Hearing AID Styles

Behind the ear (BTE) and mini behind the ear (mBTE)
In BTEs, the receiver, microphone and amplifier are housed in a shell behind the ear. A clear plastic tube connects the shell to a custom earmould in the ear. A larger shell size allows BTEs to hold more circuitry than other styles. Also, they can be fitted for a wide range of hearing losses, and they tend to be very durable. The mini version of a BTE is simply smaller than traditional BTEs.
Receiver in canal (RIC) and mini receiver in canal (mRIC)
RICs are similar to BTEs in that the shell fits behind the ear, but RICs are smaller and less noticeable. They have a transmission wire that connects the shell to the receiver, which is housed in a custom earmould or dome-shaped ear bud. This allows for better sound control than a BTE.
In the ear (ITE)
ITE hearing aids are custom earmoulds with circuitry built in that fill most of the visible portion of the ear. ITEs are best suited for mild to moderately severe hearing losses. ITEs are ideal for those with limited dexterity because of their size and easy to use controls.
In the canal (ITC)
ITC custom fit hearing aids are smaller than ITEs and are partially visible in the outer ear. ITC devices are best for mild to moderate losses but can be used by some patients with moderately severe losses.
Completely in the canal (CIC)
CIC custom it devices fit all the way in the ear canal. They are rarely visible and are therefore cosmetically appealing. Some hearing aid wearers with narrow ear canals may not be candidates for CICs. These tiny hearing instruments are most suitable for mild to moderate losses.
Invisible in canal (IIC)
IIC custom fit devices are similar to a CIC, except they fit deeper within the ear canal. They are not visible at all when worn. Like the CIC, some hearing aid wearers with narrow ear canals may no be candidates for IICs. These tiny devices lower the chances of sound distortion by being positioned closer to the ear drum.