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What are the different hearing aid types available?

Hearing Aid Styles

Understanding the different hearing aid types

When you suffer from hearing loss there are many things that you will no doubt be thinking about, but one of the questions that we get asked most often is: ‘What type of hearing aid should I choose?’.

There is no one single answer to this question, as every hearing aid user is different, but the great news is that there is a hearing aid out there to suit each and every one of you!

Hearing aid technology has developed almost exponentially over the past few years. Hearing aids now feature digital technology, which is a great improvement on the old analogue models that would pick up everything from your grandchildren’s greetings to the local taxi firms latest drop off. The design of hearing aids has also dramatically improved. Modern hearing aids can actually be completely invisible, but even if you choose a non-invisible model then the designs are now sleek and inconspicuous.

 

There are several different hearing aid types

Below we discuss the different types of styles, how they work and their pros and cons - which we hope might help you choose the right one for you, your hearing loss, your technology and connectivity needs and your lifestyle.

Open and Receiver In Canal Hearing Aids (Open / RIC)

This type of hearing aid can also be called Receiver In-Ear (RIE) and are one of the most popular types of hearing aid on the market. They are based on the classic Behind The Ear (BTE) design, but the receiver/speaker sits directly in the ear canal, with the microphone and processor sitting in a separate casing behind the ear, the two being connected with a thin and inconspicuous tube or wire.

This combined with the fact that instead of the traditional Behind The Ear (BTE) ear mould, Open / Receiver In Canal Hearing Aids (Open / RIC) feature an open dome which crucially does not block or occlude the ear canal.

LEARN MORE > Receiver in the canal hearing aids

Our top three RIC hearing aids for 2020

£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC

Rechargeable version is an additional £100 per aid.

Starkey Livio Full Range

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC

Rechargeable version is an additional £100 per aid.

Starkey Livio Full Range
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC

5 year warranty included.  Rechargeable version is an additional £150 per aid.

Oticon OpnS Full Range

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC

5 year warranty included.  Rechargeable version is an additional £150 per aid.

Oticon OpnS Full Range
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE

Rechargeable version is an additional £50 per aid.

Unitron Discover Full Range

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE

Rechargeable version is an additional £50 per aid.

Unitron Discover Full Range

Completely In the Canal Hearing Aids (CIC)

This type of hearing aid fits neatly into your ear canal meaning that it is very inconspicuous and discreet. They are custom made from a mould of your ear meaning that they are also very comfortable to wear.

Their smaller size means that they are able to include slightly less functionality and power than larger aids so are suitable for people with slight to moderate hearing loss.

LEARN MORE > Completely in the canal hearing aids (CIC)

Our top three CIC hearing aids for 2020

£1695
per aid
£3190
per pair
£1695
per aid
£3190
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£3190
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included.

Oticon OPN Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included.

Oticon OPN Full Range
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: ITC, ITE, CIC, MC

5 Year Warranty Included

Signia Insio / Silk Nx Full Range

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: ITC, ITE, CIC, MC

5 Year Warranty Included

Signia Insio / Silk Nx Full Range
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included. 

Bernafon Zerena Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included. 

Bernafon Zerena Full Range

In The Canal Hearing Aids (ITC)

Slightly smaller than In The Ear (ITE) hearing aids, In The Canal (ITC) hearing aids are also sometimes known as Half Shell hearing aids. These are designed to fit just into the entrance of the ear canal.

This means that they are less conspicuous and depending on your remaining level of hearing can be used as more of a support to that, as more of the ear bowl itself is left open thus allowing your ear to continue to perform its residual functionality.

LEARN MORE > Invisible In the Canal ITC Hearing Aids

Our top three ITC hearing aids for 2020

£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included. 

Bernafon Zerena Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included. 

Bernafon Zerena Full Range
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC  

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable £50 extra per aid.

Widex Evoke Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC  

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable £50 extra per aid.

Widex Evoke Full Range
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC

5 Year Warranty Included. 

Resound LiNX 3D and Quattro Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC

5 Year Warranty Included. 

Resound LiNX 3D and Quattro Full Range

In The Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)

Also known as Full Shell hearing aids, this type of aid is designed as a single unit which completely fills the outer ear. They are probably one of the most visible types of hearing aids, however, they are also one of the most simple to operate as they can feature a range of on-aid controls for changing volume, switching programmes etc.

Their larger size also means that functions such as battery replacement are much easier and they can hold the larger battery types, meaning that In The Ear Hearing Aids (ITE) can be a great choice for people with dexterity issues or those who need a high powered hearing aid.

LEARN MORE > In The Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)

Our top three ITE hearing aids for 2020

£1695
per aid
£3190
per pair
£1695
per aid
£3190
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£3190
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included.

Oticon OPN Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included.

Oticon OPN Full Range
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC

Unitron Tempus Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC

Unitron Tempus Full Range
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair

 

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC

Rechargeable version is an additional £50 per aid.

Starkey Muse IQ and Halo Full Range

 

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC

Rechargeable version is an additional £50 per aid.

Starkey Muse IQ and Halo Full Range

Invisible In the Canal Hearing Aids (IIC)

Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids are just as their name suggests and are almost completely invisible when worn. They sit deeper in the ear canal than Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids meaning that the only way that someone would know that you are using a hearing aid is that your hearing is better!

They are made from a custom mould of your inner meaning that they are also extremely comfortable to wear.

LEARN MORE > Invisible In the Canal Hearing Aids (IIC)

Our top three IIC hearing aids for 2020

£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: IIC

5 Year Warranty Included

Signia Insio / Silk Nx Full Range

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: IIC

5 Year Warranty Included

Signia Insio / Silk Nx Full Range
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: IIC

5 Year Warranty Included.

Phonak Titanium Full Range

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: IIC

5 Year Warranty Included.

Phonak Titanium Full Range

Behind The Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)

Behind The Ear hearing aids, sometimes referred to as BTE aids are probably the most traditional form of hearing aid available. However, don’t let this make you think that they can not be at the forefront of modern hearing aid technology.

They have a case which sits behind the ear (hence the name) which is connected to a custom-made ear mould. Far from the traditional image of a clunky conspicuous design, Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids are now much smaller than you might think and many come in a range of colours to blend seamlessly with your hair/skin tone.

LEARN MORE > Behind The Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)

Our top three BTE hearing aids for 2020

£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included. 

Bernafon Zerena Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, IIC, CIC, MC

5 year warranty included. 

Bernafon Zerena Full Range
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC  

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable £50 extra per aid.

Widex Evoke Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC  

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable £50 extra per aid.

Widex Evoke Full Range

 

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITE

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable at no extra charge.

Phonak Marvel Full Range

 

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITE

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable at no extra charge.

Phonak Marvel Full Range

Super Power Hearing Aids (SP)

Super Power hearing aids are designed to help those with severe to profound hearing loss, for whom traditional hearing aids have been able to offer very little assistance. Their design is similar to a Behind The Ear (BTE), or sometimes Open / Receiver in Ear (Open / RIC) hearing aids, but usually feature a full ear mould and a larger receiver.

This allows for greater power and amplification of sound, but without the issues with feedback that high powered hearing aids have previously been troubled with.

LEARN MORE > Super Power Hearing Aids

Our top three super power (SP) hearing aids for 2020

£1695
per aid
£2995
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2995
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2995
per pair

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, SP, UP

5 year warranty included.

Bernafon Leox Full Range

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, SP, UP

5 year warranty included.

Bernafon Leox Full Range
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, SP, UP

5 year warranty included.

Oticon Xceed Full Range

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, SP, UP

5 year warranty included.

Oticon Xceed Full Range
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair

 

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, SP

5 Year Warranty Included.

Resound Enzo Full Range

 

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, SP

5 Year Warranty Included.

Resound Enzo Full Range

Please see below links for more information on each style of hearing aid

Behind The Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
View Behind The Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
Completely In the Canal CIC Hearing Aids
View Completely In the Canal CIC Hearing Aids
In The Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
View In The Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
In The Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
View In The Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
Invisible In the Canal IIC Hearing Aids
View Invisible In the Canal IIC Hearing Aids
Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids
View Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids

To view our full range of hearing aid models and pricelist - Click on the button below

This article was written by 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).

Hearing aids mentioned in this article

Bernafon Logo

Bernafon Zerena 9

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
View

Oticon Opn S 1

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
View

Oticon Opn1 miniRITE / IIC / CIC

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£3190
per pair
View
Resound New

Resound LiNX 3D 9

Tech rating:
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
View
Signia Logo

Signia Insio 7Nx

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
View
Signia Logo

Signia Silk 7Nx

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
View

Starkey Livio 2400 AI

Tech rating:
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
View
Unitron Transparent

Unitron Discover 9

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
View
Widex Logo

Widex Evoke 440

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
View
Unitron Transparent

Unitron Tempus Pro / Vista T 910

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
View
Phonak Logo

Phonak Virto B-Titanium 90

Tech rating:
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
View

Starkey Soundlens IQ i2400

Tech rating:
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
View
Bernafon Logo

Bernafon Leox 7 SP UP

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£2995
per pair
View

Oticon Xceed S1 UP SP

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
View

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