hearing aids

Types of Hearing Aids

There are three main types of hearing aids that you can choose from today: Behind-the-ear (BTE), Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), and In-the-canal (ITC).

Choosing which style of hearing aid is most suitable for you depends on your type of hearing loss. After completing a hearing test, your hearing healthcare professional will be able to recommend styles and brands that will benefit your hearing and comfort level.

In behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, the battery compartment, microphone, and controls sit behind the ear with a clear tube connecting to the earmold. Because the earmold can be easily changed without having to purchase a new hearing aid, this style is often chosen for children whose earmolds need to be changed as they grow. The casing that sits behind the ear can be purchased in various colors to match the wearer’s skin tone, hair color, or fashion choice. The BTE is for those with moderate to profound hearing loss.

BTE Hearing Aid
BTE Hearing Aid, source: Hearing Choices


Receiver-in-the canal (RIC) hearing aids are similar to BTE but are even more discreet. A nearly invisible tube connects the casing to a receiver that sits inside of the ear canal. Because the receiver is smaller than an earmold, more natural sound is able to flow through the ear canal. RIC hearing aids also come in a variety of colors and are built for those with mild to severe hearing loss.

Beltone RIC Hearing Aid
RIC Hearing Aid, source: Beltone


In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are the most “invisible” of the styles. These hearing aid sits inside of the canal in a lightweight plastic shell and are custom made to fit the wearer’s ear canal. This style also comes in a completely-in-the-canal (CIC) form that is smaller and even less visible. ITC hearing aids are made for moderate to severe hearing loss, while CIC is made for mild to moderate hearing loss.

Starkey ITC Hearing Aid
ITC Hearing Aid, source: Starkey 
Starkey CIC Hearing AId
CIC Hearing Aid, source: Starkey


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