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.

Embrace C-650

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 of hearing loss, CICs are only recommended for those with mild to moderate 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. Consequently, if you are worried that your hearing may worsen significantly over time, BTE/RIC models can be reprogrammed at any time to deal with all level of hearing loss. 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.

  • Your Lifestyle.
    • Are you frequently in noisy restaurants, large meetings or other large groups of people? Most Audiologists would agree that BTE models, with their dual, directional microphones perform somewhat better than CiC aids in noisy environments. 

    • Do you need to wear specialized clothing or equipment at work? CIC models do not have a processing unit behind the ear so they may be preferred with hats and other equipment that can be required for certain professions. CiC aids are also more easily used with noise protection over the ear headphones and stethoscopes.

    • Do you attend theaters or places of worship that are equipped hearing loops that can send their sound wirelessly to telecoil equipped hearing aids? Only BTE aids have telecoils.
  • 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’ 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. However, in order to prevent the risk of feedback (squealing) on CiC models, we use less ‘open’ 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.
  • Discretion.  For some, there is still a negative stigma associated with hearing aids – but both BTE/RICs and CICs are highly discreet (as you can see in the image above).  Most woman have hair that covers the top of the ear and the tiny clear wire of the BTE/RIC aid is almost invisible.  However, for those with very short or no hair, there is an advantage to CICs, which sit in the ear canal and out of view to the casual observer.  In addition, our CIC aids can be discreetly controlled with a Smart Phone App.
  • Dexterity. The CIC aids are smaller than the BTE/RICs and consequently their batteries and battery doors, are smaller as well.  This can be an issue for those suffering from very poor vision or numbness in the fingers caused by some health conditions.  However, CIC aids are also more rigid which can make insertion into the ear canal easier.

Still have questions?  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