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Completely In the Canal Hearing Aids / CIC Hearing Aids UK

Updated 27/03/2024
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CIC hearing aids UK

Completely In the Canal Hearing Aids

Exploring the CIC Hearing Aid Type


Custom-made and discreet design

Completely-in-Canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest and most discreet hearing devices available. These tiny marvels are custom-made to fit entirely within the ear canal, making them virtually invisible when worn.

CIC hearing aids are designed for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who desire both effective amplification and a cosmetically inconspicuous solution.

Despite their compact size, they often feature advanced technology like noise reduction and feedback cancellation, providing wearers with clear and natural sound quality. CIC hearing aids are ideal for those seeking a discreet and effective way to improve their hearing without the visible appearance of traditional hearing aids.

We hope this page goes in some way to help you understand what to expect from CIC hearing aids and whether this type of hearing aid is right for you.

Completely in the Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids

Completely In The Canal Hearing Aids CIC

What is a Completely in the Canal hearing aid?  Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids are very small devices that do just as their name suggests and sit completely within your ear canal. This means that they are almost completely invisible to the outside world – unless someone were to look directly inside your ear.

They are another example of a custom-fit hearing aid, as they are made to fit from a mould that is taken from your ear canal. Not only does this mean that they will not move around inside your ear, but they are also very comfortable.

Completely in the Canal CIC Hearing Aids

 What to expect from this type of hearing aid


What are the differences?

One of the other main advantages of Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids, apart from them being nearly invisible to others, is that they still allow most of your ear to continue performing its natural function.

Your outer ear is still able to funnel sounds down towards your ear canal and then your hearing aid simply processes and amplifies these sounds before they are sent down your ear canal to your eardrum. This means that most people find that they still hear a very natural sound and benefit from increased directionality detection.

Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids have numerous different advantages and disadvantages. Our information below details some of the most common of these, however for more details please contact our expert team today and we’ll happily talk you through all of your options and book your free hearing test too.

CIC Hearing Aids/>

CIC Hearing Aids Pros and Cons

What are the advantages of Completely in the Canal (CIC) hearing aids?


Almost invisible

For most people, the main selling point of Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids is that they are almost completely invisible to other people. Only if someone were to look directly inside your ear would they be able to see your Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aid.

If they were doing that then it is likely that you already know them well enough to tell them that you are benefitting from a hearing aid!


You can hear where sounds are coming from

Because Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids sit far enough down into your ear canal to allow your outer ear to still perform its natural function, it means that you are still able to tell which direction sounds are coming from. This can be a very important feature of providing you with a natural hearing experience.


Natural sound experience

As a Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aid sits within the ear canal itself, it means that sounds can be collected naturally from the outer ear, funnelled naturally towards the receiver, which is then able to interact more directly with the eardrum. This results in you experiencing a much more natural sound.


Comfortable to wear

Due to the fact that Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids are incredibly small and also as they are custom-made to fit your ear canal, they are incredibly comfortable to wear.


CIC Hearing Aid

Discreet control

Obviously as Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids sit within the ear canal itself, it means that they are not able to feature any controls on the aid itself. This means that all adjustments must be made through an external controller.

This could be a dedicated remote control or via a smartphone app. This means that adjusting your hearing aid is incredibly discreet and unobtrusive.

Use the telephone naturally

As with all hearing aid styles that sit completely within the ear itself, with Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids you are able to use your phone exactly as you always have done, rather than having to hold it slightly above or behind your ear.

Wear helmets and other headgear normally

Because Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids sit within the ear canal it means that you can still comfortably wear any helmets, headphones, or other headgear just as you have always done.

This means that they can be particularly suitable for people with active lifestyles.

Less wind noise disruption

Being situated inside the ear canal itself means that Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids suffer from very little wind noise disruption, which in other styles of hearing aids can cause a very annoying disturbance

CIC Hearing Aids

What are the disadvantages of Completely in the Canal (CIC) hearing aids?

 Discussing the CONS


More limited features and power

As Completely in the Canal (CIC) hearing aids are much smaller than many other hearing aid styles, which means that they are more limited in the amount and size of processors/amplifiers that can be included in their design.

This means that they are generally not suitable for people who have more severe levels of hearing loss and require a higher-powered hearing aid.


Lower battery life

Again due to their smaller size, Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids are only able to accommodate the smallest batteries. This means that the time between battery changes will be reduced and the power that they supply will only be enough to powerless or more simplified technological features.


Limited on-aid controls

This may be an obvious point but as Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids are very small and sit mainly within the ear canal it is very difficult to include control on the casing itself.

Some models may have some very basic on-aid controls, but the vast majority of adjustments will need to be made via an external device or smartphone app, which may not be suitable for all users.


Higher levels of maintenance

Because Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids sit within the ear canal itself it means that they are much more likely to become compromised by natural moisture from within the ear and potential buildup of earwax.

If they are regularly and effectively maintained then this should not cause a problem, however, this level of care may not be suitable for everyone.

Occlusion can be a problem

As they completely fill the ear canal, Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids can cause occlusion of the ear(s). This results in feelings such as; your own voice being louder or sounding hollow, feeling that your ear is blocked, or chewing food sounding noisy or unpleasant.

Unfortunately, the smaller size of Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids means that the inclusion of a vent to avoid the problem of occlusion is not possible.

Not everyone can have one

Unfortunately, if you have a particularly small or unusually shaped ear canal it is unlikely that you will be suitable for a Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aid, as they simply will not fit you.

To find out more about Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids, or any of the other types of hearing aids that are available, contact our advisors and let us help you find the right hearing aid today.


Due to their custom-made design and use of micro-components, you may find that buying Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids from some retailers is more expensive.

However, if you buy your Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aid from Hearing Aid UK then you will pay exactly the same as if you were buying any style in your chosen model.

Can be fiddly

Again as a result of their small size, Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids require a higher level of dexterity than some larger or Behind the Ear style hearing aids.

Action such as insertion and removal, changing the batteries, cleaning, and general maintenance can be quite fiddly and so may make Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids unsuitable for users, especially if they have visual impairments or dexterity issues.

Want to discover more about CIC hearing aids or any other type?

Completely-in-Canal (CIC) hearing aids offer a discreet and effective solution for mild to moderate hearing loss. Their small size, customised fit, and advanced technology make them a popular choice for those who prioritise both improved hearing and cosmetic invisibility. CIC hearing aids provide a subtle yet powerful hearing solution.

To find out more about Completely in the Canal (CIC) hearing aids, or any of the other types of hearing aids that are available, contact our advisors and let us help you find the right hearing aid today. 

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Discover Other Hearing Aid Styles Below

Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
View Behind the Ear (BTE) 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
Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids
View Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids
This information was written by Paul Harrison - Audiology Expert

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert & Founder

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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Common FAQs about CIC hearing aids

Is this the best model for me?

If you are looking at this page then it is likely that an audiologist has suggested that you purchase this particular hearing aid, so is this the best model for you?

In general, any audiologist will always be recommending to you the model that best suits your needs. Here is a useful check list to make sure that is the case.

  • Audiologist level of knowledge. The audiologist you have seen will hopefully have a wide knowledge of all available hearing aids, however some will only be familiar with a small number of brands and therefore may not really be in a position to know which model is the best for you. It is OK to challenge their recommendation and ask them to justify why this particular brand is the one for you.
  • Do research. Read about the hearing aid that was recommended. Does it seem like it will suit your lifestyle? Does it have more or less features than you need? 
  • Be aware of sales targets. Many high street retailers have specific tie-ins to a particular manufacturer/brand. The hearing aid they have suggested may still be the correct one for you, but do your research so that you know why they might have recommended it.

If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

If you have a significant hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Here are the audiological reasons why:

Localisation. The brain decodes information from both ears and compares and contrasts them. By analysing the miniscule time delays as well as the difference in loudness of each sound reaching the ears, the person is able to accurately locate a sound source. Simply put, if you have better hearing on one side than the other, you can't accurately tell what direction sounds are coming from.

Less amplification required. A phenomena known as “binaural summation” means that the hearing aids can be set at a lower and more natural volume setting than than if you wore only one hearing aid.

Head shadow effect. High frequencies, the part of your hearing that gives clarity and meaning to speech sounds, cannot bend around your head. Only low frequencies can. Therefore if someone is talking on your unaided side you are likely to hear that they are speaking, but be unable to tell what they have said.

Noise reduction. The brain has it’s own built in noise reduction which is only really effective when it is receiving information from both ears. If only one ear is aided, even with the best hearing aid in the world, it will be difficult for you to hear in background noise as your brain is trying to retain all of the sounds (including background noise) rather than filtering it out.

Sound quality. We are designed to hear in stereo. Only hearing from one side sounds a lot less natural to us.

What are the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids?

For most people, the main benefit of a rechargeable hearing aid is simple convenience. We are used to plugging in our phones and other devices overnight for them to charge up. 

For anybody with poor dexterity or issues with their fingers, having a rechargeable aid makes a huge difference as normal hearing aid batteries are quite small and some people find them fiddly to change.

One downside is that if you forget to charge your hearing aid, then it is a problem that can't be instantly fixed. For most a 30 minute charge will get you at least two or three hours of hearing, but if you are the type of person who is likely to forget to plug them in regularly then you're probably better off with standard batteries.

Rechargeable aids are also a little bit bigger and are only available in behind the ear models.

Finally, just like with a mobile phone, the amount of charge you get on day one is not going to be the same as you get a few years down the line. Be sure to ask what the policy is with the manufacturer warranty when it comes to replacing the battery.


Are behind the ear aids better than in the ear aids?

For most people, the answer is yes. But it's never that simple.

The majority of hearing problems affect the high frequencies a lot more than the low ones. Therefore open fitting hearing aids sound a lot more natural and ones that block your ears up can make your own voice sound like you are talking with your head in a bucket. Therefore in-ear aids tend to be less natural.

However the true answer is we can't tell until we have had a look in your ears to assess the size of your ear canal, and until we have tested your hearing to see which frequencies are being affected.

People with wider ear canals tend to have more flexibility, also there are open fitting modular CIC hearing aids now that do not block your ears.

There is also the age old rule to consider, that a hearing aid will not help you if it's sat in the drawer gathering dust. If the only hearing aid you would be happy wearing is one that people can't see, then that's what you should get.

Most people can adapt to any type of hearing aid, as long as they know what to expect. Have an honest conversation with your audiologist as to what your needs are.

What are channels, and how many do I need?

Generally speaking, six or more. Unless it's none at all.

The number of channels a hearing aid has is often a simplistic way an audiologist will use to explain why one hearing aid is better than another, but channels are complex and it is really not that straightforward.

Hearing aids amplify sounds of different frequencies by different amounts. Most people have lost more high frequencies than low and therefore need more amplification in the high frequencies. The range of sounds you hear are split into frequency bands or channels and the hearing aids are set to provide the right amount of hearing at each frequency level.

Less than six channels and this cannot be done with much accuracy, so six is the magic number. However, a six channel aid is typically very basic with few other features and is suitable only for hearing a single speaker in a quiet room. The number of channels is not what you should be looking at, it's more the rest of the technology that comes with them.

As a final note, different manufacturers have different approaches. One method is not necessarily better than any other. For example some manufacturers have as many as 64 channels in their top aids. Most tend to have between 17 and 20. One manufacturer has no channels at all.

Where can I get the hearing aids covered?

Hearing aids are easily lost, misplaced or damaged and typically are one of the most expensive personal possessions an individual can own. We offer hearing aid warranty cover for £80 per year per aid.  Find out more here

How much does the hearing test cost?

All our audiologists use the very latest technology and provide the full range of tests to accurately measure your hearing for free.  Find out about what we offer all our customers here

Do home visits cost extra?

Hearing Aid UK offers all their customers free home visiting services and home visits for hearing aids - Including hearing tests, fittings, maintenance, check-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience.  Find out more information here

How come you're much cheaper than other places?

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are dedicated to offering low hearing aid prices. We achieve this by having no head office and low marketing costs.   Our hearing aid prices are amongst the lowest you will find anywhere in the world.

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