Hearing aids are available in many different shapes and sizes.

Prescott Hearing explains the different options of size and style to suit your unique circumstances.

Prescott Hearing created a list of descriptions, types, and features of different styles of hearing aids. It is far from exhaustive in describing the features, advantages, and potential disadvantages of each, but will give you an idea of the different options available. In the future, we will be writing individual blogs devoted to each style.

IIC – (invisible-in-canal)

The tiniest, invisible in canal hearing aid.  Smaller ears may not accommodate this device. This style has the fewest features, is the most discreet, has limited venting, no ear-to-ear, minimal battery life, and is the most difficult to handle because of its small size.

CIC – (completely-in-canal)

The smallest technology with streaming capabilities. There is no directional microphone, no telecoils, is molded to fit inside the ear canal, and has limited Bluetooth capabilities. This aid is known to be vulnerable to earwax clogging the speakers, and has a fairly short battery life.

ITC – (in-the-canal)

Slightly larger, custom molded, and is MFi (Made for iPhone) capable. Has directional microphones, t-coil is optional, and is ear-to-ear capable. It uses a larger battery, hence longer battery life, but a little less discreet. This is kind of a hybrid between CIC and ITE and may be rechargeable in the near future.


ITE – (in-the-ear)

The largest shell, completely fills the bowl in the ear, is the least discreet, but the most versatile. It can have t-coils, has ear-to-ear capability, is the easiest to handle, and Bluetooth capable. This hearing aid is usually the most powerful, but may pick up more wind noise than the smaller aids, and may be rechargeable.

Mini-RIC – (mini receiver-in-canal)

Employs a smaller battery size (maybe size 10), has fewer features, no Bluetooth, is not wireless, is more discreet, and may be rechargeable. The aid rests behind the ear with a tiny wire extending to the ear and has a very small receiver inside the ear.  It can accommodate stock tips or custom earmolds.

RIC – (receiver-in-canal)

Very feature-rich, is a little larger than the mini, and virtually all combinations of technology are available. This one can be quite powerful, may be instant fit with stock tips, accommodates custom ear molds, and rechargeable options are available. The aid rests behind the ear with a tiny wire extending to the ear and has a very small receiver inside the ear.

BTE – (behind-the-ear)

Requires a custom mold, is usually the most powerful, is easier to handle (in some cases), may be rechargeable, easy maintenance, is feature-rich, Bluetooth efficient, t-coils are optional, and ear-to-ear capability. This aid hooks behind the ear with small tubing to the custom earmold.

Prescott Hearing Center hopes this discussion of some of the different kinds and styles of hearing aids is helpful to you. We have the right type and style of hearing aid for you!

Call the experts at Prescott Hearing Center today at 928-899-8104 or book an appointment here.

You can even take a complimentary on-line hearing test here