In-Ear vs. Over-the-Ear Hearing Aids: Pros and Cons Explained

Hearing aids have been making a significant difference in people’s lives for years, decades, and even centuries! In that time, advances in technology have meant that styles have changed— and will continue to.

Today, hearing aids are much smaller and discreet than they used to be, and there are more options available. Two of those options are in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, both of which are popular among people of all ages and with different levels of hearing ability. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so which one may be the best option for you?

This article delves into the pros and cons of both in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids so you can make an informed decision on the type for you. For personalized advice, contact our team at Tweak Hearing today.

In-Ear Hearing Aids

In-ear hearing aids, in-the-ear hearing aids, or simply ITE hearing aids sit in the ear. As they fit in the ear canal, they need to fit just right to work well and feel comfortable.

In-Ear Hearing Aids: Pros

  • Lightweight and don’t press down on the ear
  • Easier to insert than some other types of hearing aids
  • Less visible than some other options
  • Easier to use than some other types due to simple controls and fewer external parts
  • Many users find them to be comfortable
  • Less prone to feedback or whistling sounds due to the location of the microphone and speaker
  • More advanced volume and microphone controls than some other styles
  • Some may come with Bluetooth connectivity

In-Ear Hearing Aids: Cons

  • Although less visible than some other options, can typically still be seen from the side
  • Their small size means they may have fewer features than other options, meaning they may not perform well enough for people with severe hearing difficulties
  • More prone to moisture and earwax buildup
  • Their smaller batteries often mean shorter battery life

Over-the-Ear Hearing Aids

Over-the-ear hearing aids, behind-the-ear hearing aids, or BTE hearing aids sit over and behind the top of the ear. They consist of a small plastic case that sits behind the ear and houses the electronics, and a wire or tubing that connects to a receiver in the ear canal.

Over-the-Ear Hearing Aids: Pros

  • Versatile and often suitable for people with varying hearing needs
  • Durable and less susceptible to moisture and earwax than some other types of hearing aids
  • Larger batteries than some other hearing aid types, often leading to a longer battery life
  • The larger size lends itself to more features such as directional microphones, telecoil options, and bigger volume controls
  • Easy to handle and use, especially for those with dexterity difficulties
  • Less likely to lead to feedback and whistling noises than some other types of hearing aids

Over-the-Ear Hearing Aids: Cons

  • Often more noticeable than many other types of hearing aids
  • More susceptible to wind noise
  • May trap heat and moisture in hot weather, possibly making them less comfortable
  • May not be compatible with glasses, hats, headphones, headgear, face masks, etc

Which is Better: In-the-Ear or Over-the-Ear Hearing Aids?

When it comes down to choosing your style of hearing aid, it’s all about your personal preference and your circumstances. For instance, if your lifestyle and needs mean in-the-ear hearing aids are a better option for you, that’s perfectly fine! Someone else may prefer over-the-ear hearing aids, and as long as they’re happy with them, that’s great. No one style is ‘better’ than the other: It’s all about what works for you.

Some factors to think about include:

  • Comfort— ITE hearing aids are typically larger but lighter, while BTE hearing aids may be uncomfortable for people who regularly wear glasses, hats, face masks, etc.
  • Aesthetics— Both ITE and BTE styles today are much more discreet than they used to be; however, both are noticeable to some degree.
  • Maintenance— All types of hearing aids require regular maintenance, but the method may differ between devices.
  • Batteries— The type and capacity of the battery will influence the hearing aid’s battery life, as well as the type of hearing aid itself.

Explore The Tweak Range of Products

If you’re unsure whether ITE or BTE hearing aids may be better for you, our team at Tweak Hearing is here to help. Our large range of hearing devices, years of experience, and commitment to customer service means we’re on board to assist you wherever we can. If you’re ready to discover the Tweak difference, contact us today!

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