BTE instruments are used for all types of hearing loss, from mild to profound, and are perhaps the most common forms of digital hearing aids where the small device is fitted behind the ear and is connected to a plastic mold or a thin sound tube that comes down in front of the ear and directs amplified sound into the ear canal.
As the electrical components are located outside the ear, the chance of moisture and earwax damaging the components is reduced, which can increase the durability of the instrument. BTE hearing aids for children are designed specially that can also be worn by very aged people who often need a durable type of device.
These hearing devices are custom-made where the casing needs to fit the individual contours of person’s ear canal. These are cosmetically appealing since they are not so easily visible when worn as these fit deeper in the canal than other types. A comfortable fit is achieved because the shell of the machine is custom-made to the individual ear canal after taking a mold. The deep placement of hearing instrument in the ear canal gives a more natural experience of hearing. Unlike other devices, the sound can be collected more naturally by the shape of the ear, and can travel down into the ear canal as it would with unassisted hearing.
CICs are fairly similar to ITCs except that the customized hearing tool fits a bit further into the external auditory meatus and extends deeper towards the eardrum. In fact, the tiny device can fit so deep in the ear canal that it is virtually undetectable. Like ITCs, these machines are ideal for those who suffer from mild to moderate auditory defect and are typically suited for middle age users. The benefits of the CIC are not just cosmetic. Because the microphones are better hidden in the ear, there is less wind noise distraction, and the devices allow for easier wearing of headgears such as helmets.
The RIC model is a relatively newer development in hearing aids and is suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. Often referred to as open fittings, the receiver of the RIC (loudspeaker) is placed within the external auditory meatus (ear canal) and connected via a thin tubing instead of resting behind the organ, which makes the instrument particularly small, light, and inconspicuous. There are twoprimary benefits of RICs:
It makes the body of the machine much smaller and lighter.
The sound quality at the eardrum is a clearer representation of the desired sound.
This makes the RIC one of the most popular hearing instruments in the market today.