Hearing Aid Brands and Styles


Hearing Aid Styles

In-the-Ear Styles

Hearing aids worn in the ear are usually custom-fit, based on a cast or impression of the ear. They’re available in different skin tones to camouflage with the outer ear. There are several styles – each is listed below, ranging from smallest to largest.

The smallest custom style, CIC instruments fit deeply and entirely within the ear canal. They fit mild to moderate hearing losses and offer high cosmetic appeal as they’re nearly invisible when worn.

 

 

ITC instruments sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, making them comfortable and easy to use. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they have a longer battery life, and can host additional features such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments, and controls such as volume controls. They fit mild and moderate hearing losses.

 

Half shell models fill half the bowl of the outer ear. Like ITC models, their size enables the addition of features such as directional microphones, volume controls and push buttons to activate special settings for different listening environments. Because of their size, they may be easier than smaller models to handle for some people and yet are still often disguised by hairstyles or sideburns. This hearing aid style looks similar to the ITC hearing aid when worn on the ear, but is slightly larger.
Full shell models sit flush within the outer ear bowl. Their size allows the maximum number of additional controls and features such as directional microphones, which require space on the outer portion of the instrument. They use a larger battery size than the smaller styles, and can fit a larger receiver with enough power for even some severe hearing losses. Because of their flexibility, they’re widely recommended for mild to severe hearing loss.

Remote Microphone (RM)

Remote Microphone is a new category developed by ReSound that combines the advantages of the behind-the-ear, and custom (in-the-ear) models. Remote Microphone is exclusively used by ReSound.

Behind-the-Ear Styles

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) models sit behind or on top of the outer ear, with tubing that routes sounds down into the ear that connects to an ear tip or earmold to secure them in the ear canal. BTEs come in colors to blend with hair or skin tones, and even chrome colors, leopard print and other funky designs to suit personal styles. Different BTE sizes accommodate different features, controls, battery types and degrees of power (larger instruments generally have more power than smaller ones). While many people choose discreet BTEs that are unnoticeable when worn, others are tempted to show off the cool designs.

Mini BTEs are designed to hide behind the outer ear, and have ultra-thin tubing to discreetly route sound into the ear. The tubing connects to a soft tip that sits in the ear canal but doesn’t occlude it. The result is a natural, open feeling as airflow and sound enter the ear naturally around the tip, while amplified sound enters through the tip. This is known as “open fitting” and is recommended for mild to moderate high frequency losses.
RITE models, also known as RIC (receiver-in-canal) models, are mini BTEs that have the speaker of the instrument incorporated in the ear tip, instead of in the main body of the instrument. RITE instruments fit mild to severe hearing losses. This hearing aid style looks similar to the Mini BTE when worn on the ear.

 

BTEs with earmolds fit mild through profound hearing losses. They’re longer shape, following the contour behind the outer ear, generally can house more features, controls, and power than custom models. The earmold color and style, as well as the wearer’s hairstyle, determine exactly how they’ll look on each person.

 


Hearing Aid Brands

ReSound

Widex

Oticon

Phonak

Starkey

GN ReSound

ReSound is a Danish manufacturer of hearing aids, founded in 1943 with the mission to help people rediscover hearing so they can live rich, active, and fulfilling lives. ReSound was the first manufacturer to introduce an open-standard digital chip and Wide Dynamic Range Compression sound processing, both of which provide wearers with natural and clear sound.

LiNX2 is ReSound’s Made for iPhone hearing aid, with the ability to stream phone calls, FaceTime, music, and other media to your ears. Additionally, with connection to your iPhone, the ReSound Smart App activates GPS to geo-tag user preferences in specific locations. When wearers return to saved locales, LiNX2 automatically adjusts to provide seamless listening. LiNX2’s major listening features include Surround Sound, New Binaural Directionality II, and Spatial Sense. LiNX2 is available in a number of styles: invisible-in-canal, in-the-ear, receiver-in-canal, and behind-the-ear

For people with higher degrees of hearing loss, ReSound offers ENZO2, a super-powered hearing aid. ENZO2 boosts all listening features to provide increased amplification for people with severe to profound hearing loss. ENZO2 features include speech focus, comfort in noise, comfort in wind, and feedback cancellation. The ENZO2 is a behind-the-ear hearing aid, available in three power levels: Power, High Power, and Super Power, depending on the wearer’s needs.

Learn More about ReSound

Widex

Founded in 1956, Widex is a Danish manufacturer that is known for introducing the market’s first digital-in-the-ear hearing aid. Widex is also known for their trademark Widex Sound – a crystal clear, natural sound in almost every environment, whether quiet or loud. Widex received the 2012 European Inventor Award.

BEYOND is the Made for iPhone model from Widex. Through Bluetooth or Widex’s line of accessories, DEX, wearers may connect BEYOND to their iPhone or Android. BEYOND offers streaming capabilities of phone calls and other media directly to wearers’ ears. The BEYOND app allows wearers to make convenient changes to their listening experience and utilize a GPS geo-tagging feature. BEYOND is also equipped with a telecoil for hearing loop amplification. It is a receiver-in-canal hearing aid.

Widex’s popular models include UNIQUE and DREAM, both of which are fully digital and wireless. Equipped with an automatic detection system, these advanced aids ensure that you hear the right sounds at the right time in the right place. SUPER is Widex’s advanced hearing aid, designed to treat severe to profound hearing loss. Widex is also known for the ZEN Tinnitus Therapy, a four-step program to rehabilitate wearers with tinnitus symptoms.

Learn More about Widex

Oticon

Oticon is a Danish manufacturer, founded in 1904. Oticon’s breakthrough is BrainHearing Technology, built on the understanding that hearing happens in our brains. Oticon’s features support the brain in the listening process. With the new OPN, Oticon’s Velox Processing Platform provides wearers with an open sound solution, which captures the full spectrum of sound in the wearer’s environment. This full access to sound encourages our brains to decide where to focus. With sounds processed and balanced at 100 times a second, OPN has been found to reduce listening effort by 20% in noisy environments while providing wearers with 20% greater capacity to remember and 30% better speech recognition and clarity in noise.

Oticon’s Alta, Nera, and Ria hearing aids are built with BrainHearing Technology and are available in a number of styles (in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, and custom-made completely-in-canal). Oticon also offers super powered aids Sumo and Dynamo for those with higher degrees of hearing loss.


Phonak

Phonak is a Swiss manufacturer founded in 1947. Phonak is known for a number of hearing advancements, such as the Lyric, a 24/7, 100% invisible hearing aid. Lyric is a perfect choice for those with active lifestyles; it does not require removal for months at a time. Wear it in the shower or while exercising – and come in to have it replaced every four to five months.

Phonak’s Audeo B-R is a rechargeable hearing aid built on the Belong Platform, which provides 60% improved speech understanding in noise and 10% improvement in soft-speech understanding. Audeo B-R is powered by lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which provides 24 hours of hearing on a single charge. It is a receiver-in-canal hearing aid.

Phonak’s best-selling, legacy models are the Audeo V, Baseo Q, and Bolero V. These are equipped with Phonak’s reliable listening features of speech intelligibility, directionality, and ease of operation.


Starkey Hearing Technologies

Starkey Hearing Technologies is an American manufacturer, founded in 1967 and based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Starkey has a long history of innovation: they were the first to introduce an in-canal hearing aid and a custom, fully programable invisible hearing aid. Starkey has received a number of awards for their Halo 2 Made for iPhone hearing aid (2015 Silver Edison Award, 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovations Award). They are also known for the Muse Made for Life hearing aid and Multiflex Tinnitus Technology.

Halo 2 connects wirelessly with your iPhone (or Android) to improve your listening experience and accessibility. Through the TruLink Hearing Control app, wearers may make adjustments to their preferences and program features with ease. Halo 2 streams phone calls, music, and other media directly to your ears, while Starkey’s advanced features improve speech recognition and directionality. Halo 2 is available in both receiver-in-canal and behind-the-ear styles.

Muse is a series of wireless hearing aids built on the Synergy platform, providing a high-definition audio experience for wearers. Muse processes multiple sounds simultaneously, providing wearers with true-to-life sound. Muse connects with SurfLink to provide wireless connection to your smartphones. Muse is available in a number of styles, including invisible, completely-in-canal, behind-the-ear, and receiver-in-canal, to name a few.


Signia/Siemens

Signia is the newest brand from Sivantos Group, which is the parent company of sister brand, Siemens. Built on the innovations of Siemens, Signia is Sivantos Group’s most advanced brand to date. Influenced by the binax platform (the world’s first hearing technology proven to outperform normal hearing in challenging noise environments), Signia’s primax has created ripples of its own. In a number of independent studies, primax has been found to reduce listening effort throughout the day.

Signia’s primax platform offers features such as SpeechMaster, EchoShield, HD Music, and TwinPhone to provide wearers access to clear, unfettered sound and reduced listening effort. Signia primax is available as receiver-in-canal, behind-the-ear, or in-the-ear hearing aids. Primax is available in three different technology levels: 7px, 5px, and 3px.

Signia’s Cellion primax is the rechargeable hearing aid solution, powered by lithium-ion battery technology. This contactless, inductive charging aid provides 24 hours of uninterrupted listening with a single 4-hour charge. Silk primax is Signia’s ready-to-wear hearing aid, built with silicon “click sleeve” technology. Silk is a completely-in-canal hearing aid that clicks into silicon sleeves (available in diverse sizes) and can be worn comfortably in most ear canals.

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