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Hearing Aid Types UK: What are the different hearing aid styles available?

Updated 17/05/2022

Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing Aid Types

Understanding the different hearing aid styles

 

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!  We dedicate this page and links to informing you about what types of hearing aids are available in the UK and how they work.

What are the different types of hearing aids in the UK?  Click on each hearing aid types examples links to discover more about hearing aid types pros and cons,  comparison are hearing aid types, for example,  Behind the Ear hearing aids types vs In the Ear models.  We hope this collection of content goes in some way to help you choose what style of hearing aid is best for your and your hearing loss.

 

Hearing Aid Types Comparison

Hearing aid types explained

Hearing Aid Types & Styles - RIC hearing aids

Receiver In Canal Hearing Aids / RIC Hearing Aids:  This type of hearing aid can also be called Receiver In-Ear (RIE) and is 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, Receiver In Canal Hearing Aids (RIC) feature an open dome that crucially does not block or occlude the ear canal.  Discover more about Open Fit hearing aids in the link below.

Click here to learn more about Receiver in the Canal Hearing Aids (RIC)

Hearing Aid Types & Styles - CIC hearing aids

Completely In the Canal Hearing Aids / CIC Hearing Aids:  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.

Click here to learn more about Completely in the Canal Hearing Aids (CIC)

Hearing Aid Types & Styles - ITC hearing aids

In The Canal Hearing Aids / ITC Hearing Aids:  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.

Click here to learn more about Invisible In the Canal Hearing Aids (ITC)

Hearing Aid Types & Styles - ITE hearing aids

In The Ear Hearing Aids / ITE Hearing Aids:  Also known as Full Shell hearing aids, this type of aid is designed as a single unit that 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.

Click here to learn more about In The Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)

Hearing Aid Types & Styles - IIC hearing aids

Invisible In the Canal Hearing Aids / IIC Hearing Aids:  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.

Click here to learn more about Invisible In the Canal Hearing Aids (IIC)

Hearing Aid Types & Styles - BTE hearing aids

Behind The Ear Hearing Aids / BTE Hearing Aids:  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 that 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.

Click here to learn more about Behind The Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)

Hearing Aid Types & Styles - SP, UP hearing aids

Super Power Hearing Aids / SP Hearing Aids / UP Hearing Aids:  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 Receiver in Ear (RIC) hearing aid, but usually features 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.

Click here to learn more about Super Power Hearing Aids (SP / UP)

Hearing Aids & Styles - CROS / BICROS hearing aids

CROS Hearing Aids / BICROS Hearing Aids - For Single-Sided Deafness:  There are two separate hearing aid solutions for single-sided deafness and these are called CROS hearing aids or BICROS hearing aids.  A BICROS hearing aid is for people who have one deaf ear and one ear with hearing loss.  A CROS hearing aid is for people with one deaf ear and one good ear.

Click here to learn more about CROS / BICROS Hearing Aids

Quick Links to Hearing Aid Styles

Behind the Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)
View Behind the Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)
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

Click on the below links to explore each hearing aid brand and the hearing aid styles they offer

 

 

Need more support with hearing aid styles?

Call us free on 0800 567 7621 to talk with one of our audiologists about which hearing aid style would be right for you, your lifestyle and your hearing loss.

This information was written by Paul Harrison - Audiology Expert

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert & Founder of Hearing Aid UK

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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