Many good brands of hearing aids exist on the market, and the best is the one recommended by a person's hearing aid provider that suits the person's needs, explains Consumer Reports. Several types of hearing aids include behind-the-ear, standard-tube, completely in the canal, in the canal and in the ear.
The best hearing aid for an individual depends on the amount of hearing loss, lifestyle and manual dexterity, according to Consumer Reports. Smaller hearing aids offer fewer features, are more difficult to manipulate, and are often cheaper. Those with severe hearing loss benefit more from behind-the-ear or in-the-ear models. In a survey conducted by Consumer Reports, users of behind-the-ear, open-fit models experience the best hearing in loud settings. Behind-the-ear models are attached to the ear with a custom ear mold that fits in the ear, a dome-style piece or a noncustom piece.
The benefits of behind-the-ear models are that they are comfortable and barely visible, notes Consumer Reports. However, wax and moisture limit the life of the receiver, and it is limited in the potential to add amplification. In-the-ear hearing aids offer more room for features and are easy to insert, but have the same problem of being vulnerable to wax and moisture. Standard-tube aids are great for amplification of sound, which fits the needs of those who are severely hearing impaired. However, the aids tend to be visible and create a plugged-up feeling from the ear mold.