Hearing Aid Model Types

IIC (Invisible In Canal)

Invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids are the smallest custom hearing aids available. They are designed and sculptured to fit entirely inside your ear canal (external auditory meatus) and are therefore almost, if not completely, invisible. Extraction cords are usually fitted to IIC hearing aids to help insert and remove them from the ear.


IIC hearing aids house a size 10 (Yellow) battery. The typical lifespan of a size 10 battery is between 3-5 days, but this can vary depending upon the number of hours per day the hearing aid is worn, the severity of hearing loss and the technology level of hearing aid.

Obviously with a hearing aid that is small enough to fit entirely into your ear canal there will have to be some compromises on things like battery size and the amount of technology that can be incorporated into Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids. This means that they are generally only suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, as they just can’t produce enough power for users with more severe hearing loss.


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  • Advantages

  • Invisible
  • Natural Sound Profile
  • Directionality Detection
  • Inconspicuous Control
  • Comfortable
  • Natural Telephone Use
  • Unobtrusive To Helmets etc

CIC (Completely In Canal)

Before invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids, completely-in-canal (CIC) hearings were the smallest custom hearing aids available. They are designed and sculptured to fit almost entirely inside your ear canal (external auditory meatus) and are therefore almost invisible, with only the faceplate and battery drawer usually visible. Extraction cords are usually fitted to CIC hearing aids to help insert and remove them from the ear.

CIC hearing aids house size 10 (Yellow) battery. The typical lifespan of a size 10 battery is between 3-5 days, but this can vary depending upon the number of hours per day the hearing aid is worn, the severity of hearing loss and the technology level of hearing aid.

Their position within the ear canal itself means that both the ear and ear canal are still able to do their natural job i.e. funnel sound down towards the eardrum, and it also means that the receiver is able to interact directly eardrum and thus with the stereocilia (hairs in your inner ear) which can then process the sound. This leads to many users reporting a more natural sound with increased directionality detection.


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  • Advantages

  • Discreet
  • Natural Sound
  • Directionality Detection
  • Inconspicuous Control
  • Comfortable
  • Natural Telephone Use
  • Unobtrusive To Helmets etc

MC (Mini Canal)

Mini-canal (MC) hearing aids are larger than both invisible-in-canal (IIC) and completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids, but still relatively discreet. They are designed and sculptured to fit in the lower third of your external ear (cavum concha). Extraction cords can be fitted to MC hearing aids to help insert and remove them from the ear.


MC hearing aids house a size 10 (Brown) battery. The typical lifespan of a size 10 battery is between 3-5 days, but this can vary depending upon the number of hours per day the hearing aid is worn, the severity of hearing loss and the technology level of hearing aid.


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  • Advantages

  • Small and low profile hearing aid
  • Dual-microphones
  • Poweful
  • Wireless and telecoil options

MIH (Microphone In Helix)

Microphone-in-helix (MIH) hearing aids have the microphone located outside of the hearing aid shell and inside the top fold of the external part of your ear (cymba concha). The shell itself is available in various sizes and fits into the lower part of your external ear (cavum concha) like a completely-in-canal (CIC) or in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid. The microphone and shell are connected by a discreet ‘mictube’ which houses an electrical cable. Extraction cords can be fitted to ITE hearing aids to help insert and remove them from the ear.


MIH hearing aids house either a size 10 (Yellow), size 312 (Brown) or size 13 (Orange) battery depending on the size shell selected. The typical lifespan of a size 10 battery is between 3-5 days, size 312 battery between 5-7 days and size 13 battery between 10-14 days but this can vary depending upon the number of hours per day the hearing aid is worn, the severity of hearing loss and the technology level of hearing aid.


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  • Advantages

  • Wind noise reduction
  • Increased word recognition
  • Superior sound quality
  • Direct streaming to an iPhone®, iPad® or iPod® Touch

ITE (In The Ear), could be half shell or full shell

In-the-canal (ITE) hearing aids are the largest of all custom hearing aids. They are designed and sculptured to fit either half your external ear (cavum concha) or the entire external ear (cavum and cymba concha). Extraction cords can be fitted to ITE hearing aids to help insert and remove them from the ear.


ITE hearing aids house a size 13 (Orange) battery. The typical lifespan of a size 13 battery is between 10-14 days, but this can vary depending upon the number of hours per day the hearing aid is worn, the severity of hearing loss and the technology level of hearing aid.

Since the introduction of Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids the popularity of In The Ear (ITE) / Full Shell has somewhat waned, however these devices can still be particularly well suited to people with dexterity issues or visual impairments and who need more power than be provided by smaller in the ear hearing styles such as In The Canal (ITC) hearing aids, Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids and Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids.


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  • Advantages

  • Comfortable
  • Powerful
  • Easy To Use
  • Natural Use With Telephones
  • Easy To Insert/Remove
  • Simple Cleaning and Maintenance

BTE (Behind The Ear, can be Mini, Standard or Power)

As the name suggests, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids sit behind the ear and deliver sound into the ear either via ‘sound tube’. The sound tube can either be 2mm diameter acoustic tubing channelled through a custom-made earmould, or a discreet ‘thin-tube’ attached to an ear dome or custom-made micro-mould which fits inside the ear canal.


BTE hearing aids house either a size 10 (Yellow), size 312 (Brown) or size 13 (Orange) battery depending on the style and size selected. The typical lifespan of a size 10 battery is between 3-5 days, size 312 battery between 5-7 days and size 13 battery between 10-14 days but this can vary depending upon the number of hours per day the hearing aid is worn, the severity of hearing loss and the technology level of hearing aid.

They consist of a small case which sits behind your ear. This houses the receiver and microphones which pick up and process sounds. These amplified sounds are then sent through a small plastic tube over your ear and into a (sometimes custom made) ear mould. Because the receiver sits outside of the ear it is not as limited in size (although BTE hearing aids can still be very small and discreet) and so can hold bigger batteries and deliver more processing power than some of the smaller hearing aid types.


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  • Advantages

  • Versatile
  • Powerful
  • Easy To Use
  • Battery Life
  • Easier to Clean
  • Affordable

RIC (Receiver In Canal)

Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids sit behind the ear and deliver sound directly into the ear. This is because the receiver is located outside of the hearing aid itself and instead inside ear canal. The hearing aid and receiver are connected by a discreet ‘receiver wire’ which houses an electrical cable.


RIC hearing aids house either a size 10 (Yellow), size 312 (Brown) or size 13 (Orange) battery depending on the style and size selected. The typical lifespan of a size 10 battery is between 3-5 days, size 312 battery between 5-7 days and size 13 battery between 10-14 days but this can vary depending upon the number of hours per day the hearing aid is worn, the severity of hearing loss and the technology level of hearing aid.

Their design is based on the traditional BTE hearing aid, however the revolution sits in the separation of the microphone, amplifier and processor into a small casing that sits behind the ear, and then putting the receiver/speaker into a small dome that sits directly in the ear which is connected to the casing via a thin wire. This results in them being smaller, suffering less from feedback and producing a more natural sound.


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  • Advantages

  • Small and Discreet
  • Reduced Feedback
  • Open Ear Canal
  • Natural Sound
  • Improved Amplification of High Pitched Sounds
  • Comfortable