The most familiar hearing aid style, Behind-The-Ear (BTE) aids, are housed in a durable case that rests on the back of the outer ear. These aids are suitable for the widest range of hearing loss, including profound hearing loss. While the larger size BTEs allow for more power and features, the smallest ones, mini BTEs, are practically invisible when worn.
Types of Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids
There are two types of BTEs: closed fit and open fit.
- Closed fit: These hearing aids use a fitted ear mold that fills the outer ear. Although they are larger than open fit hearing aids, closed fit BTEs are easier to handle because they seal the auditory canal, which minimizes the whistling sometimes experienced by hearing aid wearers.
- Open fit: These contain a thin plastic micro tube that extends over the outer ear and into the ear canal. In addition to being small and cosmetically appealing, the open fit tube avoids the "stopped up" feeling of in-the-ear hearing aids.
Advantages of Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids
- Easy to handle, insert and adjust
- Suitable for all levels of hearing loss
- Can fit many features
- Larger batteries for longer battery life
Disadvantages of Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids
- More visible than smaller models
- More sensitive to wind
Are BTE Hearing Aids Right for You?
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are a great choice for most people with hearing loss. They can be surprisingly discreet thanks to increasingly slimmer designs and the ability to match casing to hair and skin colors.