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Hearing Aid Styles

Custom In Ear Styles

Custom style hearing aids are created for your ear’s unique anatomy, using a casting of your ear. They can be made in different skin tones to blend in with the outer ear. 

Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids

This miniature custom style, the completely-in-the-canal hearing aid sits deep within the ear canal and is nearly invisible. This style can be used to treat mild to moderate hearing loss.

In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids

In-the-canal hearing aids fit in the lower part of the outer ear (concha bowl). Slightly larger than completely-in-the-canal hearing aids, they have a longer battery life, and can offer additional features, including volume controls and directional microphones for noisy environments. They can be used to treat mild to severe hearing losses.

In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

In-the-ear hearing aids look similar to in-the-canal hearing aids, but slightly larger, from half shell designs to full shell designs which fill the entire outer ear bowl. Like in-the-canal hearing aids, in-the-ear hearing aids can offer features like controls to activate special settings for different environments.

Behind-The-Ear Styles

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids are tucked behind the top of the outer ear, with slim, nearly invisible tubing that directs sound into the ear. An ear tip or Earmould is used to secure the tubing in the ear canal. BTEs are available in a range of colors to blend in with skin tones or hair color. They can even come in bright colors and funky print designs to suit personal styles. The various sizes offer different levels of visibility, as well as different features, controls, and battery lifespans.

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids

Receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids, also called receiver-in-canal, are smaller mini BTEs with the speaker incorporated in the ear tip, instead of in the main body of the hearing aid. Receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids can be used to treat mild to severe hearing losses.

These are our preferred style for most of our clients as they typically provide the best sound quality, are smaller and much more comfortable to wear.

Mini BTE with slim tube and tip

Mini BTEs hide behind the outer ear, with ultra-thin tubing to direct sound into the ear. This hearing aid style looks similar to the receiver-in-the-ear style. The tubing ends in a soft tip that sits within the ear canal without blocking it, for an open feeling as sound enters the ear naturally along with amplified sound from the tip. This open fitting method is recommended for mild to moderate high-frequency losses.

BTE Earmould Hearing Aids

The longer shape of BTEs with earmolds can hold more features and power than other designs. The color and style can be made to match the wearer’s hair or skin tones. BTEs with Earmolds can be used to treat mild through profound hearing losses.

Invisible Aids

A truly invisible hearing aid – does it exist?
Invisible… clearly not. But unnoticeable… definitely yes.

At Hidden Hearing we pride ourselves in determining the specific needs and priorities of our clients with respect to aesthetics and performance. It is often a delicate balancing act to ensure maximum discretion (invisibility) whilst maintaining audibility and speech discrimination.

Huge strides have been made over the years in miniaturising hearing aid technology and at the same time enhancing performance. This is no more evident than with the recent release of the new generation of deep canal hearing aids from Phonak and Starkey.

These aids sit deep in the ear canal and for all intents and purposes when inserted are virtually invisible. These devices are significantly smaller than the now fairly common completely in canal (CIC) aids.

Starkey SoundLens

The Starkey SoundLens is the original and the smallest Invisible-In-Canal hearing aid. The hearing aid sits deep in the ear canal with its faceplate at the second bend of the ear canal and the speaker sitting millimetres from the ear drum. Starkey go to great lengths to ensure that every SoundLens they build is the smallest possible. Ear impressions are scanned using 3D imaging equipment and the order emailed to Starkey’s USA laboratory where each SoundLens is custom built by Starkey’s specially trained technicians. The result is a great fitting, totally hidden hearing aid. The SoundLens is available in 3 performance levels making it financially affordable to most people.


Phonak Virto IIC

The Phonak Virto IIC is more than just a tiny hearing aid. It is the perfect combination of maximum hearing performance and minimum size. It is custom crafted to fit entirely in your ear canal, using computer-aided design and the latest generation of advanced materials. Wearing comfort is guaranteed while consistently delivering outstanding sound quality.

Due to the deep position in the ear canal, the Phonak Nano uses the natural shape of the ear to transmit sound to the microphone which means excellent directional hearing, as well as virtual invisibility.

Phonak Virto Titanium

Due to the incredibly thin shell of IIC aids they are more prone to damage than other styles of hearing aids. Phonak have overcome this problem by producing a virtually indestructible aid made from titanium.

Phonak Lyric

The Phonak Lyric is an extended wear deep canal hearing aids. The Phonak Lyric is a modular (non-customised) device with different sized domes to fit the individual ear. The technology is not as advanced as the other deep canal devices, but the goal is to have a device that can sit in your ear for 3 months without the need for any user interaction.

Unique to the Phonak Lyric is that it is clinically inserted into the ear canal for extended use, usually 2 to 4 months. At the end of this period the Phonak Lyric needs to be extracted by a hearing professional and a new device inserted. On average 4 devices would be inserted each year per ear.

All of these aids will only fit certain dimensions of ear canal. If the ear canal is too narrow, has too tight a bend, or other contra indications exist such as excessive wax in the ear canal or perforated eardrums, then these devices may not be suitable. In these cases other discrete hearing aids may be more advisable to consider.

Check out our Buyer’s Guide