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Everything You Need To Know About Earmolds for Hearing Aids

Earmolds are personalized devices crafted to fit the outer ear, enhancing sound direction in the ear canal. Click here to read more!

Nicole Brener
Nicole Brener
Everything You Need To Know About Earmolds for Hearing Aids

When it comes to hearing aids, a good fit is important. Considering that all ears are different, it's important to have a hearing healthcare professional customize an earmold to fit the unique shape of your ear and, thus, enhance your experience wearing a hearing aid. 

What Are Earmolds?

Earmolds are personalized devices crafted to fit the outer ear. Their primary functions include enhancing sound direction into the ear canal and optimizing the fit of hearing aids. Additionally, earmolds protect the ear canal from external elements.

Hearing aid connected to an earmold
Hearing aid connected to an earmold

Who Needs Earmolds?

Not every patient with hearing aids will require custom earmolds. However, earmolds are essential for many individuals using hearing aids, especially those with custom-fitted or in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. They ensure a snug and comfortable fit, which is crucial to prevent feedback or noises that may occur if sound leaks from the ear canal back into the hearing aid's microphone.

Earmolds also keep hearing aids securely in place within the ear. This is particularly important for those who lead an active lifestyle or participate in activities where the hearing aid might be subject to movement.

Earmolds are also a great way to protect your hearing from loud sounds, such as concerts or loud work areas. Like earplugs, earmolds can also serve as ear protection for non-hearing aid users. 

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Earmolds vs. Rubber Domes

Earmolds fit the unique shape of your ear and provide a secure seal that prevents sound from leaking out and creating feedback, but not too tight that they can cause pain. They generally have small vents to let air through. 

Rubber Domes, also called tips, are small and flexible silicone attachments that connect to the end of the hearing aid tubing, fitting into the depths of the ear canal. Their primary role is safeguarding the miniature speaker responsible for delivering sound deep within the ear. They are not customized to a person’s individual ear shape and must be replaced every two to three months. 

Types of Earmolds 

Earmolds are made from different materials, including silicone, acrylic, vinyl, and foam. Choosing the right type of material is important and depends on personal preferences and needs. For example, if you have sensitive skin, you may select a material less likely to cause irritation, such as foam. On the other hand, if you have an active lifestyle, you may want a more durable material, such as silicone. 

Earmolds also come in various styles catering to different needs. Choosing the right earmold depends on your degree of hearing loss, outer ear shape, and lifestyle.

Full Shell:

  • Covers the entire outer ear.
  • Ideal for mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

Half Shell:

  • Covers the bottom half of the outer ear.
  • Ideal for mild hearing loss.

Canal Lock:

  • Fits snugly in the ear canal.
  • Ideal for moderate-to-severe hearing loss.


  • Equipped with a small piece for stability.
  • Ideal for mild hearing loss.


  • Tailored specifically for you.
  • Ideal for moderate to severe hearing loss.
Types of earmolds. Source: Unitron Global.
Types of earmolds. Source: Unitron Global.

Customizing Earmolds

Customizing earmolds is a painless experience, much like getting dental impressions. With a simple impression of your ear canal and outer ear done with a soft molding compound, a specialist can guarantee an accurate fit custom-made for you. However, remember that with time, ears and molds can change shape, so adjustments may be required.

Common Challenges and Solutions with Hearing Aid Earmolds

Some of the common challenges earmold users may experience include: 

  • Incorrect fit: Although the greatest benefit of earmolds is their custom fit, sometimes it may require several attempts to find the correct fit. 
  • Occlusion effect: This may lead to hearing your own voice muffled, and it can be corrected with earmold modifications or hearing aid circuit changes.
  • Hearing your voice too loud: This may be a sign that you need a larger vent.
  • Feedback or whistling: This may indicate that the vent in your earmold is too large or in the wrong place.

How Often Should I Replace Earmolds?

The lifespan of earmolds depends on factors such as wear and tear, changes in ear shape, and individual usage. On average, earmolds should be replaced every one to two years. Regular check-ups with your audiologist can help determine if it's time for a fresh set.

How to Take Care of Your Earmolds?

Proper maintenance and cleaning of your earmold will guarantee a safe fit, preventing ear infections and enhancing the device's lifespan. The best way to keep clean earmolds is by adhering to a daily cleaning schedule using moist non-alcoholic disinfectants.

Earmolds should be stored in plastic washable containers, which are usually included at time of purchase.

Are Earmolds Covered by Insurance?

The coverage of earmolds under insurance plans varies. Some insurance policies may cover the cost of earmolds, especially if they are considered medically necessary. It's essential to check with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage for hearing aid earmolds.


In conclusion, earmolds are an excellent tool for anyone seeking a comfortable and practical hearing aid experience. These personalized devices enhance sound direction, optimize hearing aid fit, and shield against external elements. Whether you're navigating the choice between earmolds and rubber domes, exploring different materials and styles, or tackling common challenges, the key lies in customization. Tailoring earmolds to individual preferences, lifestyles, and hearing needs ensures a seamless fit, comfort, and prolonged device performance.

Regular maintenance, occasional adjustments, and staying informed about insurance coverage contribute to a holistic approach to maximizing the benefits of earmolds. If you're considering earmolds, consult your healthcare provider or an audiologist to help you find the correct solution for your needs. 

Nicole Brener
Nicole Brener

Copywriter based in Miami, FL. Leads copywriting workshops and mentors women entrepreneurs at the Idea Center of Miami Dade College.

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