The smallest custom-made hearing aids, IICs are sculptured to fit entirely within your ear canal and have a small, clear cord to enable their removal. As their name suggests, these devices can be essentially invisible, however their exact appearance depends on the size of your ear and your choice of model.

Being positioned deep in the ear canal, the IIC Hearing Aid make use of something called the pinna effect. By preserving the natural acoustics provided by the pinna (outer ear), the quality of sound they produce is often described as very ‘natural’. The pinna effect also helps with telling whether a sound is in front or behind you. In addition, IICs tend to work well on the phone because their microphone is positioned in the ear canal.

IICs are sometimes associated with another type of acoustic sensation, called the occlusion effect. This is the feeling of having a blocked ear which can result in the reverberation of your own voice. However, our audiologists are skilled at fitting these devices sufficiently deep into the ear canal, all but eliminating the occlusion effect.

Due to their size and relatively limited power, these devices aren’t suitable for everybody. For people with severe hearing difficulties, we would advise a larger and more powerful type of aid. Individuals with smaller ear canals are often not able to have IICs custom-moulded to their ears. There can also be issues with the device working itself free while chewing or talking.

IICs require careful maintenance as both the microphone ports and receiver tube are liable to becoming blocked by earwax due to their position in the ear canal. For this reason, people with dexterity or sight issues may also find the small size of these devices challenging when removing and reinserting them into the ear canal.

Functionally, IICs work well in most common environments but can provide limitations in more difficult listening situations like a busy café. This is because they have a single omni-directional microphone that picks up sounds from all directions. By comparison, larger devices have the ability to reduce background noise and ‘zoom in’ on speech.

Overall, the real benefits of this type of advice are cosmetic and this does come at the cost of some performance issues.

Lyric, our extended wear hearing aid

Completely invisible! These are the only non-surgical option that you can’t see at all, even from super close up. They require almost no maintenance with the battery lasting up to four months.
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CIC Hearing Aid

Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC)

Like the name implies, these also sit in the ear canal. They are a touch bigger than the IIC but someone would still need to be looking pretty hard to spot one.
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In-The-Ear (ITE)

Slightly simpler to tweak controls due to its size, the ITE is fitted to sit snugly and discreetly in your outer ear.
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BTE Hearing Aid

Behind-The-Ear (BTE)

It’s similar to the RIC with two parts (one behind the ear) but it’s slightly larger size increases battery and power.
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