Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids

There are four main types of hearing aid: Behind The Ear (BTE), In The Ear (ITE), In The Canal (ITC) and Completely In Canal (CIC). Each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking of buying a new hearing aid, it is worth spending some time thinking about which type would be best for you – ideally you should visit an audiologist or aid vendor who will give you a hearing assessment and advice on which aids would be most suitable for you.

Behind The Ear (BTE)

Behind the ear hearing aids have a main shell section, an earmold and a connecting tube. The main shell houses the electronics and the battery – the shell sits at the top of your ear and runs down behind. On the latest hearing-aids the tube that runs from the shell to the ear-piece is very thin and is almost invisible to the casual observer. The design of the earmold varies from model to model; in some it sits in the hollow of the ear, like an ITE; in others it fits more like a ITC aid.

BTE aids are the cheapest to purchase, they are also the most commonly worn in the world today. BTE models are normally recommended for children because they are more robust and less likely to get lost; also, due to childrens continuously growing ear canals, it is necessary to replace earmolds regularly, this is simple and cheaper with BTE aids.

This type of hearing aid is usually more powerful than ITE, ITC or CIC aids – the bigger shell design can house a bigger amplifier and battery. For
this reason, BTE aids are often the only choice for people with severe hearing loss.