Get the latest update on our COVID-19 safety procedures.

Image shows hearing aid placed behind the ear of a man.

What are behind-the-ear hearing aids?

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are designed so that the main body of the aid sits behind your ear. A clear, discreet tube is then connected to an ear mould or dome and placed inside the ear canal.

BTE hearing aids are the most widely used aid on the market today. They are getting smaller as technology advances (which is also true for in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids), as well as more adaptable, and much more powerful. 

In-the-ear hearing aids

Image shows illustration of an ear with a hearing aid
Versatile
BTE hearing aids come in different styles and colours, are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss, and can include a wide range of features.
Image shows illustration of an ear with a heart
Comfortable
Placed partially behind and in your ear, BTE hearing aids give you a comfortable listening experience and are easy to adjust.
Image shows illustration of a battery
Powerful
BTE hearing aids can house large batteries (both disposable and rechargeable options are available), which increases battery life.
Dispenser demonstrating hearing aids to customers

Hearing aid finder: see which type suits you

Take a minute to find out which hearing aid models are right for you.

Question 1 of 3
What is your level of hearing loss?
What is most important for you in a hearing aid?
Which kind of battery would you prefer?

Your result

Based on your answers, the following hearing aid types might suit your needs:

  • miniRITE R

*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.

Would you like to have a free hearing aid trial?

Your result

Based on your answers, the following hearing aid types might suit your needs:

  • miniRITE R

*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.

Would you like to have a free hearing aid trial?

Your result

Based on your answers, the following hearing aid types might suit your needs:

  • miniRITE
  • BTE Plus/Ultra Power
  • In-the-canal (ITC)

*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.

Would you like to have a free hearing aid trial?

Your result

Based on your answers, the following hearing aid types might suit your needs:

  • miniRITE
  • BTE Plus/Ultra Power

*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.

Would you like to have a free hearing aid trial?

Your result

Based on your answers, the following hearing aid types might suit your needs:

  • miniRITE R

*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.

Would you like to have a free hearing aid trial?

Your result

Based on your answers, the following hearing aid types might suit your needs:

  • miniRITE R

*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.

Would you like to have a free hearing aid trial?

Your result

Based on your answers, the following hearing aid types might suit your needs:

  • miniRITE
  • Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC)
  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
  • In-the-canal (ITC))

*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.

Would you like to have a free hearing aid trial?

Your result

Based on your answers, the following hearing aid types might suit your needs:

  • Halfshell/full shell
  • miniRITE

*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.

Would you like to have a free hearing aid trial?

Step 1 of 5

Behind-the-ear hearing aid styles

BTE hearing aids come in different styles. You can learn more about each one in the guides below.

Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids

Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) – and the smaller miniRITE – hearing aids are placed discreetly behind the ear and are connected by a thin wire to the speaker or receiver, which sits inside the opening of the ear or ear canal. RITE hearing aids are:

  • Suitable for most types of hearing loss
  • Smaller and less noticeable than traditional BTE hearing aids
  • Available with rechargeable battery options
  • Able to connect to smart devices via Bluetooth 
  • Often connected to a small dome for ventilation

Try for 60 risk-free days See model examples

Image shows man wearing receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

A clear, thin tube connects the main body of the hearing aid (nestled behind the ear) to an earmould or dome that fits inside the ear canal.  The following make BTE hearing aids a versatile option: 

  • Able to connect to smart devices via Bluetooth
  • Suitable for all types of hearing loss 
  • Suitable for all ear and ear canal sizes 
  • Able to accommodate high-tech features (due to larger size)
  • Telecoil, volume and program controls are easy to manipulate
  • Larger battery size provides more power

Try for 60 risk-free days See model examples

Image shows woman wearing behind-the-ear hearing aid
Image shows behind-the-ear hearing aids with other objects

Award-winning behind-the-ear hearing aids

Oticon has won several awards for their groundbreaking hearing aid technology. The latest Oticon More™ hearing aid allows you to hear more details, understand more and remember more with less effort.

  • Discreet miniRITE style
  • Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity
  • Rechargeable
Try for 60 risk-free days Oticon More

Open-fit for behind-the-ear hearing aids

Open-fit (also called Corda miniFit) is a thin tube mounted on BTE hearing aids with a dome or micro-mould as an earpiece.

It’s an ultra-thin, discreet solution, delivering all the benefits of open fittings, which include:

  • Keeping the ear canal open so that sound can enter more naturally
  • Filtering out background noises
  • A more powerful battery than most BTE hearing aids 

Pros and cons of behind-the-ear hearing aids

Here’s what you can expect from BTE hearing aids

Pros

Cons

Comfortable
Some users find them more comfortable since they don’t sit deep inside the ear canal.
Might be more visible
Since BTE hearing aids are tucked behind the ear, they might be more noticeable than smaller in-the-ear hearing aids. 
Rechargeable batteries
They are available with both disposable and rechargeable battery options.
More likely to pick up wind noise
The behind-the-ear placement means that these devices are more likely to pick up wind noise, but there have been recent technological advancements to help prevent this.
Bluetooth connectivity
They can connect wirelessly to smart devices via Bluetooth.
 
Suitable for severe hearing loss
They can cater to more severe hearing loss levels than some other hearing aid types.
 
Longer battery life
They include larger batteries, meaning a longer battery life. 
 
Easier to keep clean
Since only the ear mould or dome comes in direct contact with the ear canal, they are less vulnerable to moisture and ear wax build-up
 
Fewer feedback issues
The microphone and receiver are placed farther away from each other than in some ITE hearing aids. This reduces the risk of feedback.
 
More open-fitting
The thin tube that sits in the ear canal provides ample air ventilation.
 

Behind-the-ear hearing aids FAQs

Hidden Hearing audiologist Jen Canham
Jennie Canham, Hearing Aid Audiologist and Ceruminologist

Jennie Canham qualified in Audiology in 2003 and has been working in the private sector for over 19 years. She specialises in hearing aid rehabilitation, tinnitus therapy and is also fully qualified in both water irrigation and micro-suction. Jennie is also qualified in British Sign Language. Jennie works in Hidden Hearing’s Leigh-on-Sea hearing centre.