Common Styles of Hearing Aids and Terminology:
Over-The-Ear (OTE) - Smaller and less conspicuous than larger hearing aids, these small instruments sit at the top of the ear. Originally designed to meet the needs of those suffering from high frequency hearing loss. A small tube comes down to the ear canal with a universal tip at the end. This style leaves the ear canal more open and is often said to be more comfortable and more natural sounding because you continue to hear the sounds you normally would without a hearing aid and amplification is mixed into the areas where you need it.
Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) - The speaker of the hearing aid sits in the ear canal which allows this style to be extra small in size. Instead of a tube coming down to the ear, it is a small wire that connects to the speaker sitting in your ear canal. The power of this instrument is in the speaker in the ear and they are interchangeable, so changes in hearing loss can be accommodated with the same hearing aid, just by changing the speaker.