Types of Hearing Devices

Although there are also other possibilities, the two main types of hearing devices currently on the market are "In the Ear" (ITE) and "Behind the Ear" (BTE).  Each has its advantages and Simple Ear® offers both options.  There is also a third category worth mentioning.  The "In the Canal" (ITC) style, which is a kind of "In the Ear" (ITE) unit, is small enough that it fits into the canal rather than resting in the bowl of the ear.  So, there are two or three categories, depending on how one thinks about it.

 

"In the Ear" (ITE) and "In the Canal" (ITC) Units

Some people prefer the ITC option because these units are quite small and on some people are less noticeable.   However, generally it is harder to adjust the volume on an ITC unit and they can be more easily unseated and fall out than BTE or larger ITE units.  Also, because of size constraints, ITC devices usually use smaller batteries than BTE or larger ITE units.  This means the batteries will not last as long and will have to be replaced more often.  The Simple Ear® Pert is an ITC device.

 

Simple Ear® also offers an ITE unit that rests partially in the canal and partially in the bowl of the ear.  It is called the Lunate.  ("Lunate" means "shaped like the letter "C".)  While still quite small, it is easier to slip into the ear than ITC models and it uses larger, more powerful batteries.  It has another important feature: It is an "open fit" device, projecting sound into the ear canal without completely plugging it.  This allows both amplified and natural sound to enter the ear simultaneously.  It also avoids the "plugged ear feeling" some people don't like.  The Lunate is not for everyone, but some people absolutely love it.

 

"Behind the Ear" (BTE) Units

The most common style of hearing device in use is the BTE and Simple Ear® carries three BTE products.  On some people BTE units are actually less noticeable than ITC devices.  Hair that falls over the back of the ears often hides BTE units quite well.  If you have large ears, you may not think of this as an asset.  But, like hair, large ears can hide BTE units very effectively.

 

BTE units use slender, nearly invisible tubes to pipe sound into the ear canal.  These tubes also help hold the device in place.  In effect, the device and the tube form a "hook" that rests over the top of where the ear joins the head.  A "tip" is located at the end of the tube and inserted into the ear canal.  Various size tips are available to provide for maximum comfort and effectiveness.

 

BTE devices stay in place quite well.  They offer more room for sophisticated circuitry.  They have greater battery capacity, and they are very easy to adjust.  Simple Ear® BTE devices have push-button controls used to change programs and, depending on the model, either a wheel or a rocker switch used for volume control.

 

The Sleuth, the Elan, and the Elan Custom are each BTE devices offered by Simple Ear®.

 

Multiple Programs

The availability of multiple programs allows a person to maximize his or her ability to hear.  Simple Ear® hearing devices do not just amplify sound because it is not true that higher volume always means better hearing.  We use signal processing technology to suppress disruptive background noise and maximize the tones associated with speech, and each device offers multiple programs (approaches) for doing this.  Sitting in a crowded restaurant may suggest use of a different program than relaxing at an outdoor picnic.  Fortunately, it is easy to toggle through the programs to find the best one for the occasion.

 

Anti-Feedback Technology

Cheap amplifiers that lack anti-feedback technology are prone to feedback and whistling.  Although even good hearing devices can develop feedback if they are not positioned properly in the ear, with the digital anti-feedback technology available today there is no need to struggle with feedback and whistling.  This is easily avoided with Simple Ear®!

 

Preprogrammed vs. Custom Programmed

Some people need custom programming.  People with deformed ears or severe-to-profound hearing loss should certainly purchase custom programmed hearing aids.  However, about 85% of the population desiring a hearing boost can get significant benefit from preprogrammed hearing devices without all the expense and hassle of purchasing hearing aids the traditional way.

 

Reprogrammable

The Simple Ear® Elan is a preprogrammed hearing device, but it can be reprogrammed to the specifications of an audiogram provided by an audiologist or other licensed hearing specialist.  It is a great idea to start with a preprogrammed Elan and try it out.  If you find that you need a more personalized approach, just send it back to us and for a nominal fee we will reprogram it to make it a fully customized hearing aid.  Because the circuitry in the Elan is identical to the Elan Custom, this reprogramming will essentially transform the Elan into an Elan Custom.

Although there are also other possibilities, the two main types of hearing devices currently on the market are "In the Ear" (ITE) and "Behind the Ear" (BTE).  Each has its advantages and Simple Ear® offers both options.  There is also a third category worth mentioning.  The "In the Canal" (ITC) style, which is a kind of "In the Ear" (ITE) unit, is small enough that it fits into the canal rather than resting in the bowl of the ear.  So, there are two or three categories, depending on how one thinks about it.

 

"In the Ear" (ITE) and "In the Canal" (ITC) Units

Some people prefer the ITC option because these units are quite small and on some people are less noticeable.   However, generally it is harder to adjust the volume on an ITC unit and they can be more easily unseated and fall out than BTE or larger ITE units.  Also, because of size constraints, ITC devices usually use smaller batteries than BTE or larger ITE units.  This means the batteries will not last as long and will have to be replaced more often.  The Simple Ear® Pert is an ITC device.

 

Simple Ear® also offers an ITE unit that rests partially in the canal and partially in the bowl of the ear.  It is called the Lunate.  ("Lunate" means "shaped like the letter "C".)  While still quite small, it is easier to slip into the ear than ITC models and it uses larger, more powerful batteries.  It has another important feature: It is an "open fit" device, projecting sound into the ear canal without completely plugging it.  This allows both amplified and natural sound to enter the ear simultaneously.  It also avoids the "plugged ear feeling" some people don't like.  The Lunate is not for everyone, but some people absolutely love it.

 

"Behind the Ear" (BTE) Units

The most common style of hearing device in use is the BTE and Simple Ear® carries three BTE products.  On some people BTE units are actually less noticeable than ITC devices.  Hair that falls over the back of the ears often hides BTE units quite well.  If you have large ears, you may not think of this as an asset.  But, like hair, large ears can hide BTE units very effectively.

 

BTE units use slender, nearly invisible tubes to pipe sound into the ear canal.  These tubes also help hold the device in place.  In effect, the device and the tube form a "hook" that rests over the top of where the ear joins the head.  A "tip" is located at the end of the tube and inserted into the ear canal.  Various size tips are available to provide for maximum comfort and effectiveness.

 

BTE devices stay in place quite well.  They offer more room for sophisticated circuitry.  They have greater battery capacity, and they are very easy to adjust.  Simple Ear® BTE devices have push-button controls used to change programs and, depending on the model, either a wheel or a rocker switch used for volume control.

 

The Sleuth, the Elan, and the Elan Custom are each BTE devices offered by Simple Ear®.

 

Multiple Programs

The availability of multiple programs allows a person to maximize his or her ability to hear.  Simple Ear® hearing devices do not just amplify sound because it is not true that higher volume always means better hearing.  We use signal processing technology to suppress disruptive background noise and maximize the tones associated with speech, and each device offers multiple programs (approaches) for doing this.  Sitting in a crowded restaurant may suggest use of a different program than relaxing at an outdoor picnic.  Fortunately, it is easy to toggle through the programs to find the best one for the occasion.

 

Anti-Feedback Technology

Cheap amplifiers that lack anti-feedback technology are prone to feedback and whistling.  Although even good hearing devices can develop feedback if they are not positioned properly in the ear, with the digital anti-feedback technology available today there is no need to struggle with feedback and whistling.  This is easily avoided with Simple Ear®!

 

Preprogrammed vs. Custom Programmed

Some people need custom programming.  People with deformed ears or severe-to-profound hearing loss should certainly purchase custom programmed hearing aids.  However, about 85% of the population desiring a hearing boost can get significant benefit from preprogrammed hearing devices without all the expense and hassle of purchasing hearing aids the traditional way.

 

Reprogrammable

The Simple Ear® Elan is a preprogrammed hearing device, but it can be reprogrammed to the specifications of an audiogram provided by an audiologist or other licensed hearing specialist.  It is a great idea to start with a preprogrammed Elan and try it out.  If you find that you need a more personalized approach, just send it back to us and for a nominal fee we will reprogram it to make it a fully customized hearing aid.  Because the circuitry in the Elan is identical to the Elan Custom, this reprogramming will essentially transform the Elan into an Elan Custom.