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Compare Hearing Aids

Enjoy great cost savings on UK hearing aids when you compare features, models and prices with SpotDif's complete 2024 guide.

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SpotDif’s 2024 guide to hearing aids

Save money on the cost of your new hearing aids using our hearing aid comparison guide — freshly updated for 2024. We’re here to distinguish the differences and similarities between the hearing aid models available in the UK, giving you the information you need to find your perfect hearing aid match.


Our job is to make choosing the right hearing aids less overwhelming. Our website compares prices from top hearing aid suppliers in the UK, as well as individual features such as wearability, comfort, upkeep and style. With a range of different hearing aid options available, we can help you find the one that best meets your hearing needs.


Once you’ve got all the information under your belt, you’ll be ready to compare trustworthy hearing aid suppliers across the UK.


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Female audiologist offers BTE hearing aids to man patient with hearing problems for treatment his deafness.

What are hearing aids?

According to 2024 research, an estimated 7 million adults could benefit from hearing aids — but only 2 million people actually use them. There are so many varieties of hearing aids available in 2024, but they all have a few components in common, such as a microphone, amplifier, speaker, and battery.


The microphone captures surrounding sounds, converting them into electrical signals. These signals are then amplified by the amplifier, making faint sounds easily audible. The speaker translates these amplified signals back into sound waves, directing them into the ear canal for clearer hearing.

The levels and ranges of hearing loss

A graphic showing the range and levels of hearing loss
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Comparing types of hearing aids available in the UK

Modern hearing aids come in various styles — after all, no ear is the same. Each hearing aid type caters to different preferences and levels of hearing loss, so this is important to remember when comparing your options.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

BTE hearing aids are worn behind the ear and are suitable for individuals with mild to severe hearing loss. They are known for their durability, power, and ability to accommodate various features, such as telecoils and directional microphones.


Style


BTE hearing aids offer a classic design that's extremely functional. However, it’s important to note that BTE hearing aids are not the most discreet option in comparison to the other models we will go on to compare in this guide. With the main components housed in a small case resting behind your ear, they're connected to an earmold or earpiece inside your ear canal by a clear tube. This design ensures comfort and ease of use, making them a popular choice amongst hearing aid users.


What’s more, you may be able to find BTE hearing aid models with the option of colour customisation. This is a great way to make your hearing aids your own, adding a touch of welcome personalisation.


Features and functionality


Behind-the-ear hearing aids are incredibly versatile. In fact, you will even find a few models with advanced features like directional microphones, telecoil options, and even Bluetooth connectivity. What’s more, BTE hearing aid models commonly include noise cancelling features due to their larger size, allowing for effective noise reduction and improved speech clarity. These extra features are incredibly useful as they can adjust to your environment for optimal hearing.


However, it’s important to note that BTE hearing aids may not suit everyone. For instance, if you wear glasses you may find that the casing gets in the way of your glasses frames, potentially causing some discomfort.


Price


BTE hearing aids strike a fine balance when it comes to affordability. While hearing aid prices vary based on technology and features, they generally offer a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality.


Maintenance


Keeping your BTE hearing aids in tip-top shape is straightforward. Maintenance simply involves regular cleaning of the earmold and tubing, along with periodic check-ups to ensure they perform at their best.

Graphic of behind the ear hearing aids capabilities

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids


ITE hearing aids are custom-made to fit directly into the ear canal or outer ear and are perfect for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. They are available in different sizes, from the larger full-shell models to the smaller invisible-in-canal (IIC) models.


Style


ITE hearing aids fit snugly within the outer ear, blending seamlessly with your natural ear shape. Their custom fit offers exceptional comfort and makes them nearly invisible to others.


Features


Tailored for ease and efficiency, ITE hearing aids pack powerful technology into a compact size. Features like volume control, directional microphones, and feedback cancellation are standard, ensuring you can hear clearly and comfortably in any setting. Both ITE and receiver-in-canal (RIC)l hearing aid models commonly incorporate Bluetooth connectivity, enabling wireless connection to smartphones and other devices. It’s important to note, however, that their smaller, discreet size may limit battery capacity in some cases.


Price


ITE models are usually more expensive than BTE hearing aid models, reflecting the custom design and technological advancements they offer. While they might be a bit pricier than other styles, the discreet personalised fit and enhanced sound quality provide great value with a price between £695 — £1,195.


Maintenance


A simple daily wipe-down with a soft, dry cloth and occasional professional servicing will keep your ITE models in excellent condition. This daily maintenance routine is down to the in-ear nature of this model, making the device more susceptible to ear wax than BTE models.

Take a look at our article on the pros and cons of invisible hearing aids for more information.

In the ear (ITE) hearing aid graphic

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aids


Receiver-in-Canal hearing aids, also known as Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) are quite similar to BTE hearing aids but the speaker is instead placed inside the ear canal, providing a more natural sound experience.


Style


RIC hearing aids have a lightweight design, due to the receiver being placed directly in the ear canal for a natural sound experience. The behind-the-ear component is barely noticeable, offering a comfortable and stylish solution.


Features


With RIC models, you can achieve a discreet design without compromising on state-of-the-art features. They're known for their clear sound quality, reduced feedback, and wireless connectivity options.


Price


Considering their advanced technology and discreet design, RIC hearing aids are surprisingly affordable. They offer a great middle-ground for those seeking quality without a hefty price tag between £595 — £895.


Maintenance


Thanks to their design and durable components. RIC hearing aids require minimal upkeep. All they need is regular cleaning of the receiver as well as a change of filter which can be quickly done at home.

Receiver in Canal (RIC) Hearing Aid Graphic

Completely-in-Canal (CIC)


CIC hearing aids are the smallest and least visible types of hearing aids. They sit deep within the ear canal, making them discreet and suitable for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss.


Style


CIC hearing aids are the most discreet model of hearing aids available. They fit completely within the ear canal, making them invisible to the eye while enhancing sound quality using the ear’s natural shape.


Features


Despite their small size, CIC models are mighty, offering excellent sound quality, noise reduction, and feedback cancellation. The CIC models are typically designed to be more waterproof compared to other styles due to their placement deep within the ear canal, offering protection against moisture and sweat. They're custom-made for a perfect fit, providing unparalleled comfort and clarity.


Price


Due to their discrete nature and unparalleled sound quality, Completely-in-Canal hearing aids often have the highest price point out of the other models. This is due to the customisation and quality that they offer, but many see CIC hearing aids as a worthy investment.


Maintenance


Similar to RIC hearing aids, all you’ll need is a quick daily clean to remove any earwax and debris. Occasional routine professional check-ups will also keep them working without a hitch.

Completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aid graphic

Invisible-in-Canal (IIC)


Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) hearing aids are tailored to nestle deep within the ear canal, making them virtually undetectable to the eye. This is what sets them apart from other discrete hearing aid options.  They're an excellent choice for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who prioritise discretion above anything else.


Style


Designed to be discreet, IIC hearing aids are the smallest type of hearing aid available in the UK. Placed further in the ear canal than other models, they become nearly invisible, blending perfectly with your ear’s anatomy. 


Features


IIC hearing aids typically include essential functions like noise reduction, feedback suppression, and easy-to-use volume controls. Many models also support wireless streaming technology, allowing you to connect seamlessly with devices like smartphones. 


However, it’s important to note that their compact form can sometimes mean a compromise on battery life and fewer manual controls.


Price


You may find that IIC hearing aids are priced at the higher end due to their advanced technology and discrete custom fit, ranging from £700 — £1,200 in the UK. 


Maintenance


The maintenance of IIC hearing aids is straightforward but slightly more important than other models due to their placement deep within the ear canal. This is because earwax and moisture are more prevalent. 


Regular cleaning with a soft, dry cloth and periodic checks by a professional will do the job to ensure reliable performance and longevity.

Invisible in the Canal (IIC) Hearing Aid Graphic

In-the-Canal (ITC)


ITC hearing aids are custom-made to fit snugly in your ear canal, offering a discreet yet powerful hearing solution. They’re not as invisible as IIC hearing aids, but they're perfectly suited for individuals with mild to moderately severe hearing loss who value a balance between discretion and ease of use.


Style


ITC models have just a small part of the hearing aid visible in the outer ear. This makes them less noticeable than larger models, while still being easy to handle and adjust. They strike a fantastic balance, providing both subtlety and accessibility.


Features


Packing a punch, ITC hearing aids come equipped with a variety of technological advancements. They include adjustable volume controls, directional microphones for better sound localisation, and feedback cancellation to enhance your listening clarity. Many also feature wireless connectivity, so you can easily link up with your devices without the fuss of wires.


Price


Due to their advanced design and custom fit, ITC hearing aids are generally priced between £650 — £1,150 in the UK hearing aid market. Overall, a great investment for those seeking a blend of performance, discretion, and technology.


Maintenance


A quick daily cleaning with a soft, dry cloth and regular professional servicing will help maintain their performance and extend their lifespan. Because they sit inside the canal, it’s important to keep them clear of earwax and moisture so you may need to keep a close eye on this.

In the Canal (ITC) hearing aid graphic

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Rechargeable vs disposable hearing aid batteries

If excellent battery life is important to you when comparing hearing aids, you’ll be glad to know that rechargeable hearing aids are available in multiple models. With rechargeable hearing aids, you don't need to constantly purchase and replace batteries. Instead, you can simply recharge the hearing aids overnight, ensuring they are ready for use the next day.


In the case of repairs or replacements, disposable hearing aids offer peace of mind as a temporary solution. They can also be helpful for when you’re travelling, or if you’d like to trial the suitability or comfort of a particular model. These hearing aids are designed for a specific duration, typically a few weeks or months, and are then discarded. You won’t need to worry about recharging them.

What’s the difference between analogue and digital hearing aids?

On a technical level, analogue hearing aids convert sound waves into electrical signals, whereas digital devices convert them into numerical codes. But what does this mean for the sound quality?


Analogue hearing aids amplify all sounds at the same level, offering a straightforward and cost-effective solution. Digital hearing aids, on the other hand, provide advanced sound processing which can provide you with a clearer hearing experience. 


Analogue hearing aids


Analogue hearing aids work by simply amplifying all sounds equally. Think of it like turning up the volume on your TV — everything gets louder, not just the actors’ voices. Analogue hearing aids are straightforward and generally less expensive, making them a good choice if you're looking for basic hearing support without the frills.


Digital hearing aids


Digital hearing aids are a little bit smarter than their analogue counterparts. It’s essentially a smart device for your ear. A digital hearing aid processes individual sound streams to amplify what you need to hear while reducing unnecessary background noise. This means you can enjoy clearer conversations, even in loud environments. 


Choosing between these two hearing aid models comes down to your preferences and needs. Are you looking for a budget-friendly and efficient solution to get you by, or would you rather invest a little bit more to have a digital hearing aid that’s more intuitive?

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Choosing the right hearing aid type for you

These hearing aid models may seem similar, especially when they all have shared components. However, there are a few scenarios where you may opt for a particular hearing aid over another. This is exactly why hearing aid comparison is so important — and we’re here to help you with that.


Best hearing aid model for sports


For the active souls, Behind-the-Ear (BTE) is an excellent choice of model. Why? They securely hook over the top of your ear, staying put during even the most vigorous of activities. Plus, their robust design means they're ready to withstand a bit of sweat and movement, keeping you in the zone without missing a beat.


Best hearing aid model for day-to-day


Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) aids strike the perfect balance between comfort and clarity, making them ideal for day-to-day use, they feature a barely-there feel with the speaker placed directly within your ear canal, allowing for natural sound quality. Whether you're chatting over coffee or tuning into your favourite show, RIC models keep life sounding just as it should.


Best for unmatched natural sound


Crafted to fit within the outer ear, In-the-Ear (ITE) models harness the ear’s anatomy to collect and direct sound, mirroring the way you're used to hearing. This design minimises wind noise and provides a more natural sound quality, especially when engaging in face-to-face conversations or enjoying the sounds of nature.


Best for comfort


If you’re after discreet comfort, Completely-In-Canal (CIC) aid models are the ultimate choice. Tucked away entirely within your ear canal, they're practically invisible to the outside world. Designed for those who prioritise a minimalist approach without compromising on quality, CIC models offer exceptional sound in a small but mighty package.

Compare hearing aid prices

The quickest and most transparent way to compare hearing aid prices against your individual needs is with SpotDif. Make the most of your search by filling out our hearing aid comparison form and answering a few brief questions. We’ll just need your:



  • Financing options: If you require financing for your hearing aids, you can let us know during the search process — we’ll make sure you receive accurate quotes and information.


  • Contact details: We will ask for your contact details to personalise the search results and provide you with the most relevant information. Rest assured that your information will be handled securely following our privacy policy.
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Molly Govus
Health Sector Specialist
My goal is to help you make the most informed decision for your health needs. No smoke, no mirrors — just research-led guidance and money-saving advice.
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