Hearing Aid Styles

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When you type “hearing aids” into a search engine, the myriad of results and information may overwhelm you. While it is fantastic that there are so many hearing aid manufactures, styles, and features to meet individual needs – it can easily become exhausting. When you work with us, you will be teaming up with passionate hearing healthcare professionals that strive to form a relationship with you, because we believe that is the best road towards finding you the perfect hearing solution. While we will walk you through the entire process, a broad understanding of some hearing aid basics can help you to better understand your options.

Style of Hearing Aids

Typically identified by a three-letter acronym, hearing aid styles usually reference how it fits onto or into your ear. For most manufacturers of hearing aids, one hearing aid “series” will offer the same or similar features across multiple styles within the series.
Invisible-In-Canal (IIC)
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Invisible-In-Canal or IIC hearing aids are the absolute smallest hearing aids available on the market. As one may derive from the name, IIC hearing aids are often completely invisible when worn, although this can sometimes vary depending on the structure of your ear canal. Most IIC hearing aids are to be removed each night, although there are some options that can be worn for months at a time without removal.

Completely-In-Canal (CIC)
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Similar to IIC hearing aids, Completely-In-Canal styles are custom molded and fit completely inside your ear canal. They are also extremely tiny, however, there is a very small portion of the hearing aid that is visible when looking directly into one’s ears – although they are still incredibly discreet and are most often undetectable.

In-The-Canal (ITC)
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In-The-Canal ITC hearing aids are similarly custom fit and worn mostly within the ear canal, however, there is a small portion that will sit within your outer ear and will therefore be visible to others.

In-The-Ear (ITE)
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In-The-Ear ITE hearing aids fit within the outer ear and are slightly less discreet than the in-the-canal styles, although they do come in multiple skin tone options to help them appear less conspicuous. ITE styles are suitable for those who like to make manual adjustments to their hearing aids rather than using an app.

Receiver-In-Canal (RIC)
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Receiver-In-Canal RIC hearing aids include an apparatus that sits behind your ear, with tiny wire tubing that connects to a receiver that fits within your ear canal. The technology of the hearing aid is housed behind the ear; however, modern RIC hearing aids are incredibly small. The part of the hearing aid that sits behind the ear typically comes in various skin or hair tones for those who want their aids to blend in, and bright and fun colors for those who want to stand out.

Behind-The-Ear (BTE)
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BTE hearing aids share a similar structure with RIC hearing aids. The main difference between these two is instead of a thin wire tubing, there is a small plastic tubing that connects to the receiver in the canal. BTE hearing aids are typically the most powerful, and are suited for the most severe or profound hearing loss.

Features of Hearing Aids

There are multiple hearing aid features that can meet individual needs, however, not every person needs every feature. Knowing which features interest you can help us narrow down our options.

Tinnitus Relief

If you suffer from tinnitus, it may be smart to choose a hearing aid that has targeted support features for those with tinnitus.

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Smartphone Connectivity

The Muse by Starkey was the first truly Made-For-iPhone hearing aid, although there have been many others that have since entered the market. If you are interested in streaming music or phone conversations directly to your hearing device, you’ll want a hearing aid with smartphone connectivity features.


If you lead an active lifestyle, you may be worried about your device coming into contact with water, sweat, dust, or debris. If you enjoy the great outdoors or sweating it out in yoga, we will seek a hearing aid with a higher IP for you. IP stands for International Protection Rating and measures a hearing aid’s ability to withstand damage from dust or water. An IP number is two numbers with the first number representing the devices ability to withstand debris and the second number representing the device’s ability to withstand water damage. The higher the numbers, the better the device will be at withstanding these elements.

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These are just three examples of the thousands of features available. If you are interested in learning more about hearing aid styles or features that may be right for you, our team at Venus Mobile Hearing looks forward to speaking with you.

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