Conventional Hearing Aids

Conventional hearing aids are air conduction hearing aids. There are different types:

Behind-the-ear hearing aids are the most widely used auditory systems. The microphone, which picks up the sound, is located in the upper part of the device. The receiver, which emits the amplified sound, sits directly below the microphone. Sound travels via a curved tube, which is attached to a custom-made earmould, from the auditory canal to the eardrum. Today’s BTE aids are powerful enough to benefit even individuals with profound hearing loss. Advantages: As only the earmould is custom-made, it is possible to try out and compare several different models
  • Easy to use
  • Long battery life because of the large battery size
  • Directional microphone technology can be applied
  • Accessories can be connected
Disadvantages:
  • The long sound path has a negative influence on the sound quality
  • Externally visible
  • Natural directional hearing of the auricle is lost
As the name suggests, open-fit BTE hearing aids do not block the ear canal but leave it almost completely open. A thin sound tube or a special individually fitted mini-earmould delivers the amplified sound to the ear. Advantages:
  • Small with unobtrusive technology
  • No foreign-body sensation
  • Avoids heat accumulation in the ear
Disadvantages:
  • Suitable only for mild high-frequency hearing loss
  • Short battery life because of the small battery size
The technological components of invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are hidden in the ear canal. Both types require the case to be custom-made, just like the earmould. A distinction is made between custom-made in-the-ear hearing aids, where all components are individually housed in the shell, and semi-modular in-the-ear hearing aids, where only the shell itself is custom-made. In-the-ear hearing aids are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. Few devices are able to compensate for profound hearing loss. Advantages:
  • Very discreet
  • Natural directional hearing of the auricle remains intact
  • Good acoustic transmission properties because neither an earmould nor a sound tube is necessary
Disadvantages:
  • Not suitable for small ear canals
  • May be difficult to adjust for elderly individuals due to small control elements
  • Short battery life because of the small battery size
  • Easily blocked or non-functional because of ear wax buildup
  • No accessories can be attached
Open hearing systems do not plug the ear. They are suitable for individuals with early-stage high-frequency hearing loss.

> Behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE hearing aids)

Behind-the-ear hearing aids are the most widely used auditory systems. The microphone, which picks up the sound, is located in the upper part of the device. The receiver, which emits the amplified sound, sits directly below the microphone. Sound travels via a curved tube, which is attached to a custom-made earmould, from the auditory canal to the eardrum. Today’s BTE aids are powerful enough to benefit even individuals with profound hearing loss.

Advantages:

As only the earmould is custom-made, it is possible to try out and compare several different models

  • Easy to use
  • Long battery life because of the large battery size
  • Directional microphone technology can be applied
  • Accessories can be connected

Disadvantages:

  • The long sound path has a negative influence on the sound quality
  • Externally visible
  • Natural directional hearing of the auricle is lost

> Open-fit BTE hearing aids

As the name suggests, open-fit BTE hearing aids do not block the ear canal but leave it almost completely open. A thin sound tube or a special individually fitted mini-earmould delivers the amplified sound to the ear.

Advantages:

  • Small with unobtrusive technology
  • No foreign-body sensation
  • Avoids heat accumulation in the ear

Disadvantages:

  • Suitable only for mild high-frequency hearing loss
  • Short battery life because of the small battery size

> In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids: invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids

The technological components of invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are hidden in the ear canal. Both types require the case to be custom-made, just like the earmould.

A distinction is made between custom-made in-the-ear hearing aids, where all components are individually housed in the shell, and semi-modular in-the-ear hearing aids, where only the shell itself is custom-made. In-the-ear hearing aids are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. Few devices are able to compensate for profound hearing loss.

Advantages:

  • Very discreet
  • Natural directional hearing of the auricle remains intact
  • Good acoustic transmission properties because neither an earmould nor a sound tube is necessary

Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for small ear canals
  • May be difficult to adjust for elderly individuals due to small control elements
  • Short battery life because of the small battery size
  • Easily blocked or non-functional because of ear wax buildup
  • No accessories can be attached

> Open hearing systems

Open hearing systems do not plug the ear. They are suitable for individuals with early-stage high-frequency hearing loss.