Hearing Aid Styles

A Wide Variety of Hearing Aid Styles

Deciding the hearing aid style you want is the fun part! There are many different types of hearing aids available. You can choose:

  • A hearing aid device that’s invisible or barely visible
  • A discreet hearing instrument that doesn’t even look like a hearing aid
  • A hearing aid that is uniquely “you”—perhaps in metallic blue, espresso, or hot pink!

Each hearing aid style has advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the hearing aid style that’s right for you depends on several factors:

  • The severity of your hearing loss
  • The size and shape of your ear
  • How well you can use your finger and hands (manual dexterity)
  • The availability of the right hearing aid technology in a model you like

Learn more about different styles of hearing aids below:

Open-Ear Hearing Aid (OE)

Open-ear (courtesy of Oticon)

A thin tube or wired speaker connected to the hearing aid delivers sound to the eardrum without blocking the opening to the ear. Sounds you hear well enter your ear naturally, and the hearing aid enhances higher-frequency, harder-to-hear sounds.


  • Ideal for high-frequency hearing loss
  • Nearly invisible
  • Your own voice sounds natural
  • Lightweight, comfortable, and easy to use


  • Not suitable for very severe hearing loss.

Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid (CIC)

Savia 11 (no VC, no PB)
CIC technology is available in models that are hidden inside the ear canal and slightly larger models that are easier to remove (but still barely visible).


  • Available in an extended or daily wear models.
  • Small and discreet
  • Work well with the telephone


  • Require good manual dexterity for models you insert and remove yourself
  • Not suitable for severe hearing loss
  • Limited number of features

In-the-Canal Hearing Aid (ITC)

in-the-canal (courtesy of phonak)
These hearing aids fit into the ear canal, and only a small portion is visible. They are available in a range of flesh-toned shades.


  • Less visible than In-the-Ear models
  • Comfortable and easy to insert
  • Feature-rich


  • Not suitable for all types of hearing loss
  • Your voice may sound different to you

In-the-Ear Hearing Aid (ITE)

In-the-ear- courtesy of phonak
These hearing aids have a custom-molded shell that fits inside the bowl (concha) of the ear. They are  also available in a half-shell model. The shell is available in a range of flesh-toned shades.


  • Easy to insert and use
  • Accomodates a bigger battery and larger user controls
  • Feature-rich


  • More visibile than ITC models
  • Fills more of the ear and ear canal
  • Your voice may sound different to you

Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid (BTE)

This hearing aid fits on or behind the ear. It is coupled to a custom earpiece that fits inside the ear canal.


  • Suitable for almost all types of hearing loss
  • Feature-rich
  • Usually has a longer battery life than smaller styles


  • Visible on those with shorter hair

Click here to read more about hearing aid features.

For more information about the hearing aids available at Whisper Hearing, call toll-free at 888-986-4327.