How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid Skip to Main Content

How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid

An older New York couple choosing hearing aids at Empire Hearing and Audiology.
– 6.5 minute read

How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid

When addressing hearing loss, selecting the ideal hearing aid is crucial for improving your quality of life. The hearing care professionals at Empire Hearing & Audiology in New York specialize in helping adults find the best hearing aids to address their level of loss within their budget. The number of options can seem overwhelming, but with the guidance and understanding of the different options available and what they mean, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to choose the best hearing aid to fit your individual needs. Hearing aids aren’t just devices; they’re gateways to better communication and a more enjoyable life. 

Start With the Type and Extent of Your Hearing Loss

The specific hearing aid technology you need is determined by the degree and type of hearing loss you experience. This factor is non-negotiable, as the aid must be capable of providing the necessary amplification without distortion. Before you start looking at devices, schedule a comprehensive hearing evaluation at an Empire Hearing & Audiology location. We’ll confirm the type and extent of your hearing loss to guide you to choices that will serve you best. 

Consider Lifestyle and Daily Activities

Your daily routine and lifestyle are significant when choosing a hearing aid. Whether you lead an active life or enjoy quieter settings, the hearing aid’s features must align with your everyday activities for optimal assistance at work, home, or in social settings.

Try on for Fit and Comfort

Hearing aids should fit well and be comfortable to wear. Since it’s a device you may use most of the day, comfort shouldn’t be compromised. If you wear glasses, some styles might work better than others. We offer free two-week trials at home to let you spend time with the device and see how it feels. 

Do You Have a Budget?

No one wants to spend more than they have to, and budgeting is a practical aspect that will narrow down your options. Different types of hearing aids come in various price ranges, and cost may impact the selection of additional features and technology. However, lower cost doesn’t mean lower quality with our products.

 Maintenance and Support

Most of today’s hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries to eliminate frequent battery changes, but some cleaning and maintenance will be involved. Look for a device you feel confident managing daily cleaning and maintenance requirements and know we’re here to handle the more significant repairs and maintenance needs.

What Technology Features Are Important to You?

Modern hearing aids come with various technological features like Bluetooth connectivity or rechargeable batteries. These may enhance your user experience based on personal needs and preferences. Highlights of Bluetooth technology include making adjustments through an app on your smartphone or tablet and streaming TV shows and music directly to your hearing aids from Bluetooth-enabled electronics.

Overview of Hearing Aid Styles

Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

BTE models sit behind the ear with a tube that directs sound into an ear mold. They’re versatile and can be used for most types of hearing loss.


  • Good for severe hearing loss
  • Longer battery life
  • Easy to handle and clean


  • More visible than smaller models
  • May pick up more wind noise

In-the-Ear (ITE) and In-the-Canal (ITC)

ITE and ITC models are custom-molded and range from filling the outer ear to just the lower part.


  • Less visible than BTE
  • Various skin tones are available
  • Usually have longer battery life than smaller devices


  • Can be prone to earwax clogging
  • Smaller models may be difficult to adjust for those with dexterity issues

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)
RIC hearing aids have a similar design to BTE devices but have a smaller profile, and the receiver sits directly in the canal.

  • Smaller than BTEs
  • Easier to conceal
  • Reduced plugged-up feeling


  • Susceptible to moisture and earwax
  • May require more frequent maintenance

Completely-in-Canal (CIC) and Invisible-in-Canal (IIC)

These are the smallest and most discreet options, fitting completely inside the ear canal.


  • Virtually invisible
  • Less wind noise interference
  • Natural sound experience


  • Tiny batteries with shorter life
  • Small size can be challenging to handle for some users
  • Limited extra features due to size

Beware of Over-the-Counter Solutions

While products advertised as money-saving options from big box stores and online retailers can be tempting, they often cater only to mild hearing loss. Without a hearing test by an audiologist and professional guidance, you’re less likely to find a device that fits well and meets your unique auditory and lifestyle requirements, costing you more time and money in the long run.

Schedule a Free Hearing Evaluation

Choosing the proper hearing aid is a decision that affects your day-to-day life and, ultimately, your well-being. It’s essential to consider the style of hearing aid and its features in relation to your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences. By following this guide and seeking professional advice from the audiologists at Empire Hearing & Audiology in New York, you’ll find a hearing aid that not only helps you hear better but also fits seamlessly into your life. Find our nearest location to your home and schedule a free hearing test today.

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