The BTE hearing aid is one of the oldest and most common styles of hearing aids. All functions are performed in the small, durable case tucked discreetly behind the top of your ear, similar to where reading glasses would sit.
A wide range of BTE models exist, with some boasting powerful features like wireless connectivity and others, known as mini BTE styles, are so small that they're practically invisible.
BTE hearing aids are also more capable of amplifying sounds than their smaller counterparts, such as RICs, simply because they are created in an elongated shape that enables them to store more power. This allows BTE hearing aids to pick up a wider range of frequencies, enabling them to treat mild to profound hearing loss. Most BTE hearing aids also come with telecoil and wireless streaming and connectivity options.
While BTE hearing aids differ in features from model to model, most do contain the following functions:
So what's the difference between a RIC hearing aid and a BTE hearing aid?
A BTE hearing aid transmits sound through a sound tube which is connected to an earmold. However, a RIC (receiver-in-canal) hearing aid, a variation of the BTE hearing aid, features a loudspeaker that sits inside the ear canal and transmits sound directly to the eardrum.
The RIC model is one of the smallest BTE variations and is therefore aesthetically appealing. It contains external receivers and also has limited wireless functions.
These models are ideal for people that want all the functionality of a traditional BTE hearing aid in a more aesthetically pleasing form. The micro version comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes and can be used for moderate to severe hearing loss.