Skip to Content
Skip to Main Menu
Freephone Hearing Aid Advice
0800 567 7621
8am - 8pm, 7 days a week
Book

BTE Hearing Aids UK - The pros and cons of Behind the Ear hearing aids

Updated 02/01/2024
Table of Contents

BTE hearing aids UK

Behind the Ear BTE Hearing Aids 

Exploring the different hearing aid styles available

 

What are Behind the Ear hearing aids?

What does BTE mean in hearing aids?  Behind the Ear hearing aids have grown in popularity, but what is a Behind the Ear hearing aid?  Behind the Ear hearing aids or BTE is one of the most popular hearing aid types available, due to their powerful amplification capabilities and versatility. 

Their design includes a case that sits behind the ear and contains the receiver and microphones which detect and then process sounds.

These amplified sounds are then sent through a small plastic tube over the top of your ear (which also serves to hold the receiver casing in place) into an ear mould that transmits the sounds to your ear.

BTE hearing aids UK

BTE hearing aids offer versatility due to the following features:

  • Seamless Bluetooth connectivity: They can effortlessly connect to smart devices, enhancing accessibility and convenience.
  • Compatibility with various hearing loss types: BTE aids are suitable for addressing a wide range of hearing loss levels.
  • Adjustable for different ear sizes: They can comfortably fit ears of various sizes and ear canal dimensions.
  • Capacity for advanced features: Their larger size allows for the incorporation of high-tech features, improving hearing aid performance.
  • User-friendly controls: BTE aids feature easily manageable controls for telecoil, volume adjustments, and program settings.
  • Enhanced battery power: With larger batteries, they provide extended usage on a single charge.

Behind the Ear Hearing Aids / BTE Hearing Aids

Behind the Ear hearing aids (BTE)

Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids are one of the more conspicuous types of hearing aids, however, many designs can actually be much smaller than you think and their larger size allows for the incorporation of more technological features and often better battery life.

The differences of BTE hearing aids

Digital Behind the Ear hearing aids (BTE) have numerous different advantages and disadvantages. Our information below details some of the most common of these and what you can expect from BTE hearing aids



BTE hearing aids UK

Behind the Ear Hearing Aids Pros and Cons

 What are the advantages of BTE hearing aids?

 

Bluetooth BTE hearing aids

Are Behind the Ear hearing aids better? This hearing aid style offers Bluetooth connectivity and can easily connect to smart devices wirelessly, which is also needed to support the technology needed to better support your hearing needs.

 

BTE hearing aids give you powerful amplification and advanced technologies

Because Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids are slightly larger in size than some other hearing aid types and also due to their separate Behind the Ear casing they are able to provide higher levels of power and increased technological features than some smaller hearing aids.

They are able to contain the larger size battery types and so can support greater levels of amplification and provide the power needed for the inclusion of some really cutting-edge technology.

 

Super power BTE hearing aids

The above means that not only are Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids suitable for those with more severe levels of hearing loss, but also for those people who want their hearing aids to really perform.  View BTE hearing aids for severe hearing loss here

 

There’s a Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aid for everyone

Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids are one of the most versatile hearing aid types due to their outside-of-the-ear design. This means that they can provide enough power to support even quite severe hearing loss and include enough technology to support the requirements of even the most active and dynamic of lifestyles.

Whatever your lifestyle or hearing loss type, there is likely to be a Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aid to suit you.

 

Behind the Ear hearing aids have a great battery life

Due to Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aid’s design having the casing that houses the battery sitting externally behind the ear, it means that if necessary they can hold the larger size 3 batteries.

 

BTE rechargeable hearing aids

The above means that Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids can provide you with some of the best battery life of all of the hearing aid types available.  BTE hearing aids are available in both disposable and rechargeable battery models. 

 

Behind the Ear hearing aids are simple to use

Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids can be controlled either via a series of buttons or switches on the casing itself, or this can be replaced/combined with a variety of external controllers, such as smartphone apps or dedicated remote controls.

This variability of the design means that there is likely to be a Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aid to suit almost everybody.

 

There are affordable Behind the Ear hearing aids out there

Due to their classic design and slightly larger size, Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids can often be some of the easiest to manufacture and so can be one of the most affordable varieties of hearing aids – obviously, this depends on the exact model that you choose.

However, if you choose to buy your hearing aid from us then you will only pay one price regardless of the style of hearing aid that you choose.

 

Behind the Ear hearing aids are easier to clean and are comfortable

As Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids are slightly larger and also as they sit largely outside of the ear, it means that they are much easier to clean (and also change the batteries) than some of the much smaller types of hearing aids.

Most users find the BTE hearing aid style more comfortable, as they don’t sit far inside the ear canal.

 

BTE hearing aids offer fewer feedback issues

The microphone and receiver are positioned far away from each other when compared to ITE hearing aids, which ultimately reduces the risk of feedback.

 

BTE open fit hearing aids

There are also open fit BTE hearing aids available, which means the thin tube sits in the ear canal providing better air ventilation.

BTE Hearing Aids in the UK

Cons of Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

What are the disadvantages of Behind the Ear hearing aids?

 

When you compare this style to that of the ITE or ITC hearing aids, the BTE's can sometimes not have the capacity to offer high levels of sound.

BTE hearing aid devices are more likely to have complications with wind noise when used in open spaces. 

If discreet options are important to you, then the BTE style might not be right for you.  They sit directly outside the ear, therefore they are more liable to be noticed by other people.  That being said, modern BTE hearing aids are much smaller than those of the past.

Digital Hearing Aids Image 1

BTE Hearing Aid Brands

What are the brands that make Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids?  BTEs offer versatility and robust amplification. Cost, lifestyle and cosmetic concerns all factor into the decision-making process when selecting the most suitable hearing aid style.

Ultimately, a professional evaluation is crucial to determine the best fit for each individual's unique hearing profile.  Click on the links below to discover each brand's BTE portfolio.

►Phonak Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

►Oticon Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

►Widex Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

►Resound Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

►Starkey Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

►Signia Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

►Unitron Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

►Bernafon Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

BTE hearing aids

RIC vs BTE Hearing Aids

What's the difference between RIC and BTE hearing aids?  RIC and BTE hearing aids offer different benefits.  RIC hearing aids feature a tiny device behind the ear, connected to the ear canal by a discreet wire and receiver.

They offer a more natural sound perception due to their placement closer to the eardrum. RICs are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss and are less visible.

On the other hand, BTE hearing aids have a larger casing behind the ear, with a tube or earmold directing sound into the ear canal. BTEs are versatile, accommodating various hearing loss levels, from mild to profound.

They are often easier to handle, making them suitable for users with dexterity issues.

 How to clean BTE hearing aids

Behind the Ear Hearing Aid Care

How to clean BTE hearing aids

 

5 BTE hearing aid cleaning tips

Cleaning BTE hearing aids is essential to maintain their functionality and hygiene. Here are five tips to help you keep your BTE hearing aids clean:

1.  Daily wipe down: Use a soft, dry cloth or tissue to gently wipe down the exterior of the hearing aids. This removes surface dirt, oils and moisture that can accumulate during the day. Ensure your hands are clean before handling them.

2.  Brush the microphone and speaker ports: Use a soft-bristle brush or a hearing aid cleaning tool to carefully clean the microphone and speaker ports. These small openings can collect debris, which can affect sound quality. Be gentle to avoid damaging the delicate components.

3.  Change wax filters: BTE hearing aids often have wax filters or guards in place to prevent earwax from entering the device. Check these filters regularly, and if you notice wax buildup, replace them following the manufacturer's instructions.

4.  Inspect tubing and earmold: If your BTE hearing aids have tubing and earmolds, inspect them for signs of blockage or damage. Remove the tubing and clean it with warm, soapy water, then let it dry thoroughly before reattaching it.

5.  Store properly: When not in use, store your BTE hearing aids in a protective case or container provided by your audiologist. This helps protect them from dust, moisture and physical damage.

 

Why is hearing aid maintenance important?

Remember to follow the specific cleaning and maintenance instructions provided by your hearing healthcare professional or the manufacturer to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your BTE hearing aids.

Regular cleaning and care can extend the life of your hearing aids and keep your hearing experience at its best.  Ask your audiologist for a BTE hearing aid cleaning kit so you can clean your devices at home at a time that suits you.

Behind the Ear hearing aids

Behind the Ear Hearing Aids - In conclusion

BTE hearing aids are a powerful and versatile solution for individuals with varying degrees of hearing loss. With their robust amplification capabilities, durability, versatility in features and connectivity and comfortable design, they have become a popular choice among users and hearing care professionals alike.  Especially since there are so many small BTE hearing aids.

By addressing the unique needs of individuals with mild to severe hearing loss, together with your audiologist you can regain your ability to communicate effectively and participate fully in daily life. 

They can also answer any queries such as BTE hearing aid batteries, BTE hearing aid battery sizes, how do Behind the Ear hearing aids stay in place, cost of BTE hearing aids and can you wear Behind the Ear hearing aids with glasses? 


Hearing Aids BTE Style

To find out more about Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, what are the best BTE hearing aids available, or any of the other types of hearing aids that are available, call us free on 0800 567 7621

►View our BTE hearing aids prices

►Learn about other hearing aid types

►Discover the best BTE hearing aids

►Click here to go to the top of the page

Call 0800 567 7621
- or -
We Can Call You
Request a Callback
A friendly member of our team will call you back.
We Can Call You
Please correct any validation errors.
* Unsubscribe at any time. See our Privacy Policy
protected by Badge reCAPTCHA

Discover Other Hearing Aid Styles Below

Completely In the Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
View Completely In the Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
View In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
View In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
Invisible in the Canal IIC Hearing Aids
View Invisible in the Canal IIC Hearing Aids
Receiver in Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
View Receiver in Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids
View Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids
This page was written by Paul Harrison - Audiology Expert

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert & Founder

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

Hearing aids from all manufacturers in one place
Browse Brands

What's included in our hearing aid prices?

Full Hearing Test & Examination by a Registered Audiologist
Fitting and Programming of Hearing Aid(s)
All Aftercare and Fine Tuning for Life
Full Manufacturer's Warranty
60 Day Full Money Back Guarantee

Watch the Signia BTE hearing aid video below

Explore other types of hearing aids by clicking on the links below:

►Receiver in Canal RIC hearing aids

►In the Ear ITE hearing aids

►Invisible in the Canal IIC hearing aids

►Completely in the Canal CIC hearing aids

►In the Canal ITC hearing aids

Our specialist service includes:

Free Independent, Impartial Advice
Free Aftercare for Life
Competitive Prices & National Support
60 day Money Back Guarantee - Risk Free
Over 200 Audiologists across the UK

Do not spend hundreds of pounds without getting a second opinion from us.

Please call us on 0800 567 7621

Quote Marks Not only are the prices great, but the service is fantastic! Many thanks to your team.
Jenny Smith - London
Verified Customer
reviews.io logo

Other pages you might find useful

Best Hearing Aids 2024
View Best Hearing Aids 2024
Bluetooth Hearing Aids UK 2024
View Bluetooth Hearing Aids UK 2024
Hearing Aid Prices UK 2024
View Hearing Aid Prices UK 2024

Common FAQs about Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids

How do Behind the Ear hearing aids work?

Behind-the-ear hearing aids, similar to other hearing aid types, consist of three essential components: a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. These devices capture incoming sounds through the microphone, where they are subsequently transformed into electrical signals.

The amplifier then boosts the strength of these signals, directing them into the ear via the hearing aid's speaker.

Click here to find out how other hearing aid styles - including BTE hearing aids work.

What is the average cost of Behind the Ear hearing aids?

How much do BTE hearing aids cost?  The price of BTE hearing aids is influenced by individual preferences and financial considerations, making it a variable factor unique to each person.

Hence, it is crucial to consult with one of our hearing care professionals to identify the ideal hearing aid tailored to your needs.

It's worth noting that our hearing aid costs encompass more than just the device's price; they also encompass valuable benefits like lifetime aftercare at no additional charge.

One of the main reasons why our customers buy BTE hearing aids with us is because we offer home visits and prices that are upto 40% off the high street.

Click here to compare and discover hearing aid prices in the UK.

What affordable Behind the Ear hearing aids are available?

There are plenty of BTE hearing aid options available for all different kinds of budgets.  Click here to read more about affordable hearing aids in the UK.

What are the types of BTE hearing aids?  What is the smallest BTE hearing aid?

The miniRITE is the most inconspicuous behind-the-ear hearing aid, positioned discreetly behind the ear and linked by a slim wire instead of a tube.

These devices are incredibly compact, making them virtually imperceptible, and are available in a diverse array of colors to suit personal preferences.

The mini BTE hearing aids are compact and inconspicuous hearing devices that rest discreetly behind the ear. They are designed for enhanced comfort and aesthetics, offering a smaller and more streamlined profile compared to traditional BTE models.

Despite its reduced size, the mini BTE retains powerful sound amplification capabilities and is available in various styles and colours to cater to individual preferences.

Can you wear Behind-the-Ear hearing aids with glasses?

Indeed, you can comfortably wear your BTE hearing aids and glasses together. To ensure a comfortable fit, simply put on your glasses first and then position your hearing aids around the temples of your glasses.

If needed, consider reaching out to your optometrist to have your glasses and hearing aids adjusted for optimal comfort and wearability.

How to insert BTE hearing aids

Indeed, you can comfortably wear your behind-the-ear hearing aids alongside your glasses. To ensure a comfortable fit, simply put on your glasses first and then position your hearing aids around the temples of your glasses.

If needed, consider reaching out to your optometrist to have your glasses and hearing aids adjusted for optimal comfort and wearability.

What is the difference between ITE and BTE hearing aids

Here's a comparison of the key differences between ITE and BTE hearing aids:

1. Placement:

ITE: They are typically more discreet and less visible. 

BTE: They are more visible but offer advantages in terms of power and versatility.

2. Size and Visibility:

ITE: ITE hearing aids are smaller and fit discreetly inside the ear, making them less noticeable.
BTE: BTE hearing aids are larger and more visible because they sit behind the ear.

3. Hearing Loss Severity:

ITE: ITE hearing aids are suitable for a wide range of hearing loss levels, from mild to moderately severe.
BTE: BTE hearing aids can accommodate a broader spectrum of hearing loss, due to their larger size and more powerful amplification capabilities.

4. Customisation:

ITE: ITE hearing aids are custom-molded to fit the individual's ear, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit.
BTE: BTE hearing aids use standard earmolds or earpieces, which can be customised.

5. Features and Battery Life:

ITE: Smaller ITE hearing aids may have limited space for features and smaller batteries, which can result in shorter battery life.
BTE: BTE hearing aids can accommodate more advanced features, including directional microphones, Bluetooth connectivity, and larger batteries, which often provide longer battery life.

6. Feedback and Occlusion:

ITE: ITE hearing aids may be prone to feedback (whistling) and may cause a sense of occlusion (feeling "plugged up" in the ear) due to their placement in the ear canal.
BTE: BTE hearing aids are less likely to cause feedback and occlusion because the sound is directed from behind the ear.

8. Durability:

ITE: ITE hearing aids may be more susceptible to damage from moisture, wax, and ear canal shape changes.
BTE: BTE hearing aids are often more robust and durable, making them suitable for active lifestyles.

Need advice? Give our hearing aid experts a call for FREE

Ask the Experts

Please correct any validation errors.

Get free independent impartial advice from the experts you can trust. We offer nationwide coverage and huge savings on all our hearing aids.

0800 567 7621
8am - 8pm, 7 days a week
Hearing Aid UK Ltd.
6 Morton Lane
Walkwood
Redditch
Worcestershire
B97 5QA
© Hearing Aid UK 2024

Latest Launch

When we refer to a product as 'Latest Launch', we mean it is the latest to be released on the market.

Close

New

When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is the newest hearing aid model on the market.

Close
Superseded

When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.

Close

Older Model

When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.

Close