What are Invisible-in-canal (IIC) Hearing Aids?

an audiologist showing her patient a set of new hearing aids

There are many types of hearing aids out there. If you have hearing loss or impairment and you are wondering about your options for you or a loved one, then you are going to want to know what kinds of hearing aids you might be looking at. There are many and they each offer their own advantages and drawbacks and the more that you research them the better. At some point, the best thing to do is for you to visit an audiologist, who can provide you with expert judgement and advice on getting the best hearing aid for your situation. But let’s look now at one specific type of hearing aid that you are likely to consider: the invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aid.

The IIC hearing aid

Let’s take a look at a basic description of the IIC first, before looking at it in more detail and discussing its uses and benefits. An IIC hearing aid is very similar to a completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aid, which you might well have seen already in the past. With those types of hearing aid, the entirety of the hearing aid sits in the canal, as the name implies. But the major difference here is that an IIC hearing aid is even smaller and worn a little deeper in the ear as well. This makes them completely invisible – even if someone standing right next to you were to look directly into your ear. They would only know you have a hearing aid if you actively tell them.

That in itself throws important light on why this is such a useful kind of hearing aid, and so popular. In a survey it was found that around 40% of people would be much more likely to happily wear a hearing aid as long as it was completely invisible. For that reason, it is easy to see why this might be such a popular kind of hearing aid, and why it’s important that it exists as a type at all.


As we have already alluded to, this is a great hearing aid for anyone who wants it to be somewhat secretive. This would include those who, for one reason or another, are perhaps a little embarrassed about having to wear a hearing aid, those who are simply keen on keeping their look a certain way or just want the hearing aid to be a subtle and understated thing. Of course, being so small you are going to compromise on things like battery size and the number of features, but on the whole it’s a great type of hearing aid which you are probably going to want to consider.

There are a range of great benefits to an IIC hearing aid, including:

  • The main benefit, of course, is its invisibility, which is particularly important for some people and the main reason that people choose an invisible hearing aid. It fits deeply and perfectly invisible into the ear canal.
  • Because the hearing aid is so deep in the ear canal, it is almost directly in contact with the eardrum itself. This makes for a more natural sound profile, and a better quality of sound than many other types of hearing aid.
  • Another benefit of the hearing aid being right next to the eardrum is that the ear itself can continue to channel sound waves in the way it normally does. This means that the wearer can still determine just as well as normal which specific direction a sound is coming from – something that older hearing aids might sometimes have had trouble with.
  • The hearing aid can be controlled by a small remote control which is compact enough to fit on a keyring or in your pocket.
  • These hearing aids are also known for their incredible level of comfort, which is definitely something that most users will agree is one of the top concerns of all when choosing a hearing aid.
  • There is also reduced noise from wind, as the hearing aid is so far down the ear canal.
  • Plus, an IIC will not get in the way of any headgear, like a motorcycle helmet, in the way that some other types might.

As you can see, there are a number of benefits for an IIC hearing aid, and they are especially popular for a good reason. If you are wondering about whether you need a hearing aid or what type of hearing aid you might want, then you should get in touch with an audiologist like Albuquerque Hearing and Balance. You can contact us today at (505) 750-9569.