Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) Hearing Aids

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest size of hearing aids, practically invisible to an observer. Custom designed to fit the wearer's ear, CIC hearing aids fit deep inside the ear canal and most closely resemble the natural hearing process.

CIC designates a size of hearing aids, but does not describe the circuit inside the shell. CIC instruments can have conventional, programmable analog, or digital technology housed within their tiny casing.

CIC hearing aids are meant for people with ear canals large enough to accommodate the insertion depth of the device into the ear and for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. They are usually not recommended for people with dexterity problems because they are very small instruments with tiny batteries.


  • CIC instruments are the smallest size available, nearly invisible, so they are cosmetically appealing.
  • CIC hearing aids provide a close placement of the receiver (speaker) to the eardrum, which gives sound a natural boost in loudness.
  • The microphone of a CIC instrument sits in your ear canal, simulating natural sound reception.

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  • CIC instruments are slightly more expensive than conventional in-the-ear hearing aids.
  • CIC hearing aids are not suitable for persons suffering from severe to profound hearing loss.
  • This size is rarely recommended for children because CIC instruments are custom fit, and a child's ear is continually growing. Also, the hard plastic case of the hearing aid may prove uncomfortable for children.
  • There is not an option of manual volume control on a CIC instrument, unless it is a tiny screw-set volume control.
  • CIC instruments require a very small battery which can be difficult to place.
  • Due to the closeness of the microphone and receiver in a CIC hearing aid, there is a greater chance of feedback.
  • CIC instruments can be more susceptible to damage from earwax when compared to a larger size instrument.
  • CIC hearing aids have a higher repair rate compared to other hearing aid sizes.

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Hearing aid batteries

Type of hearing aid
Battery sizes
5 or 10
10 or 312

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Other types of hearing aids

Hearing aid styles

Programmable hearing aids
Digital hearing aids
Disposable hearing aids

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
In-the-canal (ITC)
In-the-ear (ITE)
Open Fit BTE (OTE)
Behind-the-ear (BTE)

To download a Free Hearing Aid Buyer's Guide, click here. For more information about hearing loss and hearing aid help, please contact us at 1-800-866-6240 or email us.