Hearing Blog
Woman showing different hearing aid shells

Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids - What Are They?

Published 06/08/2023
Last Updated 20/10/2023

There are so many different types of hearing aids available, each with their own features and some with their own acronyms, but how do you know which options to choose? We break down one of the more powerful assistive hearing devices: the behind-the-ear hearing aid, or BTE.
Experiencing the initial signs of hearing loss can be overwhelming. You might be contemplating the extent of the impairment, potential corrective measures, and the need for a hearing aid. We're here to guide you through the available options and help you make an informed decision.

The Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aid stands out as a versatile solution suitable for all types of hearing loss. Recognised for its durability and performance, the BTE, however, lacks the discreetness of the Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) or smaller in-the-ear models. This type of aid is commonly recommended for individuals dealing with severe to profound hearing loss.

Structure of the BTE

Constructed mainly from plastic, the BTE's shell serves as a protective housing for the intricate electrical components. Placed discreetly behind the ear, it earns its name as the "behind-the-ear" aid. This shell accommodates the essential components responsible for processing sound and delivering it to the ear canal via a connected tube leading to a custom earmold or receiver.

Internal Mechanisms

Comprising an amalgamation of mechanical components, hardware, and software, the BTE aids receive, analyse, and process sound, mimicking the natural hearing process.

Different BTE Variations

The traditional BTE, owing to its larger size, accommodates more electrical components, including the sound processor, receiver, microphone, amplifier, and battery. This larger size contributes to enhanced performance, particularly beneficial for individuals with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

There's also the mini-BTE, a smaller version of the BTE aid, suitable for those with smaller ears or children. Additionally, the Power-BTE is tailored for individuals dealing with severe to profound hearing loss, offering increased amplification capabilities.

Ease of Use and Customisation

Equipped with exterior buttons, BTE aids allow easy navigation through sound programs. Available in various colours, these aids can be customised to match your skin tone or personal style.

Considering a BTE hearing aid? Get in touch with your local bloom hearing care professional who can recommend the most suitable type based on your specific degree of hearing loss.