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Invisible In the Canal IIC Hearing Aids - The pros and cons of IIC hearing aids UK

Updated 02/01/2024

(IIC) Invisible hearing aids

Invisible in the Canal IIC Hearing Aids / Invisible Hearing Aids

Exploring the IIC hearing aid type


Invisible hearing aids are discreet and effective

Traditional hearing aids of the past are often associated with bulky and noticeable devices that can cause self-consciousness and social stigma.  IIC hearing aids have changed all that and are designed to overcome these limitations.

Offering a discreet and effective way to enhance hearing capabilities these invisible hearing aids have revolutionised the hearing aid industry, providing individuals with a renewed sense of confidence and improved quality of life.

Invisible In the Canal (IIC) Hearing Aids

Invisible In The Canal IIC Hearing Aids

Is an Invisible in the Canal (IIC) hearing aid right for you?  A recent study found that 40% of people would be more likely to wear a hearing aid if it were completely invisible to others and so with this in mind Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids have been developed over the last few years.

They are very similar to Completely in the Canal (CIC) hearing aids except that they are slightly smaller and are worn slightly further down into the ear canal. This means that they are completely invisible even if someone were to look directly into your ear.

IIC Invisible hearing aids

Invisible Hearing Aids / IIC Hearing Aids

The differences of Invisible in the Canal hearing aids


Battery life can be compromised

Inevitably with this reduction in size, there are some compromises on battery life (due to the smaller sized batteries) and the number and power levels of the technological features that can be included.

However, if you only suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss and discretion is a priority for you then an Invisible in the Canal (IIC) hearing aid could be exactly the style of hearing aid that you have been looking for.

Invisible in the Canal (IIC) 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 the options available to you.

IIC hearing aids

IIC Hearing Aids Pros and Cons

What are the advantages of Invisible in the Canal hearing aids (IIC)?


Pros of IIC hearing aids - They are completely invisible to others

What are the advantages of Invisible in the Canal hearing aids (IIC)?  The main reason that you would choose an Invisible in the Canal (IIC) hearing aid is that it is completely invisible to others. The only visible part is a small wire (that itself is usually incredibly difficult for others to see) that attaches to the aid which then protrudes just outside of the ear canal which you hold on to insert and remove the aid.

Another key advantage of invisible hearing aids is their cosmetic appeal.  Many people with hearing loss are hesitant to wear hearing aids due to concerns about their appearance.  Invisible hearing aids address this issue by blending seamlessly with the natural contours of the ear, ensuring that they remain virtually invisible to others.

This aesthetic advantage allows users to feel more confident in social settings and go about their daily activities without drawing unnecessary attention.

Invisible control

Obviously, due to their position completely within the ear canal, Invisible in the Canal (IIC) hearing aids can not include any on-aid controls. Therefore any adjustments need to be made via a dedicated external device.

Unfortunately, as they are inside your ear they cannot connect to a smartphone app, however many of the controls are very discreet and can be small enough to fit onto your keyring.

Comfortable to wear

As Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids are made to a custom mould of your ear canal, and because their exact location within the canal means that they rest against a slight bony protrusion, they are incredibly comfortable to wear.

They will not move around inside your ear and many people report that they are completely unable to feel them at all.

You can detect which direction sounds are coming from

Another advantage of Invisible in the Canal (IIC) hearing aids sitting so deeply within your ear is that you are still able to naturally detect which direction sounds are coming from. This is because it is still your outer ear that is funnelling sounds down into your ear canal.

Sounds feel natural

Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids produce a very natural sound profile as most of your ear is still free to conduct its natural function. The hearing aid simply acts to receive sounds as they naturally enter the ear canal and then amplify them out towards the eardrum.

This allows for the sounds to keep the most natural profile possible.


Reduced wind noise

Issues of wind noise distraction are completely eliminated with Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids, as a result of their position within the ear canal.


You can carry on as before

Because Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids sit completely within the ear canal they do not get in the way of your wearing helmets, headphones or any other type of headgear and you are also able to use your telephone completely naturally.

This makes them much more suitable for people with active lifestyles, or who find change challenging.

IIC hearing aids

IIC Hearing Aids

What are the disadvantages of Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids?


Cons of IIC hearing aids - Less powerful and more limited features

Because they are small enough to fit completely within your ear canal, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids have to sacrifice the space for the inclusion of more powerful processors and amplifiers, some of the more advanced technological features, and the larger battery sizes that is possible in some larger hearing aid styles.

Also due to their position completely within the ear canal, there is no option for binaural communication between different hearing aids, meaning that if you wear two Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids then each will need to be adjusted separately.

They can also only incorporate one microphone, however, this is actually less of an issue that you might think as Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids do not tend to suffer from issues with sound directionality detection which dual microphones tend to address.


Requires higher levels of maintenance

As Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids sit quite deeply within the ear canal, they are more susceptible to damage from the natural moisture within your ear and the buildup of earwax. This means that they require a higher level of often quite precise cleaning and maintenance to keep them in perfect working order.

To find out more about Invisible In the Canal (IIC) 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.

Smaller batteries mean less power

As they are very small, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids can only hold the smallest battery sizes, this means that they are unable to support the more powerful processors and amplifiers that more severe levels of hearing loss require.

Also, the battery life of Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids is much shorter than for hearing aids styles which can accommodate larger battery sizes.


Can cause occlusion

Because Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids completely fill the ear canal they can cause issues of occlusion such as; hearing your own voice louder or it sounding hollow, feeling that your ear is blocked or chewing and swallowing sounding noisy or unpleasant.

Larger hearing aid styles such as In The Ear (ITE) or In The Canal (ITC) can include a vent to circumnavigate occlusion issues, however, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids are too small for this to be possible.


Unsuitable for some people

If your ear canal is unusually small or of a non-standard shape then you may not be able to get an Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aid to fit. However, for the majority of people, this is not normally a problem.


As with much technology, the smaller it gets the more expensive it gets and the same can sometimes be said for Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids. Add that to their custom made design and they can be some of the most expensive types of hearing aids on the market.

However, if you choose to buy your Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aid from then you will pay the same price regardless of which style of hearing aid you choose.

Requires a remote control

Obviously, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids are unable to have controls situated on the aids themselves, so any adjustments to settings, volume or programmes have to be made via a dedicated external remote controller.

Their position deep within the ear canal also means that they are unable to connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. Most control devices are very small and discreet however the fact that they exist at all may be off-putting or unsuitable for some users.

Unsuitable for people with dexterity issues

Because they are so small and discreet, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids can be unsuitable for users with dexterity issues, or potentially with visual impairments. The devices themselves are very small, as is the wire that is used for insertion and removal.

Also, practices such as general cleaning and maintenance and changing the batteries can be quite fiddly.

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Want to discover more about IIC hearing aids?

Invisible hearing aids have ushered in a new era of hearing technology. With their discreetness, advanced capabilities, comfort and versatility they have become a game-changer in the hearing aid industry. 

To find out more about Invisible in the Canal (IIC) 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.  Call us free on 0800 567 7621

You can look at our In-Ear hearing aid prices here

You can discover other hearing aid types here

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Discover Other Hearing Aid Styles Below

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
Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids
View Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids
Receiver in Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
View Receiver in Canal (RIC) 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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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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