In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids also known as full shell hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and are used for mild to severe hearing loss.

In-the-Ear Hearing Aids

Hearing Aids In-the-Ear hearing aids are custom designed to fit directly, and fill most of the visible portion of your ear. All of the miniaturized hearing aid components are housed within a single plastic shell. They have no external wires or tubes, and are very light in weight. The In-the-Ear model is placed in the ear canal, but with the faceplate still visible in the concha of your ear. When properly made, they fit comfortably and securely in the ear. Their size and visibility depends on the degree of hearing loss and the shape of the ear canals.

The In-the-Ear hearing aid comes with optional user controls for program and volume change on the outside shell plate. Due to their size, In-the-Ear hearing aids allow for larger sound amplifiers and more features such as a telephone switch. They are also much easier to handle. The In-the-Ear style is available with programmable, digital, and conventional technology.

Some In-the-Ear aids may have certain added features installed, such as a telecoil. A telecoil is a small magnetic coil that allows users to receive sound through the circuitry of the hearing aid, rather than through its microphone. This makes it easier to hear conversations over the telephone. A telecoil also helps people hear in public facilities that have installed special sound systems, called induction loop systems. Induction loop systems can be found in many churches, schools, airports, and auditoriums. In-the-Ear aids usually are not worn by young children because the casings need to be replaced often as the ear grows.

In-the-Ear: Pros and Cons


  • The In-the-Ear aid fills the entire ear.
  • They can be used for a wide range of hearing losses.
  • They can hold a larger sound amplifier and more features.
  • An In-the-Ear aid is easier to handle and adjust.


  • In-the-Ear aids are rarely prescribed for children due to their continuously growing ear canals.
  • Feedback is possible due to closeness of the microphone and the receiver.
  • The small size of the battery door and volume control may be difficult to adjust.
  • In-the-Ear hearing aids are in the ear, but they can be more easily seen by an observer.
  • They can be damaged by earwax and drainage.