What is a behind-the-ear hearing aid?
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are supportive, versatile and easy to handle hearing aids.
This may very well be why the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are our most popular style. The BTE hearing aid can be adjusted to fit a wide range of hearing losses from slight to profound. The BTE hearing aid is placed both behind and in the ear. The shell of the hearing aid rests behind the ear and is connected by a thin tube or wire to the earpiece that fits in the ear. There are various earpieces available for your selected BTE hearing aid, both customized earmolds and instant fit earpieces, often called domes.
How do behind-the-ear hearing aids work?
Fitting the behind-the-ear hearing aid
Once you have selected the best BTE hearing aid for you, the hearing aid is fitted by the hearing care specialist to best match your hearing loss and hearing needs. The microphone, located within the main shell behind the ear, picks up the sound and converts the sound waves into electrical signals which are processed by the chip. These signals move to the amplifier, where it increases the sound’s volume. This amplified sound is transferred to the speaker and through the plastic tube and earpiece into your ear.
The behind-the-ear hearing aid consists of three main components.
The main shell of the BTE hearing aid
The BTE hearing aid sits behind your ear and contains electronics, the battery and buttons for easy volume and program changes. The main electrical components of the BTE hearing aid are also located in the main shell including the microphone, amplifier, processing chip and receiver (loudspeaker).
The BTE hearing aid earpiece
The earpiece component is either a custom-made earmold or an instant fit dome. An earmold is an earpiece that is made for your ear only. Your hearing care specialist takes a mold of your ear’s anatomy to construct the earmold for your ear.
There are also instant fit earpieces, often called domes, that are made of soft material and come in different sizes. These earpieces can be fit immediately, and the various shapes and sizes offer the flexibility to find the one that works best for you.
Both types of earpieces allow for various amounts of openness of the ear canal to offer an optimal fit for your ears and hearing loss.
The tube on a behind-the-ear hearing aid
The BTE hearing aid’s main shell and earpiece connect via a plastic tube. This tube comes in different sizes and lengths to best match your ears and selected device.
Advantages of a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid
A behind-the-ear hearing aid can help those with hearing loss make sounds more audible and thereby help them feel more confident and comfortable. There are several advantages to choosing a BTE hearing aid as your hearing device; these include:
- The BTE hearing aid can work for most types of hearing loss.
- The BTE hearing aids with custom or instant fit earpieces offer the greatest flexibility to match your ears.
- The BTE hearing aid is available in models that allow for wireless connectivity, which would allow you to connect your hearing aid with your smartphone, television, radio or other devices. It can help ease these everyday activities, making them more enjoyable and bringing you closer to friends and family.
- The size of the BTE hearing aid makes it easier to hold and to adjust both for yourself and others.
- Flexibility in battery options. BTE hearing aids can have the widest range of battery options compared to the other styles. Depending on what you need, from the smallest to the largest battery, rechargeable and non-rechargeable, the BTE hearing aid has the option best fit for you.
Variation of the BTE hearing aid style
There are different types of behind-the-ear hearing aids available to you. The range of features and capabilities offers the user choices when deciding on what style of BTE hearing aid they feel may suit their needs best. If the behind-the-ear style of hearing aid is something you are interested in, there are a variety of available behind-the-ear hearing aid models.
Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aid
Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids are some of the most popular and technically advanced hearing aids on the market today.
The RITE hearing aids are smaller than other BTEs, more discreet and have one major difference; the RITE hearing aid speaker is situated within your ear canal rather than in the shell behind your ear. Sound transmits between the two via the small plastic tube which encases a thin wire. The speaker in the ear canal offers a variety of benefits in size and functionality.
Read more about the receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aid here.
Standard BTE hearing aid
A standard BTE hearing aid often refers to the largest type of BTE hearing aids. The larger shell allows for some features the smaller BTEs cannot fit into their smaller shells. This BTE hearing aid also most frequently uses the larger connecting tubes and custom earpieces.
The larger size can accommodate larger buttons and batteries assisting in the handling of the hearing aids. The standard BTE hearing aid offers the largest range of amplification to match the largest range of hearing losses.
BTE PP- A strong hearing aid. Its many features allow you to personalize your hearing experience as well as deal with a broader input of sounds. Read more about the features and capabilities of the Philips HearLink BTE PP hearing aid.
BTE SP- This super power (SP) hearing aid offers the user a simple and practical functionality in its design. This BTE offers more power for those who need it, while continuing to provide the same great features as other standard BTEs. Read more about the features and capabilities of the Philips HearLink BTE SP hearing aid.
BTE UP- This ultra power (UP) hearing aid offers the most power to meet the needs of those with more significant hearing loss. The BTE UP brings power and functionality to the family of standard BTEs. Read more about the features and capabilities of the Philips HearLink BTE UP hearing aid.
miniBTE hearing aid
The miniBTE refers to the smallest types of standard BTE hearing aids. The smaller shell makes it less visible behind the ear compared to the standard BTE. It can be fit using both standard tubing or, most frequently, with thin tubes, smaller tubes than those used with the standard BTE, and uses both custom and instant fit earpieces. Even with its smaller size, it can still fit a wide range of hearing losses. Philips HearLink offers two styles of miniBTE:
miniBTE T R - rechargeable hearing aid powered with AI sound technology for even better hearing. It is recommend for slight to moderately severe hearing losses. Read more about the features and capabilities of the Philips HearLink miniBTE T R hearing aid.
miniBTE T - hearing aid powered with AI sound technology. It is recommend for slight to moderately severe hearing losses. Read more about the features and capabilities of the Philips HearLink miniBTE T hearing aid.
Learn more about the behind-the-ear hearing aid
If you seek further information regarding the features and capabilities of the behind the ear hearing aids, read more about Philips HearLink behind-the-ear hearing aids here.
Get to know your options
Finding the right type and style of hearing aid for you can depend on many factors. It could be the degree of hearing loss you have, your lifestyle preferences, or cosmetic concerns. Learn more about Philips HearLink hearing aids.