In general hearing aids fall into two design categories; in the ear (ITE) and behind the ear (BTE) aids.
In the ear (ITE) hearing aids are custom made for the wearer and as a result offer the best cosmetic option. Due to their compact design there are often compromises with regards the components that can be fitted within them.
Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids are often seen as offering a poor cosmetic option and are highly visible. However, they do offer the possibility to add extra components such as microphones and wireless connections. Behind the ear hearing aids are generally more robust than ITE aids and now generally offer water and dust resistance.
Receiver in the canal (RIC) hearing aids offer a blend of the benefits of both in the ear and behind the ear hearing aids. By removing the speaker from the main body of the hearing aid and placing it in the ear the visible portion of the hearing aid can be made much smaller. At the same time the aid can retain the extra components and functions of BTE aids as well as water and dust proofing. The improved cosmetics of RIC aids combined with acoustic advantages mean that they are becoming a very popular choice for clients seeking the ideal balance between cosmetics and technical performance in their hearing instruments.