BTE hearing aids are worn outside of your outer ear. They work thanks to a small tube that amplifies sound straight down into your ear canal, and this hearing aid style is available in countless different sizes, shapes and color options, including shades that can match your skin tone or your hair color to blend in a little better. Read on to discover more about behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids so that you can make the best choice for your unique needs!

What are the features of a BTE hearing aid?

A BTE hearing aid houses its hearing components inside of a casing which sits just behind your ear and uses a clear plastic acoustical tube to amplify sound into your ear canal so that you can hear things with greater clarity. BTE hearing aids are certainly the world’s most popular hearing aid style, but they are also one of the biggest options on the market, and their size is a feature that needs to be taken into consideration. Newer models are more streamlined and discreet, but the fact that these styles of hearing aid sit outside the ear means they’re always going to be visible no matter how small they compact the components.

The larger size does allow more room for different features and settings, as well as promoting effective amplification and a longer battery life, so in some senses the bigger area is a total plus. BTE hearing aids are for those who have moderate to profound hearing loss, though they can be suitable for all levels thanks to the easily modified settings.

These hearing aids are regularly given to children due to the fact that their ears grow constantly, as this means that only the mold needs to be replaced instead of having to buy a whole hearing aid every year.

What are the Main Advantages and Disadvantages?

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages of behind-the-ear hearing aids:


  • Comfortable style as it sits outside rather than deep into your ear like other options.
  • Available with thinner tube and with personalized earmold for pain free use.
  • Offers the best level of amplification
  • Very simple to handle
  • Easy to keep clean


  • Less discrete nature due to its larger size and outer ear placement.
  • Can experience wind noise when used in open outdoor spaces.

What Kind of Hearing Loss Is A BTE Hearing Aid Best Suited For?

BTE hearing aids are perfect for those with moderate to profound hearing loss. They can also be great for hearing aid users who have particularly small ear canals or have less dexterity when it comes to using hearing aids. As BTE hearing aids are so simple to use, they can be great for people of all ages to help alleviate their hearing loss symptoms while encouraging them to benefit from independence and confidence. Talk to your audiologist to see if a behind-the-ear hearing aid is right for you!

Tags: bte hearing aids, hearing aid styles