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Hearing Devices

Hearing Aid Styles

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid

BTE hearing aid


Open Fit/Receiver in the Canal


The hearing aid device is seated behind the ear and requires a custom fitted mold or a universal dome that is inserted into the ear canal. This earpiece is coupled to the device and is used to direct amplified sound to the ear as well as maintain placement of the device. There are miniature versions of behind the ear hearing aids currently available.

Advantages of behind-the-ear hearing aids

  • Less repairs are needed during the life of the devices
  • More flexibility in programming and adjustment as a result of a larger fitting range
  • Least expensive style of hearing aid

Disadvantage of behind-the-ear hearing aids

  • Generally more difficult for telephone use due to placement of the hearing aid microphone

Custom hearing aids
(Full shell in-the-ear, half shell, canal, and completely in the canal)

Photo of full shell in the ear hearing aid
Full Shell in-the-ear

Photo of in the canal hearing aid

Photo of completely in the canal hearing aid

In-the-ear hearing aids are available in a variety of sizes. They are custom molded to fit each individual’s ears. All of the custom hearing aids are seated directly in the ear.

Advantages of custom in-the-ear hearing aids

  • Generally the easiest to insert
  • Easiest for telephone usage

Disadvantages of custom in-the-ear hearing aids

  • More expensive as the size of the device is miniaturized
  • Less flexible for programming with the smaller sizes
  • The smallest completely in-the-canal aid is too small to accommodate dual microphone technology for improvement of hearing in noise