Types of Hearing Aids

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You will often see acronyms like BTE, RIC, CIC when you are looking at types of hearing aids. What does this mean to you and me?

These acronyms refer to the body style of the hearing aid. By body style, we mean the size and housing of the hearing aid. The general rule to understand is the larger the hearing device is, the more amplification (volume) it will provide. So smaller hearing aids are generally suitable for mild to borderline severe hearing losses, while larger hearing aids are more suited for moderate to profound hearing losses.

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There are other advantages and disadvantages of having hearing aids in different body styles other than for powerful amplification. So let us explain the details here:

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Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

A BTE hearing aid is what people commonly identify as the “beige banana” that is worn behind the ear. It is the most popular style of hearing aid in the world with these advantages:

  • Usually has the highest amplification power due to its large receivers and battery capacity
  • Is robustly built due to it’s mass production template with strong ability to repel water, dirty, wax and droppages
  • It’s larger size makes it easier to handle for seniors who may have arthritic conditions
  • It is most suited for children as children have changing ear canal shapes. This means as their ear canals change, the parent can simply have the earmold changed instead of having the whole hearing aid changed. This saves thousands of dollars of cost a year compared with a custom hearing aid for children.

Receiver-In-The-Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids

Sometimes called the RIE (Receiver-In-the-Ear), the RITE (Receiver-In-The-Ear), the RIC device is a variant of the BTE hearing aid with a few key performance upgrades.

  • RICs are generally more comfortable than BTEs or ITEs because the inserted receiver end into the ear is covered by a soft, pliant silicone tip which is usually perforated to allow both air (and sounds) to pass directly to the ear drum, unlike the other body styles.
  • RICs are usually smaller and aesthetically more acceptable to most user. The thin body profile is able to be hidden almost completely behind the ear and the thin electric insulated wiring to connect the receiver inside the ear to the hearing aid behind the ear, is nearly invisible to the naked eye from the front.
  • RIC hearing aids can mostly be collected on the day of purchase, as minimal customisation is required for different users.
  • RIC hearing aids come with the most sophisticated feedback control systems, usually offering a hassle free listening experience.
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In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

ITE hearing aids are the largest of the custom made hearing devices. Their larger size provides more amplification to the user and is also easier to handle for users with dexterity issues.

  • ITE hearing aids use larger capacity batteries than small custom hearing aids and a single change of battery can last as long as a BTE (between 12-16 days of usage, 12 hours a day)
  • ITE hearing aids are larger and easier to handle than small custom hearing aids. This prevents droppage and easy change of batteries
  • ITE comes with a full set of features unlike smaller custom hearing aids which may need to have telecoil or wireless adjustment features taken away due to small size.

In-The-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids

ITC hearing aids are a good compromise between features and size. Their small profile makes it very attractive for users who wish for an unnoticeable hearing aid.

  • ITC hearing aids are very small but can still be equipped with directional microphones (which assist in speech discrimination) and can have a program push button OR volume control mounted on the hearing aid, unlike CIC (Completely-In-Canal) hearing aids
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Completely-In-the-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids

CIC hearing aids are one of the most popular hearing deivces because:

  • They are the smallest hearing aids available in the market today. When fitted correctly, they sit deep in the ear canal and cannot be easily seen by others.
  • While they have smaller batteries and provides lesser amplification, the proximity of the receiver to the eardrum delivers more perceived volume to the user.
  • Today’s CIC’s come with many different features to make usage much more convenient than before.

Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) or deep fit CIC Hearing Aids

  • IIC hearing aids are positioned even farther than CICs.
  • This type of hearing aids is advised to be removed every so often for hygienic purposes.
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About The Listening Lab

Listening Lab is a home-grown company whose mission is to help our clients restore their hearing to enjoy the life that they desire. Experiencing hearing loss can be detrimental to one’s quality of life. Hence we commit to providing high-quality hearing solutions.

Our hearing solutions include hearing tests and treatment and prescribing hearing aids. Clients may come to get their hearing checked, and we will assess whether hearing aids are required.

If hearing aids are required, clients can choose from a variety of the best hearing aid brands we provide. Each of the products offers unique features that complement daily use and perform well in helping our clients enjoy the life that they desire.

What Do Our Customers Say?

Person in charge nice and helpful with warm smiling face. Should you have hearing problem, can seek for her advise.
Catherine Tang Yap
Your service is marvellous! Patient and friendly. Mr Ching has been a customer of The Listening Lab since 2018. We have been attending to him for his follow up reviews and we are glad to see his progress!
Mr Ching
My husband purchased a Siemens Pure 7PX in 2016. We wish to appreciate Listening Lab for their ongoing attention and professional help they have been providing to us.
Mr & Mrs Sriram
madam Low
My mum has hearing loss for many years. Consultant of Listening Lab helped her fitted with Resound hearing aid. His patience and professionalism was greatly appreciated as the hearing aid enable her to hear and communicate with the people around her especially her grand children. We are happy with the services rendered by consultant. Keep up the good work!!
Madam Low
The Voice of two Generations in Singapore radio, Mr Brian Richmond, has chosen The Listening Lab to be his audiology and hearing services provider. We could not be prouder!

Brian is the definitive household name in English Radio since the early years of Singapore's founding, starting with Rediffusion followed by Radio One and now with Gold 90.5FM as well as Vintage Radio Singapore. His honeyed voice and selection of music filling our ears as we lived the bustle of our daily lives.

Soccer fans from the Malaysia Cup era of soccer will never forget his heart-pounding commentary from "live" matches, as we experienced the ups and downs of the Singapore Lions in the 1970s to 90s.

Our Executive Director Kelvin Lee is proudly beaming ear-to-ear in this photo with Brian. But you wont be able to see it through the masks!
Brian Richmond
I started experiencing loss of hearing sometimes in 2010 (41 years old) owing to some medical issue. I was having difficulties hearing conservation especially in meeting. Thus, giving me the fear in attending meeting.

Initially I started with Phonak hearing aid. It helps amplified the sound and I could hear better then. Somehow, my hearing loss deteriorated further that in late 2012 (43 years old), there was profound loss of hearing on my right ear. Even digital hearing aid could not help. On my left ear there is still about 50% to 60% hearing with hearing aid. I was lost at this point of time. I was considering learning sign language. I went to see my ENT specialist and my audiologist Mr. Bala advised me to go for an CI as an alternative to my hearing loss.

I also thank God for Engineer and Scientist, giving them the knowledge to create such a complex and sophisticate device to help those with hearing loss like me. It will be all perfect if the cost is affordable too.
Jonathan Po
madam goh
I took my mum to Listening Lab at Simei to get her hearing aid fixed, during our first visit, she patiently explained the whole procedure to my mum and also explain to my mum why she really in need to fix the hearing aid. She is very knowledgeable, and friendly, and we are encouraged to ask questions. she is also very patient with old people which is the most importance. Also her after service is superb so I highly recommend.
Mdm Goh
My mum, Madam Kek (73 year old) had the Cochlear implant (CI) done on her left side in 10th September 2019. Thereafter, thanks to the subsequent auditory verbal therapy, evaluation from SGH ENT team, as well as, the support from AB's and Listening Lab staffs; Madam Kek was able to hear, comprehend sound and music from her Cochlear implant, Naida CI Q90, and hearing aid (HA), Naida Link UP, for her right side before end year. We are happy that both the CI and HA have improved mum qualify of life. Now Madam Kek is looking forward to work again to pass her time as she can hear and better communicate with others.
Madam Kek
Titus was implanted when he was 18 months old. He is a happy, talkative 6.5 years old now. AB has been with him for 5 wonderful hearing years and we are looking forward to a bright future that lies ahead for him. AB’s Naída CI sound processors are reliable and the technology is constantly evolving and upgrading. When Titus was introduced to Naida Link CROS, his life was enriched. The wireless network established between his Naida CI sound processor and a Naida Link CROS transmitter allows him to hear from both ears. This changes Titus’s life and the way we interact with him. We are also very pleased with the prompt response and service provided to us. The staff in AB genuinely cares! We want to thank AB for making Titus’s hearing journey an enjoyable and a relatively stress free one!
Titus Pang
mr tan
I have been living with progressive hearing loss for more than three decades. Socially, I find myself fearful of communicating with people and at home, watching 'soundless' television programs is a norm.

An unforgettable experience. Trying on a pair of Resound GN hearing aid, I was energized and revitalized and overwhelmed with emotional tears of joy. The Resound GN is truly remarkable and uniquely equipped with three-friendly-user environmental modes that provide hearing comfort wherever we are.

In particular, I like to extend my utmost gratitude to Hearing Consultant. With her profound compassion and wisdom in guiding me, I am confident that I can forge a formidable partnership with the Listening Lab; So that I can rebuild a new chapter of a happy and value-creative life and simultaneously, leaving behind the painful memories of the past three decades.
Mr Tan

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