Types & Styles of Hearing Aids

Types were once considered as analog, programmable, or digital. However, this is no longer how we divide hearing instrument classes. With the surge in digital technology and the microprocessor revolution, most hearing aids are now digital. There are still a few niche products produced with analog technology, but due to the fact that microprocessors are now less expensive, more reliable, and easier to acquire than transistor technology, over 95% of hearing instruments produced worldwide utilize “digital” technology. In this day of cell phones, computers, and media players, saying a hearing aid is “digital” is equivalent to saying a car “runs on gas”.

There is, however, a range in digital circuitry and processing algorithms in hearing instruments that requires classification, so that we can compare the hearing instruments across brands.

Types

Basic Technology - from $395

These hearing aids are digital, but not programmable. These are very simple instruments that provide similar benefits to analog hearing devices. They are usually adjusted (if they can be) by the turn of a screw set on the hearing instrument. These hearing instruments are a very basic solution. Before purchasing a hearing instrument, make sure to ask if it is “computer programmable”.

Computer Programmable Technology - from $595

These hearing instruments are a step up in technology as they allow us to adjust the amplification to your specific needs more precisely. We can change the quality of what you hear based on your needs and lifestyle. A basic programmable hearing instrument cost only a little more than a basic instrument. We highly advise all of our clients at least use programmable technology.

Advanced Digital Technology - from $995

This class of hearing instruments introduces a range of features to perform better in more complicated listening environments. Some of these instruments know the difference between speech and noise, can “zoom in” on sounds in front of you, and are able to cancel feedback, or whistling. These instruments are suitable for most lifestyles.

Premium Technology - from $1995

This class of hearing instruments utilizes the benefits of the most current hearing research and circuit design for superior listening experiences in the most complicated listening environments. These hearing instruments are usually automatic and are able to reduce background noise more effectively than any other instruments. These instruments are recommended for active lifestyles, as they are designed to adapt more effectively to you surroundings.

Styles

Completely in the Canal  ( CIC )

  • For mild to moderately - severe hearing loss
  • Smallest aids available
  • Fits inside the ear canal
  • Nearly invisible
  • Better sense of direction

In the canal  ( ITC or "Canal" )

  • For mild to moderately - severe hearing loss
  • Slightly visible in the ear
  • Moderate power
  • More venting options
  • Direction mic on select models
  • Volume control available

In the Ear  ( ITE - Full Shell or Half Shell )

  • For mild to severe hearing loss
  • Sometimes called Half/Full Shell
  • Visible in the ear
  • More power available

Traditional Behind the Ear  ( BTE )

  • For mild to profound hearing loss
  • Larger two - piece hearing aid
  • All components contained in a case that is worn behind the ear
  • May be barely visible depending on case color and earmold color

Open Fit  ( BTE )

  • For mild to severe hearing loss
  • Can be as "invisible" as CIC
  • Eliminates "plugged up" feeling for many users
    caused by traditional hearing aids
  • Allows you to use your residual natural hearing
  • Can usually be fit on the day of your initial consultation