Leslie Papelaud | Hearing Services of Baltimore

410.486.3400

1838 Greene Tree Road Suite 370 Baltimore, Maryland, 21208

Hearing Aids

Open Fit/Receiver in the Canal Behind-the-Ear Style Hearing Aid


An Open Ear BTE or Receiver in the Canal (RIC) is a small, sleek hearing instrument that attaches to ultra-thin tubing and soft, comfortable tip inserted into the ear. A benefit of this open fit style is naturalness of the patient's own voice when wearing this type of device. By utilizing special tubing and tips, the Open Ear BTE dramatically reduces occlusion (the sensation of feeling plugged up). This often provides the patient a more comfortable listening experience.

Open Fit BTEs often do not require ear impressions, and therefore you may be able to be tested and fit in one appointment. The flexible tips are available in various sizes for you and your audiologist to choose from, ensuring optimal comfort. Many open fit styles offer minimum controls and are more automated, making them easy to use.

Receiver in the Canal (RIC) BTEs incorporate an insulated wire which looks similar to the open fit but the receiver (loud speaker) is placed deep inside the ear canal.  Aesthetically fit, patients report greater satisfaction with the sound of their own voice as well as hearing in a variety of environments compared to previously worn custom products.

 These BTEs offer advanced features such as FM and BLUETOOTH connectivity for the IPOD or MP3 user, and for use with the cell phone. Rechargeable batteries may also be available. Your audiologist will help you decide what type and style instrument is best for you and your hearing needs.

Benefits at a glance: 

  • Small, ergonomic design 
  • Reduces occlusion 
  • Automatic controls
  • Rechargeable battery option
  • Wonderful for those with even minimal loss
  • BLUETOOTH connectivity for TV or cell phone

Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

The behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid utilizes a custom ear mold fit into the ear with the actual device sitting snugly behind the ear. In the traditional behind the ear style, the hearing aid is attached to a custom ear mold, which fits into your ear. The newest BTE device on the market is the open fit style and the R-I-C or receiver in the canal style, both of which aim to eliminate the need for a custom mold. The most versatile style of behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids may be fit to patients with mild to severely profound hearing loss. Behind-the-ear styles are most often recommended for children since the earpiece can be easily changed to accommodate their growing ears.

The BTE may also be connected to external devices, such as FM or BLUETOOTH attachments. BTEs may be paired with other devices such as the cell phone, television or infrared listening system. Pre-programmed adjustments may be set up by your audiologist to help control noise from a specific direction, reduce potential feedback (squealing) from the hearing aid, and offer flexibility in specific situations. These settings may be fully automated or manually controlled. Your audiologist will help you decide what type and style hearing aid is best for you and your particular hearing needs.

Benefits at a glance: 

  • Most versatile to address all types of hearing loss from mild to severely profound 
  • Capable of being attached to external sound sources 
  • Automatic or manual controls 
  • Available in a range of fun, fashion colors as well as those to match hair or skin tone

In-the-Ear (ITE)

In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids are custom made to fit within the concha the indented, bowl-like outer portion of your ear. ITEs are good for those individuals with limited dexterity, because of their design and control options. Custom hearing aids are not usually recommended for children since their ears are continually growing.

ITE hearing aids are made to fit your unique ear shape. Because of their size, ITEs can have many features and options that make wearing hearing aids more comfortable and user-friendly. They may have controls for manual adjustment of volume or special listening program, or these features may function automatically giving you the option of how much or how little you control your instrument.

Of the custom aids, ITEs can help the widest variety of hearing loss. Your Hearing Care Professional can help you decide what type and style hearing aid is best for you and your hearing needs.

Benefits at a glance: 

  • Good for those individuals with limited dexterity
  • Custom-designed fit to your unique ear size and shape 
  • Automatic or manual controls 
  • Available in a range of shades to match skin tone

In-the-Canal (ITC)

In-the-Canal (ITC) hearing aids are custom-designed to fit almost entirely in the ear canal. Less visible than In-the-Ear models, ITCs usually take up only the lower pocket of your ear.
ITC hearing aids are created specifically to fit your unique ear size and shape. They may function automatically or may have a little button  for special listening programs, giving you the choice of how much or how little you control your instrument.

ITCs may be appropriate for a variety of hearing losses. Your audiologist will help you decide what type and style hearing aid is best for you and your hearing needs.

Benefits at a glance: 

  • Small and discrete model 
  • Custom designed to fit your unique ear size and shape 
  • Automatic or manual controls 
  • Available in a range of colors to match hair and skin tones

Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC)

Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest, custom-designed hearing instruments. Hidden in the shadow of your ear canal, they fit deep inside your ear and are felt to be aesthetically less noticeable.

CIC hearing instruments are created to fit your unique ear shape. Due to their small size, many CIC hearing aids don't offer manual controls, but your personal settings are programmed so the aids will automatically adjust making them easy to use and comfortable to wear.

CICs are aesthetically pleasing, and may help a variety of hearing losses. Your audiologist will help you decide what type and style hearing aid is best for you and your hearing needs.

Benefits at a glance: 

  • Limited visibility 
  • Custom designed to fit your unique ear size and shape 
  • Completely automatic