X has microphones that pick up sound inside your ear canal.  Giving you the freedom to make calls and listen to music normally.


Remote Care

Tap into Signia's TeleCare remotely for direct support with your audiologist using your mobile and the Signia app.  You can also control your hearing aids volume, progammes and much more through the app wherever you are.


Benefit from a wider soundscape

Like the other hearing aid models from the X range, you will benefit from a great sound experience with the Xperience platform incorporated in Silk's technology.  This means that when you are within a noisy environment you can still hold a conversation without any listening effort on the go - only focusing on what matters to you.


What if you have hearing loss in one ear?

You might have single-sided deafness and are looking for an invisible hearing aid solution.  The good news is that you can use Silk X with the CROS Silk X accessory, as they are compatible and offer a quality hearing experience when used together.


Click on the link below to discover more about this hearing aid's top specification:

Signia Silk 7X IIC Hearing Aid    >>    View Product

 Signia Silk X Hearing Aids

Signia Silk 7X Main Features


  1. Remote Control:  You can use this feature to control your hearing aids with the Signia app.  You can also receive calls in both ears using this app too.
  2. Dynamic Soundscape Processing (DSP):  This gives you clear and crisp speech understanding in a discreet device.
  3. Binaural OneMic Directionality 2.0:  This is so you can gain from listening comfort with directional hearing in challenging environments.
  4. Tinnitus Therapy:  This allows you to choose from various settings to help manage your symptoms and spikes.
  5. Own Voice Processing (OVP):   Giving you the most natural own-voice sound.

Phonak Virto B-Titanium 90

Small Hearing Aids Recommendations - Phonak

 Smallest Phonak hearing aids

Phonak Virto B-Titanium Hearing Aids

Offering a discreet custom-made fit to sit comfortably in your unique ear shape.  The titanium shell gives you a light and strong hearing solution that's durable and reliable all day.

This hearing aid includes Phonak's AutoSense OS technology that adapts easily to your environment and soundscape for optimum hearing performance wherever you are.


Click on the below link to discover more about this hearing aids top specification:

Phonak Virto B-Titanium 90 IIC Hearing Aid    >>    View Product


Phonak Virto B-Titanium 90 Main Features:


  1. Strong and light titanium shell/casing.
  2. Custom-made to fit perfectly in your own unique ear.
  3. Includes AutoSense OS that adapts to every sound environment automatically for excellent hearing performance everywhere.
  4. Because of the design of the shell, it has no wireless capabilities.

Starkey Soundlens IQ 2400

Small Hearing Aids Recommendations - Starkey

 Smallest Starkey Hearing Aids

Starkey Soundlens IQ Hearing Aids

A comfortable custom-made and invisible ITC hearing solution that sits deep within your ear canal - incorporating advanced hearing technology such as immersive sound and TV, music and other streaming abilities.

The sound quality of Soundlens promises to provide distortion-free listening comfort even with loud sounds.  Always keeping consistency in clarity in all listening environments and soft sounds.


Click on the below link to discover more about this hearing aid range's top specification:

Starkey Soundlens IQ 2400 IIC Hearing Aid    >>    View Product


 Starkey Soundlens IQ

Starkey Soundlens IQ 2400 Main Features:


  1. An invisible-in-the-Canal hearing aid that sits deep within your ear canal discreetly.
  2. Voice iQ 2 for hearing speech in challenging hearing environments.
  3. Innovation that replicates high-frequency speech cues and switches them into lower frequencies, so it is easier to hear.
  4. Sound compression innovation for distinguishing soft speech from loud, so you gain from a more natural sound experience.
  5. T2 remote is used to change memory or volume using your smartphone.
  6. PureWave Feedback Eliminator3 gives you a premium performance every day.


Does the NHS do small hearing aids?

So, can you get small hearing aids on the NHS?  Currently, the NHS service does not provide any ITE hearing aids.  Their standard issue devices are usually BTE, but there are some cases when RIC's are an option.


How much do small hearing aids cost?

How much are small hearing aids?  View all the small hearing aids prices of the models featured in this article further down the page.


Need more support on the best small hearing aids UK 2021 / 2022?

Want to find out more about the best small hearing aids available or where you can buy small hearing aids?  Call us free on 0800 567 7621 to discover more about the smallest hearing aids in the world or for any support on other hearing healthcare enquiries.



Read Next:  Hearing Aid Types

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In the Ear
Fitting Styles: IIC

5 Year Warranty Included

Signia Xperience Full Range

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: IIC

5 Year Warranty Included

Signia Xperience Full Range
This article was written by audiology expert Paul Harrison

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

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