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Image shows different types of hearing aids

Finding the right type of hearing aid

Ready to improve your hearing but not sure what type of hearing aid is best for you? You’ve come to the right place. On this page you will get an overview of:

Additionally, you are always welcome to visit one of our hearing centers, where we will be happy to show you some of the most popular hearing aid models available.

Find a hearing center nearby

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Hearing aid type: In-the-ear

There are five types of in-the-ear hearing aids, ranging from the invisible-in-the-canal to the full shell in-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Suited for mild to severe hearing loss
  • The smallest style is virtually invisible inside the ear
  • The full shell style fits inside the outer bowl of the ear
  • All types are custom-made to suit the shape of your ear, ensuring optimal comfort and sound quality
  • Some models offer Bluetooth® technology so that you can stream sound from your phone, computer or TV
Risk-free hearing aid trialIn-the-ear hearing aids

4 facts about in-the-ear hearing aids

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1. Discreet and less noticeable than other hearing aid types
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2. May be susceptible to earwax and moisture build-up
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3. Rarely available with rechargeable batteries
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4. Can include Bluetooth® streaming and telecoil features

Tips from a hearing care professional 

Find a hearing center with in-house hearing care professionals or specialists who provide counseling based on your specific needs. A specialized hearing center will have several hearing aid types and brands, allowing you to find the most optimal solution for you.

Book a complimentary hearing assessment

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Hearing aid type: Behind-the-ear

These types are the most popular hearing aids for people with hearing loss.

  • Suited for mild to profound hearing loss
  • All components are housed behind the ear with a clear tube leading to an earpiece that fits inside your ear
  • Modern hearing aids are sleeker and slimmer than older versions and are great for people with dexterity challenges or visual impairment.
  • Feature powerful Bluetooth  technology and typically have more options than in-the-ear hearing aids
Behind-the-ear hearing aids

4 facts about behind-the-ear hearing aids

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1. More powerful and versatile than in-the-ear hearing aids
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2. Rechargeable battery options available
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3. Some users find the behind-the-ear placement more comfortable
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4. Can often connect to and stream wirelessly from smartphones, TVs and tablets

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Invisible hearing aids

Modern hearing aids are more discreet than ever before. In fact, many hearing aids are practically invisible. Designed to be especially discreet, the smallest variants of in-the-ear hearing aids are placed inside the ear canal. Examples of these include:

  • Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids
  • Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids

These types are considered to be the most nearly invisible hearing aids available. Since they sit completely inside your ear canal, people are unlikely to notice them.

Several types of behind-the-ear hearing aids are also very discreet and will not be particularly noticeable when worn. Behind-the-ear hearing aids allow for more features and advantages, making them the preferred type of hearing aids for many wearers.

More about invisible hearing aids


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Rechargeable hearing aids

Some hearing aids offer the convenience of rechargeable batteries. An easy overnight charge allows for hassle-free maintenance by eliminating the need to regularly replace batteries. Having rechargeable hearing aids removes the inconvenience of having to change batteries, which is a benefit to all, especially for those with dexterity challenges.

Learn more about rechargeable hearing aids


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Bluetooth® hearing aids

If you choose a hearing aid with Bluetooth® technology, you can connect it to your TV so that you can hear the audio directly in your hearing aid, making it easier to hear your favorite TV show.

It is also possible to connect a hearing aid to other Bluetooth® devices, such as mobile phones, computers, and tablets. If you have an iPhone®, then your Bluetooth® hearing aids can double as a wireless headset, allowing you to listen to music or make hands-free phone calls.

Find out more about Bluetooth® hearing aids


What are OTC hearing aids?
The FDA’s newly created Over-The-Counter (OTC) hearing aid category is designed to be sold directly to the consumer, over the age of 18, with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. While the intent was to provide access to hearing aids at a lower price, the actual cost in terms of safety, customization and support could make this a costly experience for some. 

Your hearing is as unique as your fingerprint.

HearingLife proudly provides professionally fit hearing devices for all different budgets and offers flexible payment plans. We support our customers throughout their journey with personalized care for the life of the hearing aid, at no additional cost. You can be assured that our recommendations and individualized care result in better hearing and money well spent. Read more about OTC hearing aids at HearingLife.

HearingLife Hearing Aids Over-The-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids
Complete hearing assessment No professional hearing evaluation; self-diagnosis
Medical concerns can be addressed Medical concerns are left unchecked
Product selection based on hearing loss and lifestyle needs No guidance for product selection
Solutions can be provided for all levels of hearing loss Only address mild-to-moderate hearing loss
Custom fit hearing aids Universal fit hearing aids, no customization
Hearing devices provide clearer hearing, with 360° of sound, and adjust to background noise Hearing aid makes sound louder, not clearer
Hearing aids built on advanced platforms with the latest technology Very limited, basic technology
Professional support, virtual or in-person, for hearing aid issues, problems, etc. Minimal support
Fine-tuning and hearing aid adjustments as needed Hearing aids not able to be professionally fine-tuned

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Book a RISK-FREE, 30-day hearing aid trial

Complimentary hearing assessments – Risk-free consultation with a hearing care expert – Try your preferred hearing aid type at home, risk-free for 30 days
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What to consider when researching hearing aid types

Guide to choosing hearing aids

There are several factors that can determine which hearing aid is the right model for you. This 3-step guide will help you understand how to find the best hearing aid for you.

Download guide Guide to hearing aids

Leslie Soiles, Chief Audiologist
Dr. Leslie Soiles

Au.D., Doctor of Audiology
Lic. #364, Chief Audiologist, HearingLife

Dr. Leslie Soiles founded HearingLife's Shrewsbury's office (formerly New England Hearing Instruments) in 1996. As a Doctor of Audiology, she has worked with Ear, Nose and Throat Physicians for the first 20 years of her career.

Dr. Soiles serves as Chief Audiologist for HearingLife. Click here to read her complete bio and learn more about her education and background.