Styles of Hearing Aids

​​There are 2 styles of hearing aids: Behind-the-Ear (BTE) or In-the-Ear (ITE).

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

The behind-the-ear style is recommended for babies and children because they fit a wider range of hearing losses than in-the-ear hearing aids. 

  • Batteries for behind-the-ear hearing aids are larger and last longer than in-the-ear hearing aids. 
  • Safety is another reason to choose behind-the-ear style. The BTE hearing aid has a soft plastic earmold that fits inside the ear canal. In-the-ear hearing aid cases are made from hard plastic. If an in-the-ear hearing aid is damaged during play, the hard plastic may hurt a child's ear canal.
  • BTE hearing aids connect with and work easily with FM systems to help children with hearing loss hear their teachers in the classroom better.
  • With a larger hearing aid case there is more room for special features that can be used as the child ages (i.e. telecoil and Bluetooth compatibility).
  • BTE hearing aids come in more color options than ITE hearing aids.

Behind-the-ear hearing aid and earmolds 

In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids come in many sizes but are not appropriate for children younger than 14 years of age.

  • Children's ears grow rapidly during the early childhood years. With a behind-the-ear hearing aid, the only part that needs replacing as a child grows is the earmold. An in-the-ear hearing aid would require re-casing of the hearing aid each time they outgrow their current hearing aid. Recasing requires a hearing aid to be sent in to the manufacturer, leaving the child without the hearing aid. 
  • Due to the hard plastic material, safety is a concern, as mentioned above.
  • In-the-ear hearing aids are not as easily compatible with the FM systems often used in classrooms. It often requires a component that must be worn around the child's neck.
  • The smaller ITE hearing aids are often not large enough for special features that can be used as the child ages (i.e. telecoil and Bluetooth compatibility).

Behind-the-ear hearing aid and earmolds