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You might be surprised by how many different types of hearing aids there are! In this section, you can read about the variety of styles and fittings available and the features or restrictions of each. Don’t forget that our audiologists can help you choose the right hearing aid for you.


bluetooth hearing aidsConnect your hearing aid directly to your smartphone for hands-free calling or, use your Bluetooth hearing aid like headphones for TV and music without need to remove the hearing aid.

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invisible hearing aidsThese custom-made hearing aids fit directly into your ear canal, making them very discrete. With fully automated technology, there’s no need to manually adjust invisible devices.

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rechargeable hearing aids The latest rechargeable models offer an environmentally friendly solution as well as powerful battery technology, meaning you never have to worry about buying and changing batteries again.

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In the ear (ITE) hearing aid
Small hearing aids that are worn entirely in the ear or ear canal rather than behind it.
Receiver-in-Canal hearing aid
An open-fit hearing aid that uses a thin plastic wire with a speaker at the end which is placed into the ear canal.
Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aid
This hearing aid is traditionally the most powerful and rests on the back of the outer ear.

What types of hearing aid are available?

Hearing aids are available for every type of hearing impairment or hearing loss from a variety of hearing aid manufacturers. This means that you and your Hearingcare expert can choose the right hearing aid for you, no matter your preference on style, fitting, and functionality.

Keep reading for a summary of the different types of hearing aid and the features they can offer.

What's the difference between open and closed fittings?

Hearing aids can be either closed or open in design. 
An open design means that the sound waves will reach your eardrum more naturally. Behind-the-ear hearing aids can have open fittings – the sound tube and earpiece sit in your external ear canal. Because the hearing aid doesn’t fill your whole ear canal, it’s possible to hear louder sounds naturally. Open-fit models also give you better ventilation of your ear canal.
A closed design means that your external ear canal is mostly filled by either an earpiece or an in-the-ear hearing aid. But this doesn’t mean that air can’t circulate – hearing aids have vents that allow air through. By fitting a closed design to your ear canal, sound is transmitted to you more directly, so the full range of your hearing aids’ features can be used more effectively. 

What other hearing designs are out there?

If none of these hearing aids meets your hearing needs, there are other, more specialist alternatives available. Bone conduction and bone-anchored hearing aids bypass the middle ear to transmit sound. Implants might also be a viable option. These might include middle ear implants, cochlear implants or brainstem implants.

All these specialist types of hearing aid could be available through the NHS, you should speak to your GP for more information.