Image shows hearing aids types

A variety of hearing aid types and styles at HearingLife

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

Image shows hearing aid placed in-the-ear

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

Illustration of ear
1. Discreet and less noticeable than other hearing aid types
Illustration of ear
2. May be susceptible to earwax and moisture build-up
icon of battery
3. Rarely available with rechargeable batteries
Illustration of bluetooth icon
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*

Image shows smiling woman
Image shows a hearing aid placed behind the ear

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

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

Image shows eye sign and a woman's face

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


Image shows battery sign and two batteries being recharged
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


Image shows bluetooth sign and woman talking on her phone

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


OTC Hearing Aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids are now available in the U.S. for adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. While HearingLife supports this effort to make hearing aids more available, we strongly believe that people who think they may need hearing aids start their journey with a professional hearing assessment.* We offer complimentary hearing assessments at HearingLife locations nationwide – find one near you here.

Learn more about OTC hearing aids here.

Image shows hand holding a hearing aid

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
Question 1 of 1
Do you currently wear hearing aids?

Step 1 of 6

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.