Hearing aids come in two basic styles: those that fit in the ear and those that sit behind the ear. Understanding the differences between each style is important and will help you determine which style is best for you.
In this article, we'll discuss:
Both hearing aid styles are designed to be small and discreet.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids have a small, inconspicuous design that fits into most ear canals, sitting at the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing behind the ear to interfere with eyeglasses, masks, or oxygen. Our ITE models only come in one size, with three different size dome options for your comfort. If the ITE model does not fit your ear comfortably with any of the included domes, we recommend you use the BTE.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of two compact parts connected by a small, thin tube. One part—the body of the hearing aid—sits discreetly behind your ear. The other part—the tip—fits into your ear canal. It is designed to allow room for eyeglasses, masks, and oxygen. The tip that fits in your ear canal comes in many different sizes and designs and can fit most ear canals comfortably. If the BTE does not fit behind your ear comfortably and discreetly, we recommend you try the ITE.
Hearing Loss Fitting Range
ITE and BTE hearing aid styles have different fitting ranges.
- Our ITE hearing aids are suitable for mild to some moderate hearing loss.
- Our BTE hearing aids are suitable for all mild to moderate hearing loss.
Both hearing aid styles have outstanding sound quality.
Our ITE hearing aids have best-in-class sound quality to help you hear conversation more effortlessly. They help you understand speech more clearly, making conversations easier. If you still experience unpleasant sound quality like an echo or a “barrel” sound after wearing an ITE for 2-3 weeks, we recommend using the BTE model.
Our BTE hearing aids have useful features to help you understand speech better even in noisy environments, like restaurants and family gatherings. They also have a more open fitting which causes less “barrel” or echo sounds that can happen when the ear canal is sealed by the ITE hearing aid placement.
ITE and BTE hearing aid models have different sound settings.
Our ITE hearing aids have a volume control with several levels to adjust the loudness to your comfort level. Some have pre-programmed environment settings, while others do not.
Our BTE hearing aids have a volume dial to adjust the loudness to your preference. They also have a program button to adjust for different environments (such as in restaurants, while watching TV, etc.).
Looking for more resources?
- How will I know if hearing aids will work for me?
- What are the advantages of each MDHearing hearing aid?
- How will hearing aids look on my ear?
- Should I buy one or a pair of hearing aids?
- How do MDHearing's OTC hearing aids compare to other hearing aids?