Styles of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids come in a variety of styles and related features.  Selecting the right style for you is a function of (1) your audiogram and other hearing evaluation test results, (2) your budget, (3) your hand and finger dexterity, and (4) your lifestyle and personal needs.

Hearing aid styles can be defined by the following general types:

  • Receiver in the Ear/Receiver in the Canal (RIE/RIC): This newer style of BTE is extremely small and sits on top of the ear.  A small tubing extension (nearly invisible) carries the sound to your ear.

    OTE or On the Ear Hearing Aid

  • Behind the Ear (BTE): These hearing aids are about one inch in length and fit snugly behind the ear.  Once more, a small tubing extension carries the signal to your ear.

    BTE or Behind the Ear Hearing Aid

  • In the Ear (ITE): These hearing aids sit in your outer ear and are visible when worn unless covered by your hair.  This style requires a custom fit to the contours of your outer ear.

    ITE or In the Ear Hearing Aid

  • In the Canal (ITC): These are smaller than ITEs.  As a result, they fit farther in the ear canal and are barely visible.

    ITC and CIC Hearing Aids are barely visible in use

  • Completely in the Canal (CIC): These are the smallest of the ITCs.  They are barely visible when worn.  Their size, however, can make handling them difficult.
  • Invisible in the Canal (IIC): The are the newest and most discreet hearing aids.  Even upon close inspection of the ear, they are not visible to observers.  In addition, they perform well and feel natural (almost like nothing at all).  However, they are not appropriate for severe hearing loss, have short battery life, and require exceptional dexterity.

    IIC or Invisible in the Canal (like nothing at all)


Brands Represented

 lAs an independent provider or hearing loss services, Elkhart Audiology Rehab has the freedom to choose from the best product offerings on the market. Sharon has established relationships wit these corporate brands:

Signia (formerly Siemens) brings over 130 years of successful heritage building on Siemens values of technology innovation and quality.  They offer a comprehensive range of hearing aids to improve virtually any form of hearing loss you may have, as well as relieve tinnitus.  They also supply one in every four hearing aids worldwide.


Now in their 70th year, Phonak is able to continuously bring you the best possible solutions for your hearing needs. “We believe we can do more, do better, for everyone with hearing loss, and we will not stop until wearing a hearing aid is as simple and routine as eyeglasses or contact lenses.”

GN ReSound provides excellent sound by offering innovative hearing solutions that combine original thinking and design with solid technology – all based on deep audiological insight and understanding of hearing aid users. They offer a full lie of products from BTE to ITC.

Selecting Your Brand and Style

Sharon, as your local American Board of Audiology Certified audiologist will be able to show you these product styles and brands and help you determine one best suited to your hearing loss needs.  You will be able to see the various models and experience handling and wearing them.