Hearing aid technology has advanced rapidly in the last handful of years, and for individuals who are just now exploring their options for the first time, the amount of styles on the market may seem overwhelming. Whether you want a small device that integrates the latest technology or would rather have a more basic model that’s easy to use, there’s a hearing aid for every budget and lifestyle. Our practice only partners with the leading brands in the hearing aid industry to ensure that you have access to devices that are high-quality, comfortable, and affordable. The team at Pratt Hearing Aids LLC has been helping patients select the right device for their needs since 1981.
Hearing Aid Styles
The hearing aid industry offers patients more options than ever before, yet all devices find themselves in one of two categories: Behind-the-ear (BTE) and In-the-ear (ITE). Keep reading to learn about these styles and discover which design might work best for you.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
Sitting behind or on top of the outer ear, a BTE design utilizes a tube that connects to an ear mold or tip inside of your ear canal. With the widest selection of colors, sizes, features, degrees of power, and battery types, BTE’s are so small that they are often unnoticeable to others. Some of the various BTE styles include:
The smallest BTE option on the market, a Mini BTE creates a natural hearing experience through a soft tip at the end of its tubing. This encourages airflow and sound to enter into the ear along with amplified sounds.
Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) or Receiver-in-canal (RIC):
A speaker built into the ear tip instead of the body of the device is what makes RITE hearing aids different. Their size is similar to that of a Mini BTE and they are nearly invisible to others. Mini RITE’s are also an option.
BTE with Earmold:
Patients can enjoy more features and a longer battery life with a BTE with Earmold. It uses a custom-shaped earmold at the tip of its tubing, directing sound straight to the ear canal. These devices are slightly larger and use a shape that follows the contour of your ear.
In-the-ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
Instead of resting behind the ear, ITE hearing aids sit inside of the ear using an impression for a custom fit. We offer many types of ITE styles including:
Invisible in-the-canal (IIC):
Sitting deep within the ear canal, IIC devices are the smallest hearing aids on the market and are nearly invisible to the naked eye.
Completely in-the-canal (CIC):
These devices are slightly larger than the IIC, yet are still quite discreet. CIC hearing aids fit inside of your ear canal in a more shallow fashion than other styles.
In-the-canal (ITC) or Half Shell:
Patients looking for features like volume control, directional microphones, and a larger battery will benefit from an ITC device. These typically sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl and are slightly larger than a CIC.
In-the-ear (ITE) or Full Shell:
Best for individuals with more severe hearing loss, an ITE device fills the entire outer bowl of the ear. Patients can enjoy advanced features like volume controls and longer battery life due to their larger size.
Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth Hearing Aids, Smartphone Apps, and More
Hearing aids have come a long way, and today’s models are packed full of advanced features that make wearing them a breeze. Whether you enjoy listening to music or watching your favorite television program, hearing aids have the option of connecting to other devices via Bluetooth. Now the same small devices that help you hear better can enhance your day to day life like never before!
Part of what makes this wireless connectivity so incredible is the ease of use that comes along with your advanced hearing aid. In most cases, you can install an app onto your smartphone that allows you to adjust the volume or change the settings of your hearing aid. You can create a customized hearing experience depending on the environment you’re in, all with the discreet and simple action of touching the screen of your phone. Some hearing devices can even work to pick up the sounds around you and automatically adjust your settings based on your specific hearing needs.
Wireless features also work to improve your hearing ability and the ease in which you can communicate with others. Many hearing aids can link to your phone via Bluetooth technology to provide clear and crisp conversations. By streaming directly to your aids, you remove the possibility of feedback or asking people to repeat themselves. Other audio activities like enjoying podcasts, audiobooks, listening to music, and more can also stream directly to your devices, allowing you to enjoy your favorite hobbies once again. Try using your hearing aids as a high-definition headset as well for an unparalleled listening experience.
This is an exciting time in hearing technology development and advancements occur rapidly. Be sure to ask us which models of hearing aids offer these types of features and we’ll be happy to walk you through what the latest technology has to offer.
Which Hearing Aid is Right for You?
With the ever-growing list of options these days, selecting the best hearing aid for your needs can seem daunting. Many factors will determine the best model of hearing aid for you, including your unique hearing ability, lifestyle requirements, budget, and preferences for specific features and styles. At Pratt Hearing Aids LLC we’re experts at making this an easy and straightforward process so you can find a hearing aid that best suits you.
The first step to finding the right hearing aids for you comes with a hearing evaluation, allowing us to determine exactly which features will work the best for you. It’s our goal to reconnect you with the world again and provide clear hearing day in and day out.