Behind the Ear, or BTE hearing aids, are the most traditional form of hearing aid. The microphone sits behind the ear and transmits sound into the ear. This may be by a sound tube, which is acoustic tubing with a customised ear mould, or by a thin tube, which includes an ear dome or micro-mould that sits within the ear canal.
They are extremely powerful and can be fitted with different ear domes and moulds so are suitable for all levels of hearing loss.
Hearing aid features:
- Suitable for all types of hearing loss, including severe hearing loss
- Wireless and telecoil options are available
- The most powerful type of hearing aid
- Uses a dual microphone to make listening in all environments easier
The benefits of behind the ear hearing aids
- Extremely powerful digital hearing aids – their bigger size allows for far more features to be added, including larger batteries which increases the battery life and Bluetooth connectivity.
- They can be fitted with a range of ear moulds and domes to suit every level of hearing ability, from mild to profound hearing loss.
- Available in both wireless and telecoil options.
- They’re comfortable – wearing hearing aids can be an uncomfortable experience for some, but as these don’t fit in the canal and are more on the outer ear, most users find BTE hearing aids more comfortable.
- Easy to keep clean – the sound tubes or ear domes are the only part of the hearing aid that comes into contact with the ear canal, making them less vulnerable to ear wax.
The limitations of BTE hearing aids
- Due to the external location of the microphone, there is a loss of natural acoustics and they’re more likely to pick up wind noise.
- The sound is less clear and natural sounding due to the fact that the sound is transmitted through tubes. This can lead to tube resonances (artificial peaks and troughs of sound).
- The tubes become brittle over time, affecting the transmission and the quality of sound, which leads to them needing replacing.
- Condensation can build up in the tubing and affect sound quality. Moisture free tubing is available but this rubbery tubing is more likely to slip out of the ear mould and irritate the side of the ear.
- Dead skin can damage the microphone.
- BTE hearing aid styles make telephone usage more difficult, and the telephone needs to be held over the front microphone.
- Whilst BTE hearing aids provide a wealth of benefits, they are more visible than other hearing aid types, which some users don’t like.
Behind the ear hearing aids
If you’re interested in changing your current hearing aids to BTE hearing aids, or need a hearing test to determine whether you would benefit from hearing aids, then get in touch today. Our clinics across the south east of England provide high-quality hearing care and are on hand to assess your hearing needs.
Book an appointment with a hearing care professional today and discover the right hearing aid for your lifestyle and budget.