Types of Hearing Instruments

Types of Hearing Instruments

Today’s hearing aids are more diverse in size, shape and function than the analog devices of the past. While some types of hearing aids are more popular than others, everyone has unique preferences and needs. It’s important to choose a hearing aid that meets your personal expectations, cosmetic preferences and hearing loss needs. Here’s a look at the styles of hearing aids available to patients today. Call us today; we would be happy to demonstrate these technologically advanced digital devices for you at Audiology Innovations during a hearing aid consultation appointment.

Types of Hearing Equipment


BTE hearing aids account for more than 80% of all hearing aid salesin Largo, Florida and across America. There are three basic types of hearing aid styles worn behind the ear.
Receiver-In-the-Canal (RIC)—RIC hearing aids are by far the most popular type of hearing aid. These devices combine the effectiveness and ease of use of BTE devices without occluding, or blocking, the entire ear canal. All BTE/RIC devices are programmed by your audiologist to amplify sounds within a certain range of frequencies. That way, other sounds that you don’t struggle to hear can enter your ear without amplification, creating a much more natural listening experience. This type of hearing aid is best for people with high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss that’s mild to moderate.

Receiver-In-The-Ear (RITE)—RITE devices are similar to traditional BTE hearing aids and also sit behind the ear. In these devices, though, the receiver is housed separately and sits in the bowl, or concha, of the ear. The two parts are connected by a tiny, thin wire. RITE hearing aids are smaller and more subtle than BTE devices. They work best for patients with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Behind-The-Ear—Traditional BTE hearing aids are versatile, easy to use, and helpful for patients with all levels of hearing loss. The devices are particularly popular with young children and seniors because they are simple to control and maintain. The electronic components in BTE hearing aids are housed in a small casing that rests behind the ear. Sound is directed into the ear canal via a thin, clear tube that arches over the top of the ear. BTEs are available in customizable skin tones as well as bright colors and patterns, so they’re great for any style.


ITE hearing aid styles are selected less often now than in past decades, but they are still are an option for many Largo hearing loss patients. Today, ITE styles account for about 1 in 5 hearing aid purchases.Your audiologist will help you determine whether one of the ITE styles is the best hearing aid for you.

Completely-In-the-Canal (CIC)—CIC hearing aids are some of the smallest hearing aids available, making them virtually undetectable. Since CIC devices rest deeply in the ear canal, they are able to utilize the ear’s natural shape for better directionality and sound localization. This type of hearing aid is effective for mild to moderate losses, though it’s important to keep in mind that CIC hearing aids offer fewer features and functions due to their size.

In-The-Canal (ITC)—ITC hearing aids are slightly smaller than ITE devices, but they can still be visible to othersfrom the side. These devices are worn in the outer ear canal and are recommended for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.

In-The-Ear—ITE hearing aidsrest in the bowl-shaped section of the outer ear (concha), either fully or partially filling it depending on whether they’re full-shell or half-shell earmolds. ITE devices are more visible than other types of hearing aids, but their size makes them easy to adjust. ITE hearing aids use large batteries, which last longer and are easier to insert, remove and clean. These devices can treat patients with all levels of hearing loss.