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Completely in Canal or Behind-the-ear?

At Embrace Hearing, we now sell two styles of hearing aids: Behind-the-Ear/Receiver-in-Canal (BTE/RICs) and Completely-in-Canal (CICs).  These are the two most popular styles of hearing aids sold today and both provide high performance coupled with discretion for the user.

How do you choose the right style for you? 

The best choice is going to be the one which best fits your hearing needs and lifestyle.  As you consider your options, think about the following factors:

  • Your Hearing Loss. While BTE/RIC models are designed to serve all levels, CICs can be a challenge for the most severe hearing loss.  This is because the receiver (or speaker) and the microphone in the CICs are very close together which can create feedback at higher amplification levels.  Below is an image showing the range of hearing loss covered by our CiC and BTE aids. Compare it to your hearing test to see which range you fall into.

Embrace Hearing

If your hearing test fits within the range of either style, there are a few other things to consider:

  • Discretion.  Both BTE/RICs and CICs are highly discreet (as you can see in the image above).  However, for those with very short or no hair around their ears, there is an advantage to CICs, which sit in the ear canal and out of view to the casual observer. 

    • Do you wear a face mask, glasses, or use specialized clothing or equipment? CIC models do not have a processing unit behind the ear so they are often preferred by those who regularly wear face masks, glasses, hard-hats and/or hearing protection, stethoscopes, or use other medical equipment such as oxygen therapy products.

    • Dexterity. For hearing aid wearers with dexterity issues or some numbness in the tips of their fingers, the CiC model may be preferred. The CIC aids are smaller and have smaller batteries than the BTE/RICs but because they are a single unit (with no wire over your ear) they are easier to put on and insert into your ear. 

      • Comfort: Hearing aids only work if they are worn - so it is critical you choose a style that is comfortable to wear all day long.  BTE/RIC aids are generally considered the most comfortable. They have thin, flexible ‘open’ ear tips (domes) for most users that allow the natural sounds of your environment to enter your ear along with the amplified sounds from the hearing aid. On CiC models, we use larger 'sleeve' domes that can give you a sense that your ears are a little ‘plugged’. For some, this is quickly adjusted to. For others it can be very bothersome.

      Still have questions? 

      To compare Embrace Hearing aids to other brands, please see our Hearing Aid Comparator Tool. 

      We are happy to discuss your situation and make a recommendation based on your needs.  Just call us anytime at (888) 929-9555 or send us an email at

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