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All you need to know about in-ear hearing aids in Ireland

Did you know that hearing loss affects one in 12 adults in Ireland?  Hearing loss not only impacts your ability to hear people properly, but it can also influence your quality of life — from communication and socialisation to your general enthusiasm for everyday tasks. 

At SpotDif, we understand that finding the perfect hearing aid involves more than just picking a device, it's about enhancing your hearing experience while maintaining comfort and style too. 

But with so many options to choose from, and can sometimes be a challenge if you’re not sure where to start. As a general rule of thumb, In-the-Ear hearing aids are far more discreet than Behind-the-Ear hearing aids, so they’re ideal if you’re looking for something a little more minimal.

Man having a hearing aid fitted

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How do ITE hearing aids work?

In-ear hearing aids are quite a clever piece of kit. They work by picking up sound through a microphone, boosting it up, and then sending it straight into your ear canal. What's really great about them is that they're tailor-made to fit snugly inside your ear. This not only makes them less noticeable but also a lot more comfortable for you to wear. 

It’s wonderful how these small devices can make such a big difference in your daily life? They're designed with both function and discretion in mind, so you can enjoy clearer sound without feeling self-conscious.

Who is entitled to free hearing aids in Ireland?

In Ireland, it is possible to get free hearing aids if you meet certain eligibility criteria set out by the Health Service Executive (HSE). To qualify for free hearing aids, individuals typically need to meet one or more of the following conditions:

Holding a valid medical card

Individuals with a valid medical card often qualify for free hearing aids. Medical cardholders can receive essential healthcare services without incurring substantial expenses.

Receiving certain social welfare payments

If you receive specific social welfare payments, such as Disability Allowance or Invalidity Pension, you may also be entitled to free hearing aids.

Being on the Treatment Benefit Scheme

If you are on the Treatment Benefit Scheme, you may be eligible for a grant to cover the cost of hearing aids.

Having a low income and meeting means-tested criteria

Some individuals with low incomes may qualify for free hearing aids through a means-tested assessment.

It's important to note that eligibility criteria can change over time, and exceptions may apply. Therefore, if you believe you might be able to get free hearing aids, it's best to contact your local HSE office or consult their official website for the most current information and application procedures.

Can I get ITE hearing aids for free from the HSE?

HSE logo

The HSE does offer support for hearing aids, but here's the thing: they usually don't cover the cost of ITE hearing aids. These models, known for being more discreet, often require private purchase. 

You might be wondering why the HSE doesn’t cover the cost. Well, the HSE typically provides certain types of hearing aids, but ITE models are not on their list. The focus for the HSE is on health and hearing quality only, as opposed to helping fund more discrete in-ear hearing aids. 

So, if you're eyeing one of these less visible hearing aids, you might need to look into buying them yourself. It's always worth checking out what support is available, though – you never know what options you might find.

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The average price of hearing aids in Ireland

Doctor explaining the different parts of the ear

When considering hearing aids in Ireland, cost is one of the first things you’ll want to think about. The average price of hearing aids in Ireland can range from €1,000 to €3,500 per ear.

However, it's essential to keep in mind that this cost can fluctuate based on the specific model and additional features you may require. The price of hearing aids can vary significantly depending on various factors, such as the type of device, features, and where you choose to purchase them.

Type of hearing aids

The type of hearing aid you choose plays a significant role in determining the cost. In-ear hearing aids, for example, tend to be more expensive than behind-the-ear models.

Technology level

Hearing aids come in different technology levels, from basic to advanced. The more advanced the technology, the higher the cost. Advanced features can include noise reduction, telecoil functionality, and wireless connectivity.


Custom-fitted hearing aids, such as in-ear models, are generally more expensive than standard, non-custom options.

Audiologist services

The cost of hearing aids may also include services provided by audiologists, such as hearing tests, fitting, and follow-up appointments.

To get an accurate estimate of hearing aid costs, it's recommended to schedule a consultation with a qualified audiologist. They can assess your specific hearing needs and provide you with options tailored to your budget.

Are in-ear hearing aids right for you?

Young man with hearing aids

Before you decide to commit to a hearing aid, it’s important to think about which device is right for the extent of your hearing loss. ITE hearing aids can be a great option for many people, but there are a few things to consider.

Degree of hearing loss

In-ear hearing aids may not be suitable for individuals with severe or profound hearing loss, as they may not provide sufficient amplification.

Size constraints

Due to their smaller size, ITE hearing aids may have fewer features compared to larger behind-the-ear models.


In-ear hearing aids may require more frequent cleaning and maintenance due to their proximity to earwax and moisture.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of in-ear hearing aids depends on your individual hearing needs, lifestyle, and preferences. Consulting with an audiologist can help you determine if in-ear hearing aids are the right choice for you.

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What type of ITE hearing aids are available?

When considering in-ear hearing aids, there are a few varieties available, each tailored to your different needs and preferences. 

These IIC will fit several millimeters in the aperture of your ear

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

These are designed to fit partly in the ear canal, making them a discreet choice. They're a great middle ground, balancing size and functionality.

Man having a hearing aid fitted

Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids

As the name suggests, these fit entirely within the ear canal. They're the go-to for those who prioritise a very discreet appearance.

These ITE hearing aids are the most careful hearing aid styles available

Half-shell in-the-ear hearing aids

These are slightly larger, occupying the lower half of the outer ear. They offer a good blend of visibility and feature availability.

All these ITE hearing aids are custom-fitted for comfort, making them less visible and adding to their cosmetic appeal. They're generally best suited for mild to moderate hearing loss. However, due to their smaller size, they may have fewer features compared to larger models. It's all about finding the right balance for your needs.

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Do in-ear hearing aids work as well?

In-ear hearing aids are pretty fantastic when it comes to boosting your hearing. They're tailor-made just for you, so they fit snugly and comfortably right in your ear canal. 

Plus, they're super discreet – most people won't even notice you're wearing them! But keep in mind, how well these little helpers work for you can depend on a few things, like how severe your hearing loss is and what you personally prefer. It's all about finding the right match for your unique ears.

In general, in-ear hearing aids are suitable for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. They provide clear sound amplification and are less visible than some other types of hearing aids.

Ultimately, the choice between in-ear and behind-the-ear hearing aids depends on your hearing requirements, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences. Consulting with an audiologist or hearing care professional can help you determine which type is the best fit for you.

Do you need a hearing test?

Determining whether you need a hearing test is a crucial step in addressing potential hearing issues. Hearing loss can occur gradually, making it easy to overlook the signs. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be time to consider a hearing test.

Difficulty understanding conversations 

If you frequently ask people to repeat themselves or struggle to follow conversations, even in quiet environments, this may indicate hearing loss.

Turning up the volume

If you find yourself consistently increasing the volume on your TV, radio, or electronic devices to levels that others consider too loud, it's a red flag for hearing impairment.

Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

Persistent ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds in your ears can be associated with hearing loss and should not be ignored.

Social isolation

Avoiding social gatherings or feeling isolated due to difficulties in communication can be a sign that hearing loss is affecting your quality of life.

Muffled or unclear sounds

If you perceive sounds as muffled or unclear, or if you struggle to hear high-pitched or soft sounds, it's time to consider a hearing evaluation.

Secure the right hearing aid provider with SpotDif

Discover your perfect hearing aid match with SpotDif’s detailed comparison database. Specifically created for simplicity and effectiveness, our platform enables you to effortlessly sift through a wide selection of hearing aid options across Ireland. 

Start your path to enhanced hearing with price comparison by SpotDif. We’ll find you the best deal, so you can get the hearing aids you need in no time. Browse our deals using our price comparison tool, or get in touch with us today to get started.


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Frequently Asked Questions
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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