Thin tube or Open fit hearing aids are currently very popular. They offer many of the benefits of BTE hearing aids with the cosmetics of CIC hearing aids.
The non-occluding earpieces are very comfortable and allow you to hear unamplified sounds normally while giving you a boost just where you need it. They are ideal for high-frequency hearing losses.
CIC hearing aids fit completely in your ear canal, and are virtually unnoticeable when fitted. They usually do not have a volume control but contain an automatic gain control in the circuit to maintain a comfortable listening level.
They are usually easy to insert and remove, making them a good choice for those with limited dexterity. However, they have shorter battery life and generally have more wax problems.
Canal hearing aids fit mostly inside your ear canal, with the microphone opening located at the canal entrance.
They offer average battery life, and volume controls are available. However, people with limited manual dexterity might have difficulty with a canal hearing aid.
Half shell hearing aids offer a good compromise between size and functionality. They are not as large as full shell hearing aids, but can accomodate important features such as directional microphones and telecoils which are usually not available on smaller hearing instruments.
Full shell or ITE hearing aids are one-piece instruments custom designed to fit within your concha, or the main bowl of your ear. They are the largest in-ear style.
Benefits include the availability of directional microphones and telecoils, large vents, longer battery life, easy insertion and removal, and larger controls.
BTE hearing aids sit snugly behind your ear, and are attached to a custom earpiece molded to the shape of your outer ear.
They can be cosmetically appealing, have more features available, have less wax problems, and offer longer battery life than other sizes of hearing aids.