Man with hearing aid

Hearing Devices

Hearing devices are full of features to help you hear better and engage with others. Devices today do more than just help your hearing—they are connecting to your smartphone and providing a better, more practical experience. But, with many hearing devices currently on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. 

As experts in hearing care, we can help you make that decision. We are here to guide you through the process and answer all of your questions. There’s nothing “one size fits all” about hearing solutions, so in addition to hearing evaluation and counseling services, we also provide rehabilitative and other support and education services

We price our devices competitively, and as a non-profit, you can have the confidence that the proceeds from the sale go toward supporting our mission.

Make an appointment today by calling us at 617-573-3266 or requesting one online.


Learn more about the different types of hearing devices:

Non-Surgical Devices

Hearing better is so much more than simply making sounds louder. Today, hearing devices are personalized, connected, and focused on controlling the sounds around you. They make sounds louder and manage unwanted noise. They connect to almost anything you want to hear, including phones and theaters. Some even have their own apps that help you adjust and locate them if lost.

Hearing aid companies have worked hard for decades to make these products practical and mostly invisible in everyday use. 

The selection of a hearing device can be an overwhelming process because there are so many features and styles. Our audiologists will guide you. We’ll separate fact from fiction, because here at Mass. Eye and Ear, we not only dispense hearing aids, but we study their components, test their claims, and stay current on the latest technological developments. Every hearing device we carry has passed very high standards of fit and function.


Conventional Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are medical devices that are dispensed by a licensed professional. There are three basic styles of conventional hearing aids: behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), and in-the-ear (ITE).

  • BTE hearing aids sit behind the ear and connect to an earmold in the ear with a sound tube. Because most of the components are behind the ear, they are durable, as they have fewer wax and moisture problems compared to other styles. They vary in size and have the flexibility to fit to every type of hearing loss. The earmold that couples the hearing aid to the ear is made of a lightweight material and is custom made for comfort and fit. Sometimes, for people with no hearing in one ear, sounds can be picked up on the poorer ear and are sent to the better ear. This is a special kind of BTE hearing aid called a “CROS.”
  • RITE hearing aids are similar to BTE hearing aids, but the speaker portion of the hearing aid (known as the receiver) sits in the ear canal. It can connect to an in-ear dome or a custom earmold. This can be more discrete than a standard BTE.
  • ITE hearing aids are in a shell, which are custom formed to fit in the bowl of your ear and/or the ear canal. They are typically intended for mild to moderate degrees of hearing loss, and come in a range of sizes, from very small devices that fit completely-in-the-canal (CIC) to ones that entirely fill the bowl of your ear. 

Only some health insurance companies cover hearing aids. We sell Phonak, Oticon, and ReSound.


Non-implanted Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)

If you have hearing loss due to sounds being blocked (conductive hearing loss) or are deaf on one side, you may benefit from a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA). With a conventional hearing aid, the sound waves need to travel through your entire auditory system, which includes the outer, middle, and inner ear. With a BAHA, the sound will bypass these parts and stimulate your inner ear directly by providing vibration directly to your head. 

Non-surgical approaches to hold the BAHA processor on the skin include wearing a soft headband or a special plastic band that fits on similar to backward glasses. We use BAHAs from Oticon Medical and Cochlear.


Other Types of Hearing Aids

Please note, the following devices are not currently offered at Mass. Eye and Ear. Please contact us if you have any questions.

  • Lyric hearing aids rest inside the ear canal for months at a time. They use part of the ear's natural anatomy to amplify sound. The device is placed near the eardrum by a trained professional, no surgery or anesthesia is required. Learn more.
  • Earlens hearing aids look like BTE hearing aids, but have a part that looks like a lens and sits directly on the eardrum. Because a part sits directly on the eardrum, a physician helps place this device. Learn more.

Surgical Devices

In close collaboration with our ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors, we offer hearing devices that involve surgery. For these solutions, we are part of the team assessment and management. Some devices provide a surgically-created path for acoustic sound waves to get to the ear (BAHA), while others replace the sensing part of the ear with bionic sound waves through an implantable device (cochlear and brainstem implants). Sometimes both acoustic and bionic sounds are in one device (electro-acoustic cochlear implant). 

Unlike hearing aids, many health insurance companies pay for aspects of surgical hearing devices.


Implanted Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)

If you have hearing loss due to sounds being blocked (conductive hearing loss) or are deaf on one side, you may benefit from a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA). With a conventional hearing aid, the sound waves need to travel through your entire auditory system, which includes the outer, middle, and inner ear. With a BAHA, the sound will bypass these parts and stimulate your inner ear directly by providing vibration directly to your head. 

Surgical approaches to hold the BAHA processor include a magnet attached to your skull under your skin and a small abutment (screw) that provides a direct connection. 

We use BAHAs from Oticon Medical and Cochlear.


Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is a bionic ear. Rather than send acoustic sound to help the hearing organ like a hearing aid, the cochlear implant sends sound directly to the nerve. It helps people who have the greatest amount of hearing loss, when hearing aids aren’t able to make sounds loud and clear enough. Sometimes, people who have normal hearing in one ear but are deaf in the other use a cochlear implant in their deaf ear. 

Cochlear implants have two parts; an external sound processor worn behind the ear or on the head, and a surgically implanted stimulator that sends sounds directly to the hearing nerve in the inner ear. The two parts connect across the skin using radio waves and held together with magnets. Only the outside part has the battery, so that it can be replaced or recharged.

There are three cochlear implant manufacturers available in the US: Advanced Bionics, Cochlear, and MED-EL. We support all of them.

An electroacoustic, or “hybrid” cochlear implant sends high-frequency bionic sounds, using acoustic sounds for the low frequencies.


Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI)

An auditory brainstem implant is a lot like a cochlear implant, but instead of sending sounds to the cochlea, it sends sounds to the auditory part of the brainstem. This is for the rare cases when the hearing nerve is not healthy.

Our researchers from the Wilson Auditory Brainstem Implant Program are currently conducting the only FDA approved clinical trial in the US for adult deaf patients who do not have NF2 to receive the ABI. We also have a second study for pediatric patients who are deaf but do not have NF2.


Consumer Devices

Hearables

Consumer hearing devices are a growing class of hearing products that you can purchase without a hearing evaluation. Often called “hearables” or “personal sound amplification products" (PSAPs), these products do more than just amplify sound. Many use the same sophisticated directional microphone and sound processing technology to reduce noise as hearing aids. Some even stream music and phone calls from your smartphone and use apps to self-tailor your hearing needs. Companies that offer hearables include Nuheara, Sound World Solutions, and Bose. For consumer sound protection devices, there are companies such as Etymotic.

For patients who use PSAPs, we offer counseling to help you pick which one is right for you, professional fitting services, and can make a customized fit to your ear.


Assistive Devices

There are also a variety of assistive devices that can alert you to sounds and alarms with light or vibration, amplify telephones or televisions, and remote microphones to help hear through noise.