Hearing Aid Types

The different designs, sizes & types of hearing aid.

Hearing aids fall into three categories

phonak hearing aid closeup
Behind The Ear (BTE)

The hearing aid sits behind your ear. Sounds travel down a tube from the hearing aid to your ear. With a BTE, you will have a custom mould or tip that keeps the tube in place in the ear.

In The Ear (ITE)

These custom-made devices are shaped to fit your ear canal, there is no part of the hearing aid above your ear and no wire or tube, the whole of the device sits within your ear. Some ITEs are more visible than others and some can sit deep inside your canal and are invisible to everyone else.

phonak hearing aids
Receiver In The Canal (RIC)

This is similar to the BTE style in that the hearing aid sits above your ear and you have a small mould or tip in your ear. The difference is that sounds do not travel from the aid to your ear via a tube, instead there is a ultra-thin wire and the sounds are generated from the small speaker in your canal.

Here's what the different hearing aids look like

Receiver In Canal (RIC)

Small, discreet and quick to fit. Perfect for the first-time hearing aid wearer.

had shot
Behind The Ear (BTE)

The world’s most common hearing aid style. Available in standard, mini or power.

head shot of man
Invisible (IIC)

Rest in the second bend of the ear canal where no one can see them.

headshot of longhaired woman with hearing aids
Completely In Canal (CIC)

Only the tiny removal handle of the hearing aid shows outside of the ear canal.

headshot of man with hearing aids
In The Canal (ITC))

Custom hearing aid that fits in the ear canal. Smaller portion shows in the outer ear.

headshot of woman with hearing aids
In the Ear (ITE)

Custom hearing aid that fits within the outer portion of the ear.


We fit hearing aids from the following industry-leading manufactures.