Types of Heraing Aids

Behind the Ear Hearing Aid

A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and  rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom  earpiece called an earmold that fits in your ear canal. This type is  appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of  hearing loss. A behind-the-ear hearing aid:  

  • Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible
  • Is capable of more amplification than are other styles
  • May pick up more wind noise than other styles

Invisible in the Canal Hearing Aid

A invisible-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit completely inside your  ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:  

  • Is the smallest and least visible type
  • Is less likely to pick up wind noise
  • Uses very small batteries, which have shorter life and can be difficult to handle
  • Doesn't contain extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

Open Fit Hearing Aid

An open-fit hearing aid is a variation of the behind-the-ear hearing  aid with a thin tube. This style keeps the ear canal very open, allowing  for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally and for  high-frequency sounds to be amplified through the hearing aid. This  makes the style a good choice for people with mild to moderate hearing  loss. An open-fit hearing aid:  

  • Is less visible
  • Doesn't plug the ear like the small in-the-canal hearing aids do, making your own voice sound better to you
  • May be more difficult to handle and adjust due to small parts

Hearing Aid Options


  • Noise reduction. All hearing aids have some amount of noise reduction available. The amount of noise reduction varies.
  • Directional microphones. These are aligned on  the hearing aid to provide for improved pick up of sounds coming from in  front of you with some reduction of sounds coming from behind or beside  you. Some hearing aids are capable of focusing in one direction.  Directional microphones can improve your ability to hear when you're in  an environment with a lot of background noise.


  • Rechargeable batteries. Some hearing aids have  rechargeable batteries. This can make maintenance easier for you by  eliminating the need to regularly change the battery.
  • Telecoils. Telecoils make it easier to hear  when talking on a telecoil-compatible telephone. The telecoil eliminates  the sounds from your environment and only picks up the sounds from the  telephone. Telecoils also pick up signals from public induction loop  systems that can be found in some churches or theaters, allowing you to  hear the speaker, play or movie better.
  • Wireless connectivity. Increasingly, hearing  aids can wirelessly interface with certain Bluetooth-compatible devices,  such as cellphones, music players and televisions. You may need to use  an intermediary device to pick up the phone or other signal and send it  to the hearing aid.


  • Remote controls. Some hearing aids come with a remote control, so you can adjust features without touching the hearing aid.
  • Direct audio input. This feature allows you to plug in to audio from a television, a computer or a music device with a cord.
  • Variable programming. Some hearing aids can store several preprogrammed settings for various listening needs and environments.
  • Environmental noise control. Some hearing aids offer noise cancellation, which helps block out background noise. Some also offer wind noise reduction.
  • Synchronization. For an individual with two  hearing aids, the aids can be programmed to function together so that  adjustments made to a hearing aid on one ear (volume control or program  changes) will also be made on the other aid, allowing for simpler  control.