Which Style of Hearing Aid is Right For Me?

Every manufacturer has their individual range of hearing aid, available in different shapes and sizes. We refer to this as ‘hearing aid style’.

The style we advise you on is a combination of personal preference, along with the best style suited to your hearing loss and ear canal shape and size.

Hearing Aid Styles

RIC – Receiver in the Canal / RITE – Receiver in the Ear
Suitable for most kinds of hearing loss, RITE or RIC is today’s most popular style of hearing aid and provides the most natural sound. .

The compact case housing the electronics is located behind the ear, while the speaker (receiver) is located at the end of an ultra-thin sound wire that travels into your ear canal. This enables a clearer and more natural sound quality.

These aids are lightweight and much smaller than BTE devices. Options for some manufacturer’s includes a Mini RIC/RITE version – they’re almost invisible when worn.

BTE – Behind the Ear
BTE hearing aids come in various sizes, the smallest of which is the miniBTE. The electronics, including the speakers, are housed in a compact case behind the ear, and the sound is sent through a tube into the ear canal.

The larger versions of the BTE can accommodate a larger battery, control buttons, and a more powerful amplifier – making them perfect for people whose hearing loss demands a powerful aid.

Traditional BTE devices are often the best hearing aids for people living with severe and profound hearing loss. Due to the larger size of the BTE design, it is also a good choice for people with limited hand dexterity or vision.

IIC – Invisible in Canal
The IIC hearing aid is a truly discreet hearing aid. As it sits deeper within the ear canal, the IIC is completely hidden from view.  It must be noted that not everyone is suited for an IIC, as it is dependent on your ear canal shape and size.  If your ear canal is too narrow or short, it means the device cannot be manufactured small enough to contain all the electronic components.

CIC – Complete in Canal
The CIC hearing aid is slightly larger than an IIC device, with only its face plate visible at the entry of the ear canal. The CIC is available in a number of sizes, including micro. Again, not everyone is suited too all available sizes of a CIC device as it is dependent on the shape and size of your ear canal and auricle.


See Hearing Aid Performance for more information on what level of technology is going to be best suited to your needs.