The ideal hearing aid depends on the severity of your hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your manual dexterity. Smaller aids are less visible, but you pay a price for vanity. People with more severe hearing loss might get better results with a behind-the-ear model with earmolds or an in-the-ear model. Owners of behind-the-ear, open-fit designs reported the most improved hearing in loud social settings. Prices listed below are for a single aid.
Pros: Comfortable, barely visible. No earmold, so less plugged-up feeling. Might not need a telecoil. Cons: Sweat might cause malfunction. Limited manual controls.
Behind the ear with earmold
Pros: Most versatile and reliable. Fits widest range of hearing loss. Good for children.
Cons: Most visible. Vulnerable to sweat and wax. Plugged-up feeling from earmold unless vented.
Completely in the canal
Pros: Does not need telecoil. Almost invisible.
Cons: Short battery life. Too small for directional microphone. Ear might feel plugged up unless aid is vented. Vulnerable to wax and moisture.
In the canal
Pros: Barely visible.
Cons: Same issues as with completely-in-the-canal models, though less severe. If the ear canal is large enough, might have telecoil or directional microphone.
In the ear
Pros: More room for features such as telecoil, directional microphone, volume control. Less of a plugged-up feeling.
Cons: More visible. Vulnerable to wax and moisture.