A beginner’s guide to hearing aids: Types, technology and options

Author thumbnail Charlotte Jones  |  Published 05 September 2023  | Updated 19 October 2023  | 4 mins read

An audiologist fitting a hearing aid in a man's ear.

New to the world of hearing aids? Well, you’ve come to the right place! 

Read our beginner’s guide to hearing aids for all the information you need to know to get started on your journey to better hearing. 

What is a hearing aid and how do they work? 

Small electronic devices called hearing aids can be worn either in or behind the ear to amplify sounds for individuals with hearing loss. These devices are designed with advanced technology to adjust sounds, clarify speech, and reduce background noise.

A typical hearing aid consists of four major components: a microphone (or two depending on style), a processor, an amplifier and a speaker. The microphone(s) pick up the sound waves and the processor converts them into electrical signals and adds extra bits to help improve the sound quality (especially in noisy places). The amplifier then increases these sounds and are sent into the ear via the speaker.

What are the different types of hearing aids

When it comes to hearing aids, there’s a lot to consider before taking the plunge, and that includes considering the fitting styles. Depending on your lifestyle and level of hearing loss, some styles will suit your needs more than others, so let’s take a deeper look.

Receiver-in-canal hearing aids.

Behind-The-Ear hearing aids 

For most people, when thinking about hearing aids, the behind-the-ear style comes to mind. But gone are the days of big, clunky devices that stick out like a sore thumb – modern hearing aids are much sleeker in design and pack a whole lot more tech! 

The two main types of hearing aids worn behind our ears are known as receiver-in-canal (RICs) and behind-the-ear (BTEs) hearing aids and are generally the most powerful hearing aids we offer. With longer battery life and brilliant clarity, this style of hearing aid is the perfect all-rounder and suitable for just about every level of hearing loss.

In-the-canal hearing aid.

In-The-Ear hearing aids

This next group of hearing aids is worn in the ear, rather than behind it, and encompasses in-the-ear (ITE) and in-the-canal (ITC) fitting styles. These hearing aids are a great middle ground between the larger behind-the-ear styles and the smaller hearing aids which prioritise discretion above all else. Both styles of in the ear hearing aids can handle mild to severe levels of hearing loss. They are also a great choice for individuals with dexterity issues.         

Invisible-in-canal hearing aid.

Invisible hearing aids

As the name suggests, this section will put the spotlight on our smallest and most discreet hearing aids: completely in canal (CIC) and invisible in canal (IIC) hearing aids. Custom-fitted for optimal comfort, these aids pack a whole load of hearing technology into one tiny device and are perfect for those who want to wear their hearing aids without anyone noticing. One consideration with this style of hearing aid is that some models don’t currently support Bluetooth or have rechargeable batteries. However, as the technology evolves, so too will the features and functions.

Hearing aid technology explained

Much like the rest of our technology, hearing aid tech has come on leaps and bounds over the years and now boasts some of the most incredible features. Think rechargeable batteries, Bluetooth and sound streaming capabilities, and even advanced programming to enhance your listening experience, making many of your struggles a thing of the past.

How do I choose hearing aids

Now that you know a bit about the different types of hearing aids we have and their amazing features, you may be wondering how on earth you pick the right aids for you.

Well, you won’t have to make this decision on your own. Here at The Hearing Care Partnership, our audiologists will be with you every step of the way to make the choice as easy as possible for you. They will take into consideration your budget, lifestyle and level of hearing loss before making a personalised recommendation for you. 

To help make your decision even easier, we offer a convenient payment plan so you can spread the cost of your hearing aids over 10 monthly payments with 0% interest. 

Take the first step on your hearing aid journey today!

If you want to take the first steps on your hearing journey, then simply book a FREE hearing assessment today and leave the rest to us.

To book an appointment, call us on 0800 52 00 546, pop into your nearest practice or book an appointment online.