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If you’ve noticed that hearing is more difficult than it used to be, it may be time for hearing aids. One of the most popular styles, behind-the-ear (BTE), is suitable for a wide range of hearing losses. You can find BTE hearing aids at nearly any price point, making them an accessible choice for seniors of most income levels. Below, we’ll take a look at the best behind-the-ear hearing aids along with more information about choosing the right style for your hearing needs.
You can get a pair of Jabra Enhance hearing aids for less than $2,000 per pair. There’s the Enhance Select 50 for $1,195 per pair, the Enhance Select 100 for $1,595 per pair, and the Enhance Select 200 for $1,995 per pair. This puts Jabra Enhance, previously known as Lively, in the middle between premium in-office brands like Signia and budget online-only brands like Otofonix. A Jabra Enhance hearing aid purchase also includes three-year loss and damage protection and warranty, three years of follow-up care, and a free mobile app. Financing is available.
If you’re a smartphone user, Jabra Enhance’s lineup of BTE hearing aids may be just what you’re looking for. Enjoy better speech clarity and noise reduction along with streaming phone audio right to your hearing aids. Affordable accessories like the TV Streamer and Phone Clip+ let you connect to other Bluetooth devices too. Take a look at our hands-on experience with Jabra Enhance to learn more.
Did You Know: Jabra Enhance made our 2022 best hearing aids list.
MDHearing’s affordable prices are budget-friendly. The NEO pair costs $999.98, the VOLT pair costs $1,199.99, and the VOLT MAX pair costs $1,899.98. On sale, you can find them for 50 percent off or more. MDHearing may not provide the same level of features and support as custom hearing aids, but they’re a great choice for older adults on a budget.
We love that MDHearing offers a variety of BTE hearing aids. Older adults can easily find an MDHearing device that fits their needs and budget. You may not get advanced features like Bluetooth streaming, but you do get the features you need at an affordable price. Read more about MDHearing’s offerings in our most recent MDHearing review.
The Lexie Lumen hearing aid costs $799 per pair upfront. Lexie also offers a subscription, which is $42 per month for 24 months, plus a one-time $149 start-up fee. Regular Care Kit packages, which contain additional accessories and batteries, are included. You can cancel the subscription at any time by returning the hearing aids. If you opt for one of Lexie’s two RIC models, prices range from $849 to $999 per pair or $47 to $49 per month for 24 months.
Lexie makes choosing a BTE hearing aid as easy as possible by offering one battery-powered BTE hearing aid. It isn’t the most high-tech hearing aid on the market, but it offers a great mix of features for the price. Plus, you can’t beat the convenience of testing your hearing, setting up your hearing aids, and making adjustments all from the Lexie app. Check out our hands-on review of Lexie hearing aids for more details.
Prices for Otofonix hearing aids range from $790 to $1,590 per pair. However, it’s unlikely you’ll have to pay that much. Otofonix hosts frequent sales and promotions that cut costs by at least 50 percent. You do get what you pay for, though, so don’t expect high-tech features like Bluetooth streaming.
Otofonix hearing aids may not have the latest technology and features, but they’re a great option for older adults with a limited budget. In our Otofonix review, we discovered that this brand is best for those with mild to moderate hearing loss and don’t spend a lot of time in busy environments, such as offices or restaurants. Otofonix is also a low-cost way to dip your toes into the hearing aid world before committing to a pricier, higher-tech device.
Did You Know: Of those aged 70+ who could benefit from hearing aids, only 30 percent have ever used them.1 Companies like Otofonix and MDHearing make affordable hearing aids to remove a common barrier — cost — that keeps seniors from getting the hearing help they need.
Signia doesn’t disclose its prices online. Instead, you’ll need to visit a hearing care professional. They can assess your hearing needs, suggest the Signia hearing aid that may work for you, and share pricing information. Generally, prescription hearing aids like these are more expensive than online providers like Eargo or MDHearing.
If you’re in the market for an advanced BTE hearing aid with all the bells and whistles, you can’t go wrong with Signia. Their BTE hearing aids are comfortable, easy to use, and packed with advanced features like noise cancellation and automatic situation detection. The Signia smartphone app lets you make adjustments and access tinnitus management features from your phone. See what else we love about Signia in this year’s Signia hearing aid review.
If you’re interested in ReSound hearing aids, expect to pay between $1,000 to $3,500 per hearing aid. ReSound’s products come at premium prices, but the customization, technology, and support you receive more than justify the cost. Exact prices vary by location and provider, so you’ll need to visit a hearing professional for more details.
ReSound is known for its innovation, quality, and value. They offer rechargeable BTE hearing solutions for all levels of hearing loss that deliver a full day’s charge and then some. You also get the added benefit of ReSounds’s smartphone apps, which let you make remote adjustments and manage your tinnitus. Just be prepared to pay more than you would for other brands.
To learn more about ReSound’s hearing aids and apps, check out our most recent ReSound review.
Choosing the right pair of hearing aids is an important decision, as they’re something you’ll wear every single day. We narrowed down the search by comparing popular BTE hearing aids side by side and evaluating them based on several criteria. We considered factors like comfort, affordability, size, performance, and cost.
As you might’ve guessed, BTE hearing aids sit behind your ears. More specifically, the electrical components housed inside a case sit on your outer ear. This includes the speaker, microphone, amplifier, battery, and other features like a telecoil. A small tube (also called an ear hook) connects the hearing aid to a dome or earmold that sits in your ear canal. The tube delivers sound into your ear.
BTE hearing aids provide the best amplification, so they work great for people of all ages who have mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss. They’re also larger than other styles of hearing aids, so there’s more room for electrical components. That’s why many BTE hearing aids offer advanced features like Bluetooth streaming. Most BTE hearing aids feature control buttons directly on the case for easy volume or programming adjustments. We’d recommend BTE hearing aids for:
There are two main types of hearing aids: BTE and in the ear (ITE). Understanding the difference between the two can help you decide what may work best for your situation.
ITE aids sit fully in your ear without taking up any space on or behind your ear. For that reason, an ITE hearing aid is more comfortable if you wear glasses or frequently wear a face mask. You can use a phone more naturally and wear over-ear headphones too.
Compared to BTE models, ITE hearing aids are more discreet. Most are custom fit to your ear canal for a snug, comfortable fit. They’re even available in a variety of skin tones to blend in with your ear.
Since they must sit in your ear, ITE hearing aids have limited space. They don’t have room for all of the features you may find with BTE hearing aids, such as Bluetooth connectivity or large, long-lasting batteries. Some older adults might have trouble handling them due to their small size.
|Type of hearing loss||For mild to profound hearing loss||For mild to severe hearing loss|
|Size||Bigger; can be clunky||Small; often custom fit|
|Visibility||Slightly visible||Nearly invisible|
|Durability||Tend to last longer||More susceptible to earwax damage|
|Battery life||Can accommodate larger, longer-lasting batteries||Less reliable; batteries need to be charged or replaced more frequently|
|Amplification||Better amplification||Less powerful|
|Features||Space for more electrical components and features, such as Bluetooth||Limited features|
BTE and ITE hearing aids both have advantages and disadvantages. In general, BTE hearing aids are suitable for a wider range of hearing loss than ITE hearing aids.
When fitted properly, BTE hearing aids stay in place all on their own. Just take care as you put on and remove face masks, glasses, or sunglasses so as not to pull or bump the hearing aids off of your ears.
When wearing BTE hearing aids with a mask, it’s important to be careful as you put on and remove the mask to avoid pulling off your hearing aids. Some hearing aid users choose to wear masks that tie behind the head, or they secure their masks to headbands or ear-savers.
Mini BTE hearing aids are the smallest style of BTE hearing aids. They are smaller, more discreet, and often lighter than standard BTE hearing aids.
Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2021). Quick Statistics About Hearing