There are more hearing device options available today than ever before. But just like there isn’t one pair of eyeglasses for everyone, there’s also not one type of hearing device for everyone. Determining which type of hearing aid is the best fit for your lifestyle and hearing needs can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Fortunately, when you take some time to review the options with your hearing healthcare professional, you’ll see that having a range of choices is a benefit that will set you up with the best possible hearing experience.
There are four main styles of hearing devices: behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-canal, in-the-ear, and in-the-canal.
Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing devices are mostly contained in a shell that sits behind the ear. A transparent tube hooks on top of the ear, which is then inserted into the ear. This creates an open fit and prevents wearers from experiencing a plugged-up feeling.
Because of their size, they allow for easier cleaning and battery replacement. BTE devices don’t need to be custom fit, so often you can go home with your devices on the same day as your hearing evaluation.
BTE devices are also the most common style recommended for children, and people with active lifestyles find these devices to fit their needs the best.
EarQ’s Si-A7 Series BTE is waterproof, smartphone compatible, and contains a rechargeable battery.
Receiver-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids
Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing devices are very similar to BTE devices. They sit behind the ear and contain a small wire that leads to a receiver. But rather than sitting inside the device, the receiver sits inside the wearers’ ear canal producing a more natural listening experience. RICs can help moderate to profound hearing loss.
RICs tend to be slightly smaller than BTEs, since the receiver is not contained in the shell.
EarQ’s ST-H11 Series RIC are smartphone compatible hearing devices with speech clarity and feedback cancellation.
In-the-Canal Hearing Aids
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing devices are some of the smallest styles available. ITC devices hold a powerful microphone, amplifier, and receiver all in a small shell. The device sits comfortably in the ear canal.
Another form of this style is completely in the canal (CIC) devices, which are inserted deeper into the canal and contain a small transparent antenna for easy removal.
ITCs are the most discreet hearing devices and are sometimes nearly invisible.
EarQ’s ST-S11 Series is a water resistant ITC device with feedback cancellation and speech clarity.
In-the-Ear Hearing Aids
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing devices are slightly bigger than the ITC, and, much like the ITC, the ITE device is contained all in one shell. Since it is larger, it can contain more features such as the telecoil and manual volume controls.
The device sits in the outer ear and often blends in with the skin. It is made from a mold taken from the wearer’s ear, which provides a custom fit. For someone who has trouble with dexterity, this style can be much easier to handle and be inserted.
Wearers report having a less “plugged-up” feeling when the device is properly vented.
EarQ’s I5 Series ITE device contains a variety of intelligent features such as smartphone compatibility and tinnitus therapy.
Whether your hearing device needs to fit an active lifestyle or fulfill a cosmetic need, there is something that can be customized for your needs. For help and more info about choosing the right hearing device, find and contact your local hearing health professional.