Hearing Aid Styles

What types of hearing aids are available at The Hearing Centre?

We are not tied to any particular manufacturer. This enables us to give you totally unbiased advice. We fit all the leading makes of hearing aids including: Siemens, Oticon, Widex, Phonak, Unitron, Starkey and GN ReSound.

Hearing aids come in a choice of fitting design:

Invisible in the Canal (IIC)

Invisible in the CanalInvisible in the canal (IIC) or ‘nano’ – is the smallest style of hearing aids available. They are custom made hearing aids which fit deeper into the ear canal than any other hearing aid, making it almost invisible. The IIC is popular for its high cosmetic appeal as it offers an ultra-discreet solution, yet the wearer is still able to hear the difference as they benefit from the ear’s natural resonance and localisation features.  These hearing aids are now available wirelessly which means there is access to additional programs and Bluetooth devices.

Completely in the canal (CIC)

Completely in the CanalCompletely in the canal (CIC) – This style of hearing aid is similar to the IIC. They are also custom-made and sit in the ear canal, only slightly further out. The slightly bigger size facilitates push buttons to change between programmes and control the volume of the aids. The Bespoke hearing aids are designed to suit skin tone making it discreet in the wearer’s ear.

In the Canal (ITC) / In the Ear (ITE)

In the CanalIn the canal (ITC) or in the ear (ITE) hearing aids are custom made hearing aids which sit in the bowl of the ear. They can be made in a bespoke half shell style which covers the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, or they can be made in a full shell which covers the entire bowl of the ear. The larger style of hearing aids allows for a wider range of hearing losses to be fitted and accompanies a longer battery life. For individuals who have dexterity related problems, this style of hearing aid is more desirable as it allows for easier handling with insertion & removal, push buttons and manual volume controls.  A telecoil for a loop system can also be added to this type of hearing aid.

Receiver in the canal (RIC)

Receiver in the CanalReceiver in the canal (RIC) hearing aids are the most popular in the private market. The RIC hearing aids have the receiver built into the tip which sits in the canal emitting the sound straight into the ear; whereas the processor and microphone are built into a slim case that is tucked away discreetly behind the ear, both connected by a thin wire. As the tip doesn’t block the ear canal it allows a blend of sounds to be heard, with amplified sounds entering through the tip and some sounds heard naturally through the ear. This style of hearing aid offers the crisp and clear sound quality of the custom made hearing aids with twice the comfort as it allows the ear to breathe. A wide range of hearing losses can be fitted with RICs and a whole host of additional programmes are available with Bluetooth or wireless connectivity.

Behind the Ear (BTE)

Behind the EarBehind the ear (BTE) hearing aids are designed for stronger hearing losses as they are able to release more power into the ear, however they are suitable to fit any type of hearing loss. For milder hearing losses, an open fitting hearing aid is recommended which accommodates a thin tube into the ear with a tip at the end which sits in the canal. The hearing aid sits on the back of the ear and houses the processor, microphone and receiver. For stronger hearing losses the BTE is fitted with a custom made ear mould which seals the ear to enable more power to stay inside making the sound louder without whistling. Individuals who have severe hearing losses or suffer from poor dexterity favour BTE’s as they have access to more volume and handling is a lot easier.  These aids have access to many additional programs and can be connected wirelessly to Bluetooth accessories.