Pros: Behind-the-Ear hearing aids offer the most powerful sound amplification out of any style, making them suitable for all levels of hearing loss—particularly those with profound hearing loss.
Since all sensitive electronics rest in the case outside of the ear, BTE styles are less susceptible to moisture and wax—the two leading causes of hearing aid damage. Even when those issues are present, they can often be easily cleared out of the tubing with an air blower or washed from the earmold by detaching and soaking it in warm, soapy water. The result? Fewer repairs and longer lifespan.
BTE hearing aids’ traditionally larger size also makes them easier to insert/remove, adjust settings and replace the battery—a big benefit for those with dexterity concerns.
Cons: Traditional BTE models—particularly those that offer maximum amplification—still tend to be bigger and thicker. Besides being more visible, the larger case may feel heavier or more uncomfortable for some wearers. And while ear domes are available for select BTE styles, many BTE hearing aids still require an earmold, which are typically more noticeable and can lead to a more plugged-up feeling.