Which Type Of Hearing Aid Suits You?

Which Type Of Hearing Aid Suits You?

There is a huge amount of variety to hearing aids. This is because there isn’t a single type of hearing aid that can perfectly cater to every type of hearing loss.

Of course, one’s degree of hearing loss is just one out of many factors for picking out the best type of hearing aid.

The shape and size of someone’s ear – or even how well you can use your fingers and hands – are all aspects that have expanded the hearing aid options available.

That said, hearing aids can be categorized broadly into one of 5 types:

Behind-The-Ear (BTE)

BTE devices are arguably the most common and easily identifiable hearing aids. These devices are widely used, largely due to being appropriate aids for people with a wide range of hearing loss. 

This also includes individuals with profound hearing loss, or near-deafness. Fitting neatly and securely behind your ear as the name suggests, BTE devices are also attached to a custom ear mold or thin tubing.

The one downside is that because the BTE device has multiple small parts, a certain level of finger dexterity is required to ensure it is properly placed and inserted.

In-The-Ear (ITE)

ITE devices have fewer distinct parts compared to their BTE counterparts. ITEs also come in two subtypes: Full-shell and half-shell.

Full-shell ITE devices fill up your entire ear, while half-shell devices only fill a portion of the bowl in your ear. For people that don’t have as much finger dexterity, ITE devices are much simpler to equip.

It is also the recommended hearing aid for those suffering moderate to severe hearing loss.

In-The-Canal (ITC)

These devices are even smaller than both BTE and ITE hearing aids. As such, it is an excellent choice for those that prefer a more covert or less visible form of hearing aid.

ITC devices fit more deeply into the ear canal due to its small size, but this also means it uses smaller batteries and is more difficult to handle without adequate finger dexterity.

A more specialised version of ITC devices are Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) hearing aids. CIC devices fit even deeper into the ear canal, which can almost completely conceal the hearing aid if that’s your preference.

Contralateral Routing Of Signals (CROS)

If you have poor hearing in only one ear, CROS hearing aids may be a viable option. Interestingly, the hearing aid is attached to your good ear, while a linked microphone is attached to the other ear with poorer hearing.

The microphone essentially allows the sounds from your poorer ear to be heard by your good ear instead. In other words, your good ear does all the work.

CROS devices are great when, for example, someone is whispering into your poorer ear.

Receiver-In-The-Ear (RITE)

Similar to BTE devices, RITE hearing aids are placed behind your ear. The difference is that a thin receiver wire extends from the body of the RITE device into your ear canal.

The main benefit of RITE devices is that it allows the wearer to hear a more natural sound, and is appropriate for those with mild to severe hearing loss. That said, RITE devices tend to require some finger dexterity to properly use.


Cleveland Clinic (2022) Types of Hearing Aids [Accessed 15 January 2024] Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/5122-hearing-aid-styles