Correct orientation of behind-the-ear hearing aids

Using new pair of BTE Rexton Adore Li. Seems to me they ride high on my ears. Certainly much higher than my old Starkey devices. How is fit determined for BTE devices? What guidance do audiologists use? Want to know for discussions at my first recheck.

They can be adjusted by changing the length of the wire on the RIC receiver. If you look at the side of the receiver it will have a number and a letter on it. The number is the length (in cm I believe), and the letter is the power of the receiver. A “3M” for example would be a M power receiver with a 3 cm wire. You should ask your fitter if they have receivers with longer wire lengths. At some point the directionality of the microphones may be affected if they are too far back and too low. You fitter should know where they are best positioned. If I look in the mirror, I just see the tip of the hearing aid appearing above my ear.

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That’s what I’m looking for. Information on how audis are trained about the trade-offs of position, mic performance versus, wearability, vs whatever. How SHOULD the proper wire length be determined?

Sierra - Thanks for that information. I’d never noticed the numbers on the receivers before!

And MikeLenox - Welcome to Hearing Tracker were a wealth of knowledge is shared by the membership!

This might help answer your questions.


Over the years I’ve had several different BTE aids. All have been large standard size aids connected to earmoulds by clear plastic tubing.

Whenever I’ve needed the moulds re-tubing or when I’ve gotten new aids my audiologists have always sat the aids on my ears without the moulds attached and then put the moulds in my ears and cut the tubes to the right length at the point where the tube fits onto the aid.

That way my aids have always sat correctly on my ears and the tubes have been the right length so that my earmoulds fit correctly and comfortably in my ears.

But what I want to know is, what is the correct orientation for the BTE device? When your audiologist sat the aids on your ears, how did they know they were placed correctly? What is the guidance for placement? How far back on the ear? I’m asking because I think mine are too high, landing more on top than behind.Before I go back for my recheck, I’d like to know what my audiologist is taught, what she’s going to say, about placement.

If you scroll down here there’s a picture of correct placement.


As a final follow-up, on my recheck, my audiologist went with longer wires not for performance but for comfort. I mentioned that my new HAs sometimes made the top of my ear hurt. She noticed the device was putting a crease in the top of my ear. The final placement with the new wires put the devices just a tad further back than some of the guidance given in this discussion (above) but the comfort level went way up. Thanks to all for your input.

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I don’t have a lot of room behind my ears. Consequently, in the past I’ve had to accept a less powerful hearing aid which is narrower than say a sp or up hearing because they would bend my ear out from my head causing pain. Fortunately this problem has all but gone away because sp aids are now much thinner. If you look at the shape of a bte aid the thickest part of the aid is usually at the top. So sliding the aid further back on the ear would put the aid in a wider area between ear and head. My concern would be in a voice with sound program which is very directional and by sliding the aid further back on the ear you’ve changed the angle of the microphone which would now be angled more upward than straight ahead. Does this make sense?

I recently bought shorter receivers for directionality reasons. By moving the aids from behind my ears to more up on my ears I have noticed an improvement to directionality. I used to hear behind me really well.


I wear ITE hearing aids, and I have always wore ITE aids except for on set of Rite aids. With the ITE aids I feel like my hearing is more balanced all around me. When I had the Rite aids I felt like you said that I could hear more from behind and not so much from in front of me. And I also felt like I was not understand speech as well.
My Word recognition scores were much higher before the Rite aid than at the time I got my next ITE aids. And my Word recognition scores were back up some at the time I get the aids I wear now. So I am a believe that ITE aids if setup correctly are better than behind the ear aids. Now I have never worn CIC or IIC, always ITE half shell aids which have always had 2 mics and not one like the CIC or IIC.

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Unfortunately bte aids are pretty much a necessity and not an option for someone with a profound loss.

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