Costs of in-the-ear hearing aids: Best models, pros and cons
In this article, we will talk about in-the-ear hearing aids. Topics will include a discussion on what in-the-ear hearing are, their costs, the best in-the-ear hearing aids, brands and models, and pros and cons. Like hearing aids in general, the global market is dominated by a handful of companies that control over 90% of the market. That means that there is no shortage of excellent in-the-ear hearing aids. It also means it is best to consult with an audiologist to find the hearing aids that are right for your needs, no matter which type you choose.
The cost of in-the-ear hearing aids varies by brand, features you choose, and your audiologist. They typically range from $800 to $3,000 per ear and are suited for people with mild to severe hearing loss. Some have a small magnetic coil called a telecoil embedded in them. A telecoil improves voice recognition while using your phone or in public spaces such as schools, churches, or airports. On the other hand, some in-the-ear hearing aids allow you to stream your phone via Bluetooth connectivity.
Some in-the-ear hearing aids are rechargeable, and some rely upon disposable batteries. Most have custom-manufactured casings made from molds of your ear. These offer a comfortable fit and better sound quality and voice recognition. Again, check with your audiologist to determine which ones are right for you.
What are in-the-ear hearing aids?
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids look like the monitors you have likely seen your favorite singers or musicians wearing. They are also a bit like earbuds in that they can often stream the sound from your TV, phone, or other Bluetooth-enabled devices. However, in-the-ear hearing aids are used by people with mild to severe hearing loss for a better quality of life, not for convenience. ITE hearing aids allows you to hear your surroundings more naturally and clearly, while also providing enhanced voice recognition. In other words, ITE hearing aids allow people with hearing loss to engage more with their natural surroundings and the people around them.
In-the-ear hearing aids are usually custom-made. Their outer casing is made from an impression of your ear. That means that they are unique and only fit one person, you. Your ITE hearing aids are usually further personalized by being adjusted and fine-tuned by your audiologist. That means that some frequencies will be amplified, and overall volume levels will be set to match your hearing requirements. The goal is for your hearing aids to give you a much-improved hearing experience. Once fitted for ITE hearing aids, it is often possible to adjust them via an app or through online support from your audiologist. That means your hearing aids can change as your hearing does. Hearing aid technology is remarkable these days.
In-the-ear hearing aids can come in two styles. One style will fill most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear and is known as a full shell. The other style fills only the lower part of your ear (half shell). Also, some ITE hearing aids have one microphone, while some have two. Generally, two microphone models offer a better hearing experience, especially when it comes to recognizing where sounds come from (spatial hearing).
Cost of in-the-ear hearing aids
When it comes to hearing aids, costs vary wildly. How much you pay for your hearing aids will vary according to what features and what brand you choose. A major factor in determining how much you pay for your hearing aids will be the audiologist you choose, so it pays to shop around and find one you can trust.
Remember, when you invest in hearing aids, you are investing in a higher quality of life and being able to engage in conversations with friends and your loved ones more fully. You will likely wear your hearing aids for years, so it pays to do a little legwork and get the right one(s). An audiologist can pair you with a hearing aid that is comfortable to wear and offers the best speech recognition possible. If costs are a concern, it might be a good idea to check out our Help with hearing aid costs article.
Best in-the-ear hearing aids
There is no one answer for what are the best in-the-ear hearing aids. There are many excellent options, but there is no singular best. No two people have the same level of hearing or hearing impairment.
A good hearing aid for you might be unsuitable for someone else. Furthermore, different people require different features. Someone who likes to chat on the phone might benefit from Bluetooth connectivity. Music lovers might demand Bluetooth streaming. And then again, someone who stays connected while on the go would appreciate a hearing aid that uses AI technology to adjust their hearing aid as they navigate traffic and noisy city streets.
Once again, it pays to shop around and find an audiologist you trust. Working together, you can find the in-the-ear hearing aids that are best suited for your lifestyle.
In-the-ear hearing aid brands and models
When it comes to in-the-ear hearing aid brands and models there are nearly endless models available. Some have convenience and sound features that you might not have imagined, so it is best to consult with an audiologist who is well-versed in all the nuances of hearing aids.
The hearing aid market may be dominated by just a few companies, but they all offer excellent options. They typically have two or three main models, with each having different sublevels of features and benefits.
In other words, the in-the-ear hearing market is quite well-served, and there is one out there that is right for your needs.
With all that being said, let’s dip our big toe into the ocean that is in-the-ear hearing aid brands and models. Here are 3 that we like:
Phonak Virto Paradise ($1500 – $4000+ per hearing aid)
As one of the largest brands of hearing aids, Phonak offers unbeatable sound quality and voice recognition. Phonak in-the-ear hearing aids are also known for their reliability and cutting-edge technology. Like most hearing aids, the price of the Phonak Virto Paradise varies according to the features you choose and even your audiologist.
The Phonak Virto Paradise is available in several colors for maximum discretion and can be paired with Bluetooth devices. Other features may include motion sensor hearing, tap control, dynamic noise cancellation, and speech enhancer.
One of the features that set Phonak hearing aids apart is the MyPhonak app. This allows you to control your hearing aid through your smartphone. You can do everything from adjusting the volume to personalize your sound program and scenario. Remote support for your hearing aid is also available via the MyPhonak app, and you can also monitor things such as your battery’s status.
Phonak also offers a variety of what they call Roger devices. These pair with your hearing aid and are designed to enhance your group listening experience in particular situation. For example, there are “Siri-type devices” that can boost your hearing performance in situations such as meetings at work, while enjoying a meal at a restaurant, or even help your child hear better while at school. There are numerous Roger devices available for various listening situations, so be sure to ask your audiologist about which one is right for you.
If there is a drawback to the Phonak Virto Paradise, it is that the warranty varies from 1-3 years depending on model and your audiologist.
GN ReSound Custom Hearing Aids ($4,800 to $7,000 per pair)
These in-the-ear hearing aids offer better speech recognition in noise than previous incarnations, a better, more comfortable fit, and are both waterproof and sweatproof. They also have a nano-coating which makes for easier cleaning and maintenance.
GN boasts of them having excellent water resistance for their hearing aids. The ReSound models have IP68 designation, which means they can be submerged in 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes without being damaged.
Bluetooth capabilities are built-in, and allows for streaming of phone calls, music, and podcasts. However, if you want to stream your TV, you will be required to purchase an optional accessory if you want to stream your TV’s sound.
ReSound Customs are also rechargeable, with the charger being custom made so that it matches the shape of your hearing aids. All models have binaural directionality (two microphones) for improved sound and voice recognition. Wind guards also vary by model, as do processing channels, and noise reduction.
Signia Insio Charge&Go AX Hearing Aid
Starting at around $2,400, Insio Charge&GO AX is the world’s first wireless-charging custom in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. They feature a magnetic resonance charging system that makes it easy to charge your hearing aids. There are no contacts to line up, and a 4-hour charge will provide up to 24 hours of wear time.
Audio streaming is seamless with both Android and Apple smartphones, but hands-free calling requires an additional accessory. Signia also offers tinnitus features such as notch therapy that can lessen the effects of the “ringing in your ears”. The Insio Charge&GO AX is available in 6 colors and is suitable for mild to profound hearing loss.
Pros and Cons of in-the-ear hearing aids
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids have both pros and cons, like all styles of hearing aids. ITE hearing aids are more discreet than behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, but they are still bigger and more visible than completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids.
Overall, ITE hearing aids will provide you with a strong range of tunings and amplifications in case your hearing loss gets worse. In other words, they are adjusted and can be adapted as your hearing changes. Another pro is that if you suffer from arthritis or experience trouble handling small objects, ITE hearing aids are probably the most suitable option for you.
To summarize, pros and cons of in-the-ear hearing aids include:
- Sleek and stylish design offers a more discreet appearance than behind-the-ear hearing aids
- In-the-ear hearing aids are custom-made to fit your ear. That makes them more comfortable than other types of hearing aids, and easier to wear with glasses while providing better sound
- Large enough to offer advanced features such as Bluetooth connectivity, directional microphones, and a telecoil
- Easier to handle and insert into your ear canal than their smaller counterparts
- Smaller size may limit their power compared to behind-the-ear (BTE) models
- More visible than In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid
In-the-ear-hearing aids: Conclusions
Like most quality hearing aids, in-the-ear models are not cheap. They are very likely to be something you will wear every day for a few years, so it pays to do your research and get the best ones for your situation. The best way to make sure you get the models with the features and sound quality you desire is to find an audiologist you trust and work with them throughout your selection, fitting, and service process.
ITE hearing aids represent a significant investment for most Americans. For many people though, the price of hearing aids and the time it takes to find them is well worth the time and effort. After all, better hearing and voice recognition will likely keep you more engaged with friends, family, and your community.
What are in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids?
In-the-ear hearing aids are one-piece hearing aids that rest in your ear and ear canal. They are usually custom-made, with the casing made from an imprint of your ear so that they fit more comfortably and provide better sound quality. All components – microphone(s), amplifiers, AI technology, and electronics – reside within one unit.
How much do in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids cost?
There is a wide price range when it comes to ITE hearing aids. Factors such as features, sound quality, brand, and even the audiologist you choose can affect their price. ITE hearing aids with one microphone will be less expensive than models with two microphones, but models with two will provide better sound quality and voice recognition. A ballpark figure, and it is a large ballpark, would be anywhere from $800 to over $3000 per ear for quality ITE hearing aids.
What are the best in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids?
There is no one answer to this, and only you and your audiologist can determine which ITE hearing aids are right for you. Providing the best sound and voice recognition for your hearing situation are the most important factors to consider. However, things like your budget, whether you want features like Bluetooth streaming, and what level of support you need after being fitted for your hearing aids will all play a role in determining what the best in-the-ear hearing aids are for you.
What are popular in-the-ear hearing aid brands?
Six hearing aid companies control over 90% of the global hearing aid market, with in-the-ear (ITE) models being no exception. The Big Six includes Phonak, Resound, Oticon, Sivantos, Widex, and Starkey. They all make excellent hearing aids, so it is best to work with your audiologist to determine which make and model is best for you.
What are the PROS and CONS of in-the-ear hearing aids?
One of the pros of in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids is that they are more discreet than behind-the-ear (BTE) heads yet often are available with many of the same features and sound quality as BTE models. Another pro is that they are custom-made, which allows them to fit more comfortably and offer enhanced sound quality. Also, some people find it easier to wear glasses with ITE models than BTE hearing aids. Cons include being less discreet than in-the-canal hearing aids and sometimes having less power than BTE models.