Behind-the-Ear or BTE hearing aids are hearing aids that tuck behind the ear with tubing that leads inside the ear, connecting it to a custom earpiece called an earmold that sits inside the ear canal. A BTE hearing aid works well for people with practically all types of hearing impairment.
There are many advantages to this type of hearing aid,. They are very durable because the most sensitive electronic components are on the outside, behind the ear and not exposed to the wax and moisture inside the ear canal. Larger more powerful behind-the-ear hearing aids can be more comfortably worn behind the ear and are less likely to produce feedback (or squeal). They can amply sounds better than other types of hearing aids, although they may be subject to noise produced by wind more than other types.
Some newer mini type hearing aids are now available that are barely visible. In the last few years a new type of behind-the-ear hearing aid called an Open-Fit or Open-Ear has become very popular. This takes advantage of the discreet location behind-the-ear and it uses a very thin tubing to connect to the ear canal. The newer thin tubing is so thin that it is often unnoticed, making this variety probably the most discreet and durable hearing aid available.
This style keeps the ear canal very open, allowing for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally and for high-frequency sounds to be amplified through the hearing aid, making it a good choice for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, according to Mayo Clinic. It is often paired with a small eartip that allows air and high-frequency sounds to reach the inner ear. This gives a comfortable fit and natural sounding hearing aid, because it doesn’t plug the ear like in-the-canal hearing aids, allowing the wearer to hear his or her own voice more naturally.