BTE vs. ITE

Because I wasn’t able to find some similar survey, I would like to start here a poll. I recently stay for this decision, as a beginner is always a good advice more than wellcome. I seen the vast majority of the users tend to wear BTE. I was curios why?

I would like to hear from users cons and pros of the 2 HA types. Any help is appreciated.

3 Likes

Although there are basically only 2 places to put a hearing aid–inside the ear or outside, hence the ITE and BTE, BTEs are broken up into two types. the one with all the electronic parts in the hearing aid is more typically called a BTE and the one with the speaker (more typically called receiver) in the ear is called a RIC (Receiver in the ear) Receiver in the ear models are for more popular because they generally don’t require a custom mold and the receiver is easily replaceable. When manufacturers come out with a new model, it is usually a RIC. So, if you want the most modern hearing aid and want to try it quickly without need a custom mold, you’ll want a RIC.
Looking at your loss, I think either a RIC or BTE is appropriate because I think it will be easier to get the venting right to avoid occlusion. However, this is all largely personal preference.

2 Likes

I have found that I had more mechanical problems with my ite aids. Probably because of moisture from being in the ear. I have switched to OTE years ago because of my progressive loss and the only problem I have encountered is that periodically I have had to change the tubing, which I can do myself.

1 Like

I have worn ITE hearing aids for most of my 15 years of wearing hearing aids. I am very active and I find the ITE aids easier to keep on than BTE or Rite aids. I have only worn RITE aids for one set of hearing aids and they were a failure as for as I am concerned. I sweat a lot and will most will tell you that ITE aids will fail more often than BTE or RITE aids, I have found that RITE failed me more often. I can’t speak to true BTE aids as I have not worn them. But I am expecting that my next set of aids will be BTE aids.

I have had both types of HAs and I prefer ITE HAs. To me ITE HA’s sound more natural than BTE, maybe due to the microphone being in the ear and not behind the ear and not having a long tube. Also, when not using Bluetooth to answer the phone, I can place the phone speaker near the ear canal rather than behind the ear with BTE HA’s where the microphone is behind the ear to answer calls. I have severe//profound hearing loss and I think I will need to switch to RIC HA’s for the power although there are super power ITE HAs. I have half shell ITE HA’s which I find more cosmetically appealing then RIC since I have no hair on top, and easier to wear my reading and sunglasses due to not having a device behind my ear. But at the end of the day having a hearing aid that would provide good speech understanding in different environments is the important thing, rather a ITE or BTE HA.

3 Likes

I chose my first based on color available, namely I despise ‘skin tone’ colors nor brown so I didn’t want device of such color nowhere near me.
Also, I had a bit of anxiety of having something in my ear, so I wanted the smallest obstacle there. Yeah I haven’t wore in-ear headphones until 2015.
So I picked up red widex dream 330, RIC, back then :slight_smile:

I wanted again red or purple or something, but phonak is boring for adults :frowning: so I’ll have black now. However, I’ve found yesterday about ear gear and pimp my HA (but all that I’ve seen there are with tube so real BTE). Sky marvel has some colors but they can’t be RIC :frowning: Why they just can’t offer all colors for all models, make them by order it shouldn’t be THAT hard :confused:

I didn’t want the tube back then and now I’m used to this tiny wire, first years I wore my hair a bit longer there, just few strains, but currently I’m on the almost shaved side.
I still like my wire, it’s crazy flexible. I didn’t try to touch tube, it’s just that it looks much sturdier to me. Oh, and it has earmold, which I didn’t like.

Now I have/test earmold with RIC :rofl:

In short - try things, and allow yourself to try new things while keeping in focus what exactly you want with HA - stereo; clear understanding; statement; confidence; gadget; fashion accessory.
However, don’t push for something only for taste if it doesn’t help you properly for what you want.

I definitely want it to both give me speech clarity and look nice for me. Black is my universal go-to color so okish, but I’d still rather have it red :rofl:

1 Like

@Blacky

You might give this Etsy shop a look. They’re in the UK. I recently bought some RIC tube twists from them (though I’m waiting until I get my new receivers as I’m not sure if everything will end up being the same length). Anything labeled “thin” in the pictures will work for RIC wires.

2 Likes

Thanks for your answers. I hope more are coming.

At the very beginning I wanted the smallest possible HA. That was more than 6 months ago. Now I got used to it, not the size does’t mater anymore. I just wanted to try a ITE HA before the definitive decision. I find the virtos comfortable and at the same time small also with the power microphone. I don’t really miss the connectivity (phone calls are for the speech partner not always as good as it should be, music streaming is a nice to have but not obligatory, the tv connector would I miss most).
The wind noise is fast absent, I’m riding daily my bike, so that’s an important aspect.
My biggest concern was the occlusion. The vents are almost the same. From that only aspect, the BTE are more comfortable.
So I’m a little bit undecided. That’s why I started this thread. Is occlusion something that can get used to it?

1 Like

feck it, I’m all for BTEs even for my next pair! :wink:

(if you see my audiogram here, that’s why! lol)

1 Like

I wear ITE so that I can use traditional headphones and use the phone traditionally. I tried streaming and BTE (RIC) and at the time the fidelity was horrible. This was a few years back.

1 Like

I have always worn BTE with RICs. I always wanted the best possible hearing augmentation for speech. Speech recognition has always been my priority. I have worn three different brands in the last 20+ years. I have found that Phonak delivers the best hearing quality for my hearing, but that probably varies drastically based on each user’s experience. I understand that the larger format of the BTE HAs allow them to contain more processing power within each aid and the ability for each aid to communicate with the other aid sharing information and processing power.

Fortunately, my aids also give me the ability to listen to music as well as hearing speech. With my hearing the aids have to do all kinds of digital manipulations that don’t necessarily help with music. However, I can hear music well. Without the aids I cannot listen to music at all, it sounds so bad I can’t listen to it at all. I am even able to play both guitar and banjo as long as I use my aids!

Somehow my hearing system (ears and mind interface) have leaned how to hear music again. I have a similar experience with my vision. Though legally blind, I have adapted to the point where I can do just about anything a person with normal vision can do. My medical providers call it “plasticity” or the ability of the mind to re-learn how to process sensory input.

The bottom line: work with your provider and do what it takes to get the best possible solution for you. We are all individuals.

fos1

Looking at your audiogram you could easily wear ITE aids or RIC aids or BTE aids unless something is hidden we don’t see.

Each type of aid has it’s advantages. For the most part unless someone has profound hearing loss you can wear any of them.

Even now some of the ITE aids are wireless/Bluetooth.

Lots of choices.

1 Like

I have Oticon OPN1 ITE half shell aids and I have full communtications, except for t-coils.

1 Like

got that right although I got small ear canals :wink:

1 Like

I wear UP BTEs. Have severe to profound hearing loss and need the power.

1 Like

I have worn aid’s for 15 years. I evaluate them as well for a friend who is an audiologist. I had the misfortune to be fitted with ite aid’s first. They are awful on so many level’s. Depending on your hearing loss, if you have any hearing at all the ite cut’s down on it almost entirely, don’t be fooled by people that say the vent’s are bigger now. You are also alway’s occluded so when you chew the sound drives you crazy. The bte’s are unobtrusive have better electronic’s and are sweatproof. If your aid break’s and you have an ite you have no aid’s until your’s is returned. With a bte which requires no fitting you can get a loaner. I don’t usually respond but I feel so strongly about this I thought I would put in my 2 cents, hope it help’s, good luck. Also, any of the top brand’s do a great job. It’s all about finding an audiologist that understands you issues and can set the aids appropriately.

1 Like

I totally disagree with you on that. A well fitted ITE aids sound much better, that any BTE aids, that I have ever tried. Too me ITE aids comes much closer to normal hearing. Even with a few short comings like more feedback. And I do not have to worry about my aids been torn out of my ears by limbs, branches, and the face mask.

1 Like

Respectfully, I think we exist on two different planet’s!

May thanks for all these helpful answers. As usual we are not the same, the ideas are here also different. And that’s also normal. that’s why I started this thread. Any article or review of HA is either manufacturer ordered or sponsored. In the forums one can get sincerely answers.
I tend to think that with ITE is the occlusion more pregnant. Although I have the same vent size, I do have more collateral sound (like chewing or moving the head or even by walking). It’s probbly because of the longer canal by the ITE. The longer the vent canal the more occlusion you will pereceive. If I get used to it? Perhaps. It needs probably time. But I like the idea of having no wires and nothing behind the ears. I do have one or two weeks of trialing, I’m just curious how will this work.

By the way, has anyone an idea if there is a difference in construction (i mean position in the er canal, number of micros, vent size) between the Phonak virto black an titanium? Should I trial (if my audi gives me the possibility) the black virtos also? Or they are the same, I couldn’t expect great differences between the 2 models?

haha, I know the person who runs this Etsy shop. We are great friends.

1 Like