ITE

In-The-Ear Hearing Aid

ITE

In-The-Ear Hearing Aid

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids combine many of the features and power of behind-the-ear hearing aids with the discrete size of custom hearing aids. ITE hearing aids are encased in hard plastic custom-made cases that sit in the outer ear. Comfortable and easy to wear, ITE hearing aids use the ears’ natural acoustics to enhance sound. If you want a good balance between function and discretion, ITE hearing aids may be right for you. 

Types of ITE hearing aids

ITE hearing aids take two forms. The smaller, half shell ITE hearing aid fits into the lower half of your external ear, or concha, while the larger, full shell ITE hearing aids fill the entire external ear. Both types of ITE hearing aids are custom-molded to fit your ear and made from a durable, hard plastic. A portion of the hearing aid shell extends into your ear canal. Both styles allow the use of larger batteries for longer battery life.

ITE hearing aid features

While smaller than behind-the-ear hearing aids, ITE hearing aids are large enough to contain features not available in smaller custom-made hearing aids. Possible features include:

  • Directional microphones: Smaller custom hearing aids only have space for a single microphone, which can reduce your ability to detect where sounds come from. ITE hearing aids often have two directional microphones, allowing you to better determine whether sounds come from behind or in front of you. Directional microphones can also diminish background noise during conversations.
  • Volume control settings: Because ITE hearing aids sit in the bowl of the ear, they can include volume control and other setting controls on the outer part of the hearing aid, making it easy to adjust settings on the go.
  • Telecoils: Telecoils are small magnetic devices that allow you to hear audio signals through the hearing aid. Telecoils make it easier to hear phone calls and can connect to induction loop systems. Induction loop systems are special audio systems found in churches, schools, airports, museums, auditoriums, and many other public places.
  • Bluetooth: ITE hearing aids may offer Bluetooth connectivity, but as of now, the technology doesn’t work as well as it does in BTE and RIC hearing aids.  

FAQs on ITE hearing aids

How discreet are ITE hearing aids?

While not as discreet as in-the-canal and invisible hearing aids, ITE hearing aids are nonetheless small devices that are less noticeable than behind-the-ear hearing aids. The shells of ITE hearing aids are available in varying shades of beige to match your skin tone, further improving cosmetic appearance.

How do I insert an ITE hearing aid?

Inserting an ITE hearing aid into your ear requires a little practice, but the steps are easy to master. First, you put the tip of the hearing aid case into your ear canal. As you do so, pull down gently on your earlobe to slightly enlarge the ear canal. Slowly push the hearing aid into the ear canal, guiding it gently if needed until it sits in your exterior ear.

You should not feel any pain or discomfort when inserting or removing ITE hearing aids, and the custom-made plastic case should fit snugly in your ear. If the casing isn’t snug, contact your hearing health professional. 

What kind of batteries do ITE hearing aids use?

ITE hearing aids are powered by disposable zinc-air button batteries. The two most common types of battery used are size 13 (which come in packs with orange tabs) and size 312, (which come with brown tabs).

How long ITE hearing aid batteries will last depends in part on how often you use your hearing aid. How you use the hearing aid is also a factor. If you use Bluetooth to stream hours of audio from your television or music player, your hearing aid batteries will run down faster than if you were just using them for conversation. Generally, a size 13 battery has a lifespan of 5 to 7 days, while size 312 batteries last 3 to 10 days. 

Can children wear ITE hearing aids?

While in theory children could use ITE hearing aids, in practice this is rarely the case. ITE hearing aids must be custom-made to fit the exterior ear and ear canal. As children grow, their ear canals change, requiring frequent re-fittings for their casings. Young children are also active and could break the hearing aid case while it’s in the ear, potentially causing injury

Are ITE hearing aids right for me?

If you want a balance between function and cosmetic discretion, ITE hearing aids may be the right choice for you. To find out, schedule an appointment with a licensed hearing care professional. Once your hearing is evaluated, you can discuss the hearing aid features best suited to treat your hearing loss.

What types of hearing loss treated with ITE?

ITE hearing aids are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. They are the smallest type of hearing aid used to treat severe hearing loss. Smaller in-the-canal and invisible hearing aids are too small to contain the powerful receivers and technology required to effectively counter severe hearing loss.

Advantages of ITE hearing aids

ITE hearing aids combine many of the benefits of behind-the-ear hearing aids and in-the-canal hearing aids. As such, they’re a good choice for people who have concerns about cosmetics but want the most features from their hearing aid. The benefits of ITE hearing aids include:

  • The size and shape make them easy to insert and remove
  • Built-in controls make customizing settings simple
  • Easy to use with phones
  • Reduced risk of feedback by reducing acoustic leakage
  • Less likely to come loose when you’re talking or chewing.
  • The only custom hearing aids large enough to include telecoils and directional microphones
  • Lightweight and comfortable
Discreet & easy to use
The size and shape make them easy to insert and remove
ITE hearing aids do have some drawbacks that need to be considered, including:
  • ITE hearing aids are the most visible type of custom hearing aids
  • May be affected by wind noise
  • Difficult to clean
  • People with severe dexterity or vision problems may have difficulty using and maintaining ITE hearing aids
  • As the hearing aid sits in the ear, ITE hearing aid is more susceptible to wax and moisture damage than behind-the-ear models and must be cleaned frequently 

Are ITE hearing aids right for me?

If you want a balance between function and cosmetic discretion, ITE hearing aids may be the right choice for you. To find out, schedule an appointment with a licensed hearing care professional. Once your hearing is evaluated, you can discuss the hearing aid features best suited to treat your hearing loss.

With you on your journey to better hearing.

It's time to finally treat your hearing loss. Sign up for a free consultation with a licensed hearing care professional today to determine if you have hearing loss. It’s the start of your journey towards better hearing.

EarPros benefits:

  • it's 100% risk free.
  • best partner with more than 1.000 stores

Please use a valid US zipcode.

Please use a valid zipcode.

Thank you for submitting your request

We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Learn more on other hearing aid types

Schedule a free hearing aid consultation