In The Ear Hearing Aid vs Behind The Ear Hearing Aid

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Better in than out, or better out than in? That is the question.

If you are experiencing hearing loss and at the point where you could really benefit from some form of hearing aid, you may be deciding between in the ear v behind the ear hearing aids.

Will your hearing quality be enhanced by selecting certain hearing aid styles? And, for those feeling a little apprehensive at the whole idea, what version of hearing aids will make you feel the least self-conscious?

As a leading authority on all aspects of hearing and ear care, these are questions we are frequently asked. Here’s some outline information that should help make your hearing aid decision easier.

If you live in the South East and need help with your hearing loss and choosing the right hearing aids, book an appointment with our expert audiologists today. We have hearing clinics in Seaford, Horsham and Chichester and are on hand to help you with all of your hearing needs.

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In the ear (ITE) hearing aids

Lyric invisible hearing

Type of hearing loss they’re best for: mild to severe hearing loss

In the ear hearing aids generally sit in the shell of the ear, or the canal portion,  making them barely noticeable when worn. They are custom moulded to fit perfectly and comfortably in your ear canal.

Whilst most types of in the ear hearing aids aren’t completely invisible, we’re proud to be one of the few approved centres to offer the Phonak Lyric 100% invisible hearing aids. Lyric is a state-of-the-art, extended wear, in-ear hearing aid. Contoured to each patient’s ear shape and requirement, Lyric is designed to sit invisibly in the ear for several months at a time. This is hassle free hearing. You can sleep in them, shower with them and there’s no wind noise. No daily insertion or removal, no batteries to change and no cleaning.

Pros and cons of in the ear hearing aids

Pros of in the ear hearing aids:

  • Less noticeable and more compact – this makes them the perfect option for those who are conscious of having their hearing aids visible and would like discreet hearing aids.
  • Less susceptible to wind noise – as they sit inside the ear, they’re less likely to pick up any wind noise, making it easier to wear hearing aids when out and about.
  • Easy to insert – they’re very easy to insert into your ears each day, but can be fiddly for those who suffer from limited dexterity.
  • Available to suit a range of budgets – no matter your budget, we have an in the ear hearing aid solution to suit your needs.

Cons of in the ear hearing aids:

  • The batteries can be fiddly – this can make them awkward to change for those who have dexterity issues.
  • Batteries have a shorter shelf life – they will need to be changed more regularly. As the hearing aid is smaller than other types, so are the batteries, meaning they won’t last as long.
  • Unable to adjust the volume – again, due to their size they have fewer features and functions than larger hearing aids.
  • Prone to getting clogged with earwax – wearing hearing aids all day every day means that they do tend to get ear wax on them. With in the ear hearing aids, they’re more prone to this as they sit inside the ear.


Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

BTE aid

Type of hearing loss they’re best for: virtually any level of hearing loss, including moderate hearing loss, moderately severe hearing loss and profound hearing loss.

Behind the ear hearing aids sit over the ear top and are connected to a tube that fits into the ear canal. They’re the most common style of hearing aid and transmit sounds into the ear canal through the tubing. Behind the ear hearing aids are available in a range of styles and colours to suit your lifestyle and needs.

Pros and cons of behind the ear hearing aids

Pros of behind the ear hearing aids:

  • Extremely powerful – as they’re larger, they’re far more powerful and modern hearing aids offer a range of technologies that make day to day life easier.
  • Easy to handle – if you struggle with dexterity, then behind the ear hearing aids may suit you better, as they’re far easier to handle, insert and adjust the volume.
  • Long battery life – due to the size, they have a bigger battery which makes them last longer and more reliable.
  • Can suit a range of budgets – no matter your budget, there is a behind the ear hearing aid solution for your needs.
  • Many styles of behind the ear hearing aids are rechargeable, eliminating the need for fiddly batteries, especially useful if you have poor manual dexterity.
  • More space to fit bluetooth, telecoils and utilise wireless technology. For better listening and hearing results in challenging situations.

Cons of behind the ear hearing aids:

  • More visible – as they are bigger, they are more visible than other types of hearing aid.
  • Prone to wind noise – due to them sitting outside the ear, they are prone to wind noise.
  • Natural acoustics can be lost – as the microphone sits outside of the ear, natural acoustics can become less clear, offering a lower sound quality.


Which type of hearing aid is best for me?

Either way, it really comes down to personal choice. Ultimately, what feels more comfortable? If you prefer a less visible hearing aid, then an in the ear hearing aid would probably be best, whereas if your priority is greater reliability and flexibility, then you may be better suited to a behind the ear product.

We have put together this helpful guide, which helps you understand the different types of hearing aid and what they offer, helping you to understand the best option for your needs.

Book a hearing aid assessment

If you’d like to review your current hearing aids, or suspect you are suffering from hearing loss, book an appointment for a hearing test with our expert team today. We’d be happy to help you in our Sussex hearing clinics and provide you with impartial advice about the right hearing solution for you.

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