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Exploring the Pros and Cons of ITC, CIC, and IIC Hearing Aids

by | May 22, 2023 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources, Technology

When your audiologist advises you to consider wearing hearing aids, they may mention a number of different types to you.

It’s beneficial to explore a range of options and to ensure you understand what benefits each kind offers before you make a decision.

There are several different options out there for people who would benefit from using hearing aids.

Popular options include in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-canal (CIC), and invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids. These hearing aids are discreet, smaller devices suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.

If your audiologist has advised you to consider wearing hearing aids following a hearing assessment, it’s beneficial to look at the pros and cons of each type and to work out which kind would be best suited to you.

If you’re unsure, don’t forget that your audiologist is there to help.


Pros of ITC Hearing Aids

ITC hearing aids sit inside the ear canal, and they are a popular choice for those looking for a discreet means of improving their hearing. Benefits of ITC hearing aids include:


ITC hearing aids are designed to nestle within the ear canal, and this means that they are incredibly discreet. Many people are reluctant to wear hearing aids because they don’t want other people to see them.

If this scenario sounds familiar, an ITC hearing aid could represent an appealing option. With this kind of hearing aid, you can reap the rewards of improved hearing without any worries about other people being able to spot your hearing aid.

Easy to use with a phone:

Many of us like to chat on the phone or engage in telephone conversations at work. ITC hearing aids are easy to use with telephones due to their location and size, and many modern devices are compatible with smartphones.

Cons of ITC Hearing Aids

Not One-Size-Fits-All:

ITC hearing aids are not suitable for all patients, including those who have more severe hearing loss. In some cases, these hearing aids are not powerful enough to produce optimum results, and they may not be a viable option for those prone to recurrent ear infections.


The size of the hearing aid means that it’s more difficult to clean and look after an ITC hearing aid. It’s also slightly trickier to remove the hearing aid than a BTE (behind-the-ear) or an ITE (in-the-ear) hearing aid.

As ITC hearing aids are smaller, it may also be more difficult to change the batteries, and the risk of dropping and damaging the hearing aid may be higher.

ITC hearing aids are among the smallest models on the market. Individuals with dexterity issues may struggle to handle these.

Pros of CIC Hearing Aids

CIC hearing aids sit completely in the ear canal and are suitable for treating mild to moderate hearing loss. Since they’re nearly undetectable when worn, they’re popular for those looking for a discreet, custom option.


Though not totally invisible, CIC hearing aids are small and not easily noticed by anyone casually looking at your ear. If you’re concerned about people noticing your hearing aids, CIC devices may be a good option for you.

Custom fit:

CIC hearing aids are molded to fit your ear canal, so they are typically quite comfortable. You’ll likely forget you’re wearing them.

Long-term wear:

Many CIC devices can be worn 24 hours per day for several months, so you don’t have to worry about taking them out at night and putting them back in each morning.

Easy to use with a phone:

Like ITC devices, CIC hearing aids are easy to use with phones. Many devices on the market today can be used with smartphones through Bluetooth technology.

Cons of CIC Hearing Aids

Less powerful:

CIC hearing aids are small, and they take smaller batteries than some other options. Because of this, they typically go through batteries more quickly, and they’re not quite as powerful as devices that take larger batteries.


Since CIC hearing aids are custom-fitted, they’re generally a more expensive option than those that are not.

Limited features:

Due to their small size, CIC devices don’t have the extra features that larger devices can accommodate. It’s also more difficult to adjust their volume.

Pros of IIC Hearing Aids

IIC devices sit invisibly past the second bend of the ear canal. They are the smallest custom hearing aids and are popular for those looking for a device that is, as their name suggests, invisible. IIC hearing aids can treat mild to moderate hearing loss.


Since IIC hearing aids sit deep in the ear canal, they’re even more discreet than CIC devices. They’re also slightly smaller.

IIC devices are popular with children and younger people since they can’t be seen even if someone were to look directly into your ear. The only visible part is a small string that’s attached to the device and pulled on to remove it.


IIC devices are custom-fitted and comfortable to wear. You may even forget they’re there. And since they fit inside your ear canal, you can still listen to music with headphones and go about life as usual.

Natural sound experience:

Because IIC hearing aids fit deep in your ear canal, they reduce the common sensation of hearing your voice louder than it actually is.

Your outer ear is able to funnel in sound, creating a realistic, natural sound experience.

Natural sound experience:

Because IIC hearing aids fit deep in your ear canal, they reduce the common sensation of hearing your voice louder than it actually is.

Your outer ear is able to funnel in sound, creating a realistic, natural sound experience.

Cons of IIC Hearing Aids

Few features:

The small size of IIC hearing aids can also be a con. Due to their small size, technologies such as directional microphones are only available in some premium devices—which are quite expensive.

Shorter battery life:

Since they’re so small, they take tiny batteries that have a shorter lifespan. Changing the batteries is difficult given their small size.

Shorter battery life:

Vulnerable to earwax buildup: Due to their position in the ear canal, IIC hearing aids are more vulnerable to earwax and moisture than other devices. And they’re not so easy to remove and clean. They’ll likely need more cleaning and repairs than other devices.

If you’re searching for a hearing aid that will suit you, don’t hesitate to find out more about your options. Ask one of our hearing experts for their recommendations.

They will be able to give you advice based on your level of hearing loss, your treatment expectations, and your personal preferences.

Everybody is unique, and some people are looking for different features, perks, and benefits than others.

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Tina Evans HIS, COHC

Tina has had the privilege of being part of this amazing hearing healthcare practice for over 15 years. She became a Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) as well as a Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist (COHC) in 2014. When she first joined Audiological Services, it was only the audiologist and herself; now, along with the rest of the team, have served the community well and grown the practice for over 25 years. Her mission is to provide professional, quality hearing healthcare while increasing public awareness regarding the early identification, treatment, and rehabilitation options for hearing loss. Her vision as the premier hearing healthcare center in East Texas where staff members genuinely welcome all who enter the door, work together to provide unsurpassed quality of care and effectively improve quality of life for her patients. Her values are honest, ethical professionalism, personalized care, integrity, reliable service with the most advanced technology, innovative hearing solutions with guaranteed satisfaction, and a warm friendly atmosphere. In her time away from work, Tina enjoys being involved in her church, and traveling with her husband, family, or friends in her RV. Tina’s handsome grandson is her pride and joy.