If you are wondering which style of hearing aid to go for, you are embarking on an important and complex journey. A journey to find the best hearing aid which will compliment your unique hearing loss. Whichever you choose, it is important to remember that the main result should be to gain optimum clarity and regain as much of your natural hearing as possible.
The fundamental design of any hearing aid is to amplify your surroundings with features, technology and settings to erase background noise and feedback. This way you can access a better sound in conversation, music and in challenging hearing situations.
With a plethora of styles to choose from it’s hard to know where to start in the process and with variances in amplification, price, style and size – it’s no wonder. But the main hurdle is to decide whether you want over the ear or in the ear hearing aids. This is ultimately determined by your hearing loss, ear shape, the severity of the loss, the connectivity you require and lifestyle.
Here we give a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of both – which we hope will give transparency that helps to steer you in the right direction.
ITE hearing aids, broadly speaking, are commonly custom-made for your unique ear – so that it sits comfortably and easily inside your ear, rather than outside it. However, you can opt for a generic shell that is designed to fit all ears. This option is, therefore, a cheaper alternative – as with anything bespoke you pay a little bit more so that it is a tailored fit. This style of hearing aid is compatible with those who have a hearing loss of mild to severe.
We have used the term ‘ITE’ to simplify and differentiate hearing aids that sit within your ear and those that sit outside. There are a few options in this style, these being:
ITE hearing aid prices from £345 - £1695 per aid | View pricelist
More in-depth information about the different types of ITE hearing aid here.
This style of hearing aid includes the behind-the-ear (BTE), also known as an open fit aid, and receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids. They are both worn behind the ear, but the BTE model has an ear mould that sits inside the ear canal. The RIC hearing aid has a receiver that is worn within the ear canal, which is attached to a wire that is worn over the ear. A more slim and tidier version of BTE, so to speak.
RIC hearing aid prices / BTE hearing aid prices from £345 - £1695 per aid | View pricelist
More in-depth information about OTE hearing aids here.
To summarise, although we have given a basic rundown on what the general advantages and disadvantages are in both styles – it is truly down to a balance of your lifestyle and hearing loss needs. When you have your hearing test, your audiologist will go through your audiogram results and define your hearing solutions needs. Only then will they be able to recommend hearing aids that will give you a premium hearing solution that is right for you.
Read Next: Hearing Aid Types
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.