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Advanced
Technology

What are in-the-ear hearing aids?

In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE) are devices with no external wires or tubes visible, as opposed to behind-the-ear hearing aids. ITE hearing aids are all custom-made, ensuring both a perfect fit and neat look.

When you select an in-the-ear hearing aid, the hearing care expert will need to take an impression or scan the inside of your ear, for a personalized fit.

3 features of hearing aids in-the-ear

Illustration of ear
Virtually Invisible
Hardly anyone will notice that you are wearing a hearing aid
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Custom-made
Designed for a personalized fit, nothing behind the ear 
Illustration of hand
Easy to handle
Easy to place in your ear and remove when needed

What are the different in-the-ear hearing aid styles?

Take a look at how the five different ITE styles fit in the ear:

Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids

Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids (IIC) are the smallest hearing aids available. These custom-made hearing aids fit fully inside your ear canal, making them almost, if not completely, invisible. Tiny cords are attached to the hearing aid so that you can remove them easily.

  • Adapt automatically to the sound environment
  • Have a discreet style
  • Can be vulnerable to earwax and moisture build-up
  • Are better for minimizing wind noise (due to their placement)
  • Do not have a directional microphone
  • Can be difficult to adjust for those with dexterity issues

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Image shows Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aid in ear

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids

Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids (CIC) were the smallest hearing aids available before the IIC hearing aid was introduced. The CIC is still discrete, however typically the face plate of the hearing aid can be visible at some angles.

  • Are custom-made to fit discreetly inside the ear canal
  • Are mostly invisible to those around you
  • Can accommodate an optional button that allows you to manually control settings for different environments
  • Can be vulnerable to earwax and moisture build-up

Book FREE* hearing check

Image shows completely-in-the-canal hearing aid in ear

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

ITC hearing aids sit in the lower third of your external ear and are custom-made to fit your ear canal shape.

  • Offer longer battery life than smaller styles

  • Option for wireless streaming/bluetooth in some models

  • Balance out background noise (via a directional microphone)

  • Are easy to insert and remove
  • Option for push button controls
  • Are slightly larger than completely-in-the-canal hearing aids

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Image shows in-the-canal hearing aid in ear

Half shell in-the-ear hearing aids

Half shell in-the-ear hearing aids are designed to fit inside half of the your external ear region. The shell of the hearing aid is made to fit the shape of your ear. Half shell in-the-ear hearing aids:

  • Are suitable for anyone with a more severe hearing loss
  • Are a good option if you want an easy-to-handle device
  • Option for wireless streaming/bluetooth in some models
  • Can house a more powerful speaker to accommodate more severe losses

Book FREE* hearing check

Image shows In-the-ear half shell hearing aid in ear

Full shell in-the-ear hearing aids

Full shell in-the-ear hearing aids are designed to fit the entire area of your external ear. These types of hearing aids are the largest of the custom models, due to the fact that they have larger amplifiers for providing greater sound amplification. The shell is custom-made to fit the shape of your ear.

  • Are suitable for anyone with a more severe hearing loss
  • Are a good option if you want an easy-to-handle device\
  • s
  • Can house a more powerful speaker to accommodate more severe losses

Book FREE* hearing check

Image shows In-the-ear full shell hearing aid in ear

In-the-ear hearing aid features

In-the-ear hearing aids are ideal if a discreet style is of most importance to you. They are also a good introduction to hearing aids for first-time users, since they sit out of the way of sunglasses - and they won't fly off when taking off your sweater. Here are some pros to wearing in-the-ear hearing aids:

Very discreet
Since these hearing aids sit inside your ear canal, they are considered to be the most discreet style available. 

Less likely to pick up wind noise
Due to their placement in the ear canal, in-the-ear hearing aids are less likely to pick up wind noise. 

Comfortable with glasses
They don’t get in the way of your glasses. 

FAQ about in-the-ear hearing aids

Maddison Franse Audiologist head shot grey background
Maddison Franse - Audiologist and Medical and Clinical Projects Specialist

BSc, MClinAud, MAudA(CCP)

What drew Maddison to the hearing care industry was the potential to help others connect with those around them, enriching their quality of life. Over her career at Audika she has gained experience in adult rehabilitation, paediatric testing and tinnitus management, and been involved the training and development of graduate and student audiologists. Excited to share her passion for hearing health and excellent clinical care she moved into the role of Medical & Clinical Projects Specialist.

Maddison's current role allows her to raise hearing health awareness amongst other health professionals and support Audika’s clinical network in providing the best possible service and care to their clients.

^Applies to Demant hearing devices only (Oticon, Bernafon & Sonic brands, excludes accessories.