Hearing Aid Styles
Receiver in the Canal or Slim Tube
Behind the Ear aids of this type are smaller, very thin, with an almost invisible wire or tube used to connect the aid to the ear canal. Mini BTEs and RICs may have a comfortable ear piece (dome) for insertion (“open fit”), but may also use a traditional earmold. Mini BTEs and RICs allow not only reduced occlusion or “plugged up” sensations in the ear canal, but also increase comfort and address cosmetic concerns for many users.
These aids can be used for mild to profound hearing loss and can often be used with assistive listening devices and accessories, such as handheld remotes, bluetooth enabled devices (telephones), In-Loop systems (movie theaters and airports), remote microphones (eliminating background noise) and iPhone/smart phone applications.
Behind The Ear with Tube
Traditional BTE (“behind-the-ear”) aids consist of a larger case and an earmold with a wider tube connecting them. The case contains the electronics, controls, battery and microphone(s) thus eliminating ear wax from getting into the components. These more traditional BTEs are often used with more severe or profound hearing losses and for those with dexterity problems handling the smaller style of aids.
In the Ear
These devices fit in the outer ear bowl (called the concha) and are known as Full Shell (filling the whole concha) or In the Canal (ITC) filling the canal and part of the concha. ITE hearing aids are custom made to fit each individual’s ear and can be used in mild to profound hearing losses. Some models of ITE hearing aids can be connected wirelessly to assistive listening devices and accessories.
Completely in the Canal Hearing Aids
This style of hearing aids fits inside the ear canal completely. Due to the deeper fit, sound can be collected more naturally by the shape of the ear, and sent down into the ear canal as it would with unassisted hearing. Depending on the size, make and model, a few allow the wearer to use a remote or mobile phone to alter memory and volume settings. Due to the small size only a limited amount of accessories are available. These aid may not be suitable for all patients or all types of hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Manufacturers
Unitron Hearing Inc. designs and manufactures hearing instruments in all styles and technology levels. Unitron also offers convenient and specialized wireless accessories and assistive listening devices that help people hear in particular noisy listening situations or when on the telephone, watching TV, or in the car.Learn More
Phonak Inc. is one of the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers, offering a full range of hearing aid styles. Phonak is a Swiss company known for cutting-edge technology and style. The Phonak product line begins with an affordable basic model using key features such as feedback suppression, directional microphones, and background noise suppression.Learn More
Widex is the world’s sixth largest hearing aid manufacturer. In close collaboration with international audiological researchers and specialists, the company has developed a wide range of digital hearing aids, including the world’s first 100% digital in-the-ear hearing aid in 1995.Learn More
GN ReSound is one of the world’s largest providers of hearing aids and diagnostic audiological instrumentation, represented in more than 80 countries. Headquartered in Ballerup, Denmark, GN ReSound is part of GN Store Nord. ReSound was founded by Dr. Rodney Perkins of Stanford University in 1984.Learn More
Starkey, In 1967 William F. (Bill) Austin owned a 30 employee hearing aid repair company. He purchased a very small ear mold laboratory named Starkey and the rest is hearing history. Starkey Laboratories, Inc. is now one of the world’s leaders in manufacturing custom hearing instruments. Begun in 1978, the Hearing Foundation has provided over 20,000 hearing aids to patients in need each year.Learn More
Signia is one of the leading hearing aid brands in the world. Their goal is to enhance hearing through iconic innovations in the industry. They don’t accept hearing loss as a limitation and know that the conservation should be about about gaining an edge and hearing better than ever.Learn More
Oticon was founded in 1904 in Denmark by Hans Demant whose wife was hearing impaired. Oticon manufactures hearing aids with features like ‘Speech Guard’ (which delivers more natural sounding speech), ‘Spatial Sound'(which preserves your ability to know where a sound is coming from) and Connectivity (which links you to TV, computers and smartphones).Learn More