Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids represented less than 20% of hearing aid sales prior to 2000 and appeared to be on the decline as a style of hearing aid choice by consumers. With the introduction of open-fit hearing aids and receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids (RIC) however, BTEs now represent 63% of all hearing aid sales. In looking at the resurgence of BTE hearing aids, we wanted to find out why.
We compared the experiences of mini-BTE users versus users of traditional hearing aid styles and found the following: Controlling for degree of hearing loss, mini-BTE hearing aids would appear to offer significant improvements in overall customer satisfaction, cosmetics (e.g. visibility), sound quality (all 13 areas measured) and multiple environmental listening utility (4 if 19 listening situations).