The variety of hearing aids available is still growing. With technology improving exponentially, this is going to continue as well. Most people know that there are two general ‘styles’ of hearing aids – behind the ear, and in-ear. A lot of people are unsure on the differences after that, which means they might not be using the ideal hearing aid for their needs. So if you want to find hearing aid solutions that fit your needs, read on for our breakdown.
- Invisible Hearing Aids
Invisible hearing aids are the smallest type of hearing aid available. As the name suggests, you can’t see these when worn. This is ideal for people who want to be discreet. The tiny size means there isn’t usually any adjustability though and they can be tricky to insert and remove if you aren’t very dextrous. Batteries are also limited on lifespan by the size, and fiddly to change.
The deep position of the hearing aid means that it gets less interference from wind and less distortion, though it also means they’re more vulnerable to being clogged by moisture or earwax. These aids also aren’t great for high levels of hearing loss, as power and internal location limits its capability.
- In the Canal
These are custom fitted and slot into your ear canal, making them tough to spot. The extra size gives more battery life than invisible aids, plus they can deal with worse hearing too. They are still limited though, so severe hearing loss might still be a problem.
More features are available too, though it might still be a bit fiddly to use controls and earwax can still be an issue.
- In the Ear
Fitting into and filling the outer ear, these are usually skin toned to lessen their visibility. There is a low-profile version available too, which only fills part of the ear. They’re easier to handle than smaller aids and usually has a full range of features like volume control.
Larger size means more battery life and amplification too, though this is the point where wind noise can creep in too. Earwax is still an issue too.
- Receiver in Canal
This hearing aid looks similar to a behind the ear aid at first glance. The behind ear segment is smaller and tougher to spot though, because the receiver/speaker is located inside your ear canal. It connects to the rest of the hearing aid using a thin, close to invisible wire.
The receiver should be simple to clean on these if earwax problems happen. These hearing aids have the full range of features available and pretty good amplification, plus the way this tech works lets it amplify certain frequencies more than others.
- Behind the Ear
The old-school hearing aid that many of us have in mind when we think of hearing aids. It’s the biggest and most visible, though designs are getting smaller and skin coloring can make them hard to spot.
It’s capable of dealing with pretty much any level of hearing loss and easy to use. Volume control and other features are available, plus they’re easy to maintain as well. Other than visibility, the only other drawback is increased chance of picking up wind/white noise.