RICs are a type of open-fit hearing aid that use a thin plastic “micro” tube that extends from the body of the hearing aid (housed behind the ear) over the outer ear and into the ear canal. A small, soft tip sits inside the ear canal without sealing it. This way, air and sound can continue to flow to the ear canal naturally.
Completely-in-canal (CIC) are custom hearing aids available. They are designed to fit almost entirely inside ear canal (external auditory meatus) and are therefore almost invisible, with only the faceplate and battery drawer slightly visible.
BTE Hearing Aids consist of a case which fits behind thepinna. The case is attached to an earmold or dome tip by a slim tube, or wire. The tube or wire courses from the superior-ventral portion of the pinna to the concha, where the ear mold or dome tip inserts into theexternal auditory canal. The case contains the electronics, controls, battery, and microphone(s) & receiver.
ITC Hearing aids are also custom-made to fit in the ear canal with a smaller portion of the hearing aid showing in the outer ear. This type of Hearing Aids are recommended for mild to mildly severe Hearing Loss.
In the ear (ITE) devices are custom made to fit in the outer ear bowl (called theconcha) of an individual. Being larger, these are easier to insert and can hold extra features. They can be used in mild to some severe hearing loss. ITEs have not been recommended for young children because their fit could not be as easily modified as the earmold for a BTE, and thus the aid had to be replaced frequently as the child grew.
Invisible in canal hearing aids (IIC) style of hearing aids fits inside the ear canal completely, leaving little to no trace of an installed hearing aid visible. This is because it fits deeper in the canal than other types, so that it is out of view even when looking directly into the ear bowl (concha). IIC types are most suitable for users up to middle age, but are not suitable for more elderly people.