Private Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

What is a Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing aid?

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are championed by audiologists due to their robust nature and compatibility with all types of hearing losses. Due to advancements in technology, over the years their size has become smaller and making them much more discreet than every before. They usually offer the most advanced technology within any range of aids and likely to be compatible with additional hearing aid accessories.

Behind the Ear Open Fit Hearing aids vs Receiver in canal

Most NHS suppliers standardly fit behind the ear models and it is commonplace now for wearers to be issued open fit hearing aids with slim tubes. As many NHS wearers are looking to get more discreet models or better technology and may be offered Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) models we thought it best to explain the differences between these two styles of devices. Although they may look similar there are a few differences that do make a difference and should be considered. Find out more about receiver-in-canal models.

Open fit BTE and RIC Similarities

  • Both had portion of the aid sitting on top of the ear
  • Both use non-custom-made ear pieces (domes)
  • Neither use traditional earmould with thick tubing
  • Both available in rechargeable and Bluetooth options
  • Both available in “open” style

Open fit BTE and RIC Differences

  • BTE models use hollow slim tube
  • BTE model amplifier incased in BTE portion of aid
  • RIC models use receiver wire and amplifier located underneath dome within the ear canal
  • Open style BTE only suitable for milder losses as more likely to cause feedback sound if amplifying for more severe loss.

BTE hearing aids – are these devices available on the NHS? Are private models better?

Most NHS providers still currently only offer BTE style hearing aids. These can come in both the more traditional style with a custom made earmould or for milder losses you will be offered an open fit BTE with a slim tube. More recently some NHS providers have started to offer Receiver in canal (RIC) style aids, although it is only some. For more discreet models such as custom or invisible styles you may need to see a private audiologist. At Integrate Hearing we offer all styles of hearing aids from all UK leading manufacturers. Find out more about our invisible styles.

Whilst BTE models are available both privately and on the NHS advancements in technology on the private market mean that many of the available models will contain better features or be more cosmetically pleasing. Our hearing aids also come with a fully comprehensive aftercare package, which surpasses that standardly offered on the NHS, to keep you hearing at your best.

BTE hearing aid pros and cons


  • Available in lots of colour choices from bright to matching skin/hair tone
  • Suitable for severe to profound losses
  • Most robust against moisture/wax/damage
  • Great technology not limited by size
  • Longest battery life
  • Rechargeable options available. Learn More
  • Bluetooth options available. Learn More


  • Least discreet style in comparison to custom or RIC products
  • Earmould needs regular cleaning to avoid wax blockages/discoloration
  • Wind noise complications due to location of the microphones
  • Care needed when removing facemask to avoid potential loss

BTE Devices Parts & Accessories including earmoulds and cleaning accessories

This style has great potential for longevity when compared to in-the-ear models (ITE) as all of the functioning parts of the aid are incased within the aid itself.

Replacement parts for the hearing aid include the batteries (where not rechargeable) and occasionally you may need a replacement earmould due to wear and tear or discoloration. We also recommend cleaning kits and tools to keep your hearing aid functioning correctly. Don’t worry, we will explain all necessary accessories, how often they will need replacement, what comes as standard or the replacement cost. Replacement accessory costs are minimal, however at Integrate Hearing we make sure you are up to speed with everything you need to know so there will be no hidden costs!

Are BTE devices right for you? How much do they cost?

At Integrate hearing we offer behind the ear and open fit hearing aids from all manufacturers, including rechargeable and Bluetooth models at all price points. To find out more about our 4 ranges of aids click here or contact us on 01978799387  to discuss our products and book a hearing aid assessment  for a 14 day free trial.

Our Range of Hearing Aids

Find out more about the products we offer below.

Invisible in the Canal (IIC)

Extremely discreet. This is the smallest type of hearing aid, fitting deep within the ear canal making it almost invisible when worn. Suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.

Completely in the Canal (CIC)

The CIC is the second smallest hearing aid which fits completely in the ear canal and dependent on the size and shape of your ear canal is also very discreet. Suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss).

Receiver in the Canal (RIC)

The most common style of hearing aid. Very comfortable, extremely discreet yet powerful. Virtually invisible this type of hearing aid sits neatly behind the ear. This device fits a wide range of hearing loss, designed to provide natural sound quality.

In the Canal (ITC)

Bespoke and discreet, slightly larger for increased ease of handling, power and battery life. This type of hearing aid sits in the outer portion of the ear canal and is smaller than the ITE style. It can fit a wide range of hearing loss.

In the Ear (ITE)

Fits comfortably in the outer ear. Great for people with dexterity issues. This hearing aid fits comfortably inside the bowl of the ear. Due to its size, it’s great for people with dexterity problems or needing more power. It fits a wide range of hearing loss.

Behind the Ear (BTE)

A more traditional style, fitting comfortably behind the ear and attaching to a custom-made ear mould. With this type of hearing aid, all of the components sit within a casing behind the ear. Suitable for people with mild to profound hearing loss.


Bluetooth functionality in your hearing aids enables to you to connect and listen to a whole host of devices such as your phone, mobile, TV and tablet. Connectivity comes in multiple forms but the overall consensus is that the technology offers great advantages for audio sound quality for hearing aid wearers.

Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Rechargeable hearing aids have stormed the market since their release and for good reason. They are great option for those looking for more convenience and to reduce their hearing aid maintenance, particularly where limited dexterity or the frequency of battery changing is a concern.

Our Services

We offer all aspects of hearing care in Manchester city centre, Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Ashton-under-Lyne, Romiley & Marple. Whether it be ear wax removal, hearing aids, hearing tests or tinnitus treatment, we can help. Please click on one of the following services for more information.

Hearing Tests

Hearing Aids

Ear Wax Removal

Tinnitus Management

Contact Us

For more information about our services or even for just a general chat regarding your hearing health, please do get in touch.

Private Hearing Aids

Hear well and stay integrated, with a choice of the latest hearing aids from the best manufacturer’s brands like Phonak, Unitron, Widex, Signia, Starkey or Oticon. Our honest, unbiased and comprehensive advice helps you understand your best hearing aid features and styles. We offer a 14-day FREE trial, moneyback guarantee and fully inclusive aftercare package on all our devices to prove our dedication to your satisfaction.

Hearing Aids

Invisible, rechargeable or Bluetooth, find the best digital hearing aid technology to suit you.

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Take your recommended pair home and try before you buy.

I would like to thank Olivia for her home visit to remove wax from my mother’s ears today. She was fantastically reassuring, professional, courteous and patient. Every step of the process was carefully explained and she was meticulous in her safety procedures. I would not hesitate to recommend Olivia to anyone needing any audiology services.

Olivia is absolutely brilliant. Can’t praise her too highly. Wasted 9 months at another clinic where none of my problems were ever solved. Olivia gave me back my hearing in under two. She is the Super Woman of hearing problems!

Visited Olivia today at Cheadle for ear wax removal. I was very impressed with her professionalism and friendliness which I feel would put even a nervous patient quickly at ease. The treatment was trouble free and pain free and reached a successful outcome with complete removal of the wax. I would not hesitate to recommend Olivia to any potential patients.
Norman Wall
After having microsuction, I discussed the possibility of a hearing aid from Olivia after having problems with my NHS aid. At each appointment I found Olivia very thorough and professional. She was careful to ensure that I had exactly the right fit and that I was happy with it. She was helpful, pleasant and made me feel relaxed. I am very happy with my new neat hearing aid. Thanks Olivia!
Jean Silvester