The choice of a hearing aid style is a personal one, and depends on your lifestyle, desired aesthetic appeal, degree of hearing loss, and other factors. The “shell” or “case” is the outer covering of a hearing aid, and determines its style. While features and technology are the most important aspects of a hearing aid, style can also make a big difference to your overall satisfaction.
There are 5 different styles of hearing aids to choose from. These are categorized by how they fit in and around your ear. Your hearing aid expert will help you choose the style that is best suited to your particular hearing loss and to your budget.
Beltone offers a range of hearing aids, each with different features and advantages that work best for particular kinds of hearing loss. You and your hearing care expert will work together to select the aid and features that will work best for you.
Designed to “disappear” from view and provide extremely natural sound, the MIC style hearing aid represents the latest innovation in custom hearing aid technology. The main part of an MIC hearing aid hides in your ear canal. This piece is custom-manufactured based on an ear canal impression taken during your visit, so it's very comfortable. The hearing aid microphone is a separate component, and is worn within the concha – or curved groove – of your external ear, where it stays out of sight. A tiny transparent tube sends sound from the microphone in your concha to the component in your ear canal.
The ingenious construction of the MIC style hearing aid takes advantage of the ear's anatomy to provide near-to-natural sound quality, and outstanding appearance. Placing the microphone in the curved portion of your ear protects it from wind noise. This makes the MIC style perfect for active individuals who spend time outdoors.
Another tiny offering, the CIC style hearing aid style is worn completely within the ear canal. It is custom-crafted from an ear canal impression taken by your Beltone Hearing Care Professional, creating a perfectly tailored fit. This ensures maximum comfort and sound quality.
CIC style hearing aids are most effective when treating mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Hearing aid wearers love them because they provide the benefit of improved hearing, with no one the wiser.
ITC-style hearing aids are custom-made, based on an impression taken of your ear canal and the surrounding area. They are slightly larger than completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids, but still considered cosmetically appealing. All of the components in an ITC hearing aid are encased within a lightweight plastic shell. Their medium size makes them a great choice for push button controls. ITC hearing aids offer a secure fit, easy insertion and removal, and longer battery life. They work best for mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Also popular is the Mini ITC style hearing aid. This option is less noticeable than the standard ITC hearing aid, but offers fewer easy-to-reach controls.
Receiver-in-Ear (RIE) hearing aids are the most popular behind-the-ear style on the market. An RIE hearing aid is comprised of a very small casing that sits behind the ear. The casing houses all of the electronic components of the hearing aid except for the receiver (also called the speaker). This allows the casing to be extremely tiny, so it's barely visible. A narrow transparent tube carries very thin wires from the casing to the receiver, which rests in your ear canal.
RIE hearing aids offer exceptionally natural sound quality, and can be used with custom-made or standard ear moulds, depending on your individual amplification needs. Almost all types of hearing loss can be assisted with RIE style hearing aids.
Easy-to-wear BTE devices are small, and feature a curved casing designed to nestle comfortably behind the ear. When matched with flesh tone or hair colour, they hide with ease. A transparent tube connects the device to a custom-created ear mold worn in your ear canal. Ear moulds are lightweight and comfortable, making BTE hearing aids easy to wear all day.
BTE style hearing aids can be used by just about everyone. They assist the entire spectrum of hearing loss, from mild to severe. Additionally, they are budget friendly, and adapt to most lifestyles.