Behind-the-ear hearing aids are an effective way for people with any level of hearing loss to regain hearing function. Not only are they often more affordable than smaller models, but they’re also harder to misplace, making them a great alternative to invisible hearing aids.
In this rundown, we’ll compare the features of our favorite behind-the-ear hearing aids.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are the most traditional style on the market. They fit snugly over your outer ear and behind your ear, and have special tubing that delivers sound directly to your ear canal.
We recommend behind-the-ear hearing aids if you’re on a budget and don’t mind people occasionally noticing that you’re wearing hearing aids. Many behind-the-ear aids now have rechargeable batteries, a smaller design, directional microphones, and better amplification features.
Known for its expert care, extended risk-free trial, and affordability, Lively is our top pick for comfortable behind-the-ear hearing aids. Lively offers only one hearing aid model — available with traditional or rechargeable batteries — but it doesn’t disappoint. With Lively, you’ll get a pair of high-tech hearing aids that reduce unwanted background noise, as well as three years of follow-up care from an audiologist. You’ll also get a full 30-hour battery on a three-hour charge, so you won’t have to constantly charge your hearing aids. Lively hearing aids offer remote hearing adjustments, so you won’t need to schedule in-person visits.
Lively hearing aids are hidden behind your ears for a discreet and nearly invisible look. The lightweight aids are less than an inch in size, so they’re perfect for everyday wear. Lively hearing aids easily pair with your smartphone so you can answer phone calls, stream music, or get remote care from a team of audiologists.
Lively has some of the most affordable pricing and financing options available. Its rechargeable hearing aids are $1,900 per pair, and the battery-powered models are $1,350. These hearing aids are available in a variety of colors and come with a three-year warranty, which is pretty generous compared to other providers. You can also try Lively hearing aids risk-free for 100 days.
Of the three hearing aid models offered by MDHearingAid, the rechargeable and water-resistant Volt+ is our favorite behind-the-ear model. It can withstand water up to three feet deep for 30 minutes, and it features improved battery life and dual microphones that focus on important conversations and sounds rather than background noise. Volt+ hearing aids are also equipped with advanced feedback-cancellation technology that eliminates whistling, buzzing, and other unwanted noises.
MDHearingAid Volt+ hearing aids are nearly invisible and as thin and lightweight as a pencil. They come with clear tubing and customized tips that fit in your ear canal. For additional comfort, you can easily adjust the volume directly from your hearing aid using four different sound settings. Even if you wear glasses, these aids fit perfectly and don’t require any additional accessories.
Volt+ hearing aids from MDHearingAid cost $599.98, or you can finance them for $50 per month. MDHearingAid also provides a basic 90-day warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship from the date of purchase. If you’d like an extended warranty, then you’ll have to purchase it separately for $9.99 per month.
Directional microphones for background noise reduction
The Dia II is Audicus’ most affordable hearing aid, starting at $998 per pair. You may want to consider it if you have mild to moderate hearing loss and you’re looking for a discreet, traditional behind-the-ear hearing aid that filters out background noise. It doesn’t have Bluetooth capability and it’s powered by traditional batteries, but the Dia II — and its 45-day risk-free trial — is still a bargain if you’re looking for hearing aids under $1,000.
With a comfortable and discreet open-fit behind-the-ear style, the Dia II has 10 channels and an auto-adaptive program that adjusts to different environments while amplifying important sounds and eliminating background noise. It also has additional environmental and volume programs you can use with the classic remote to easily customize volume and hearing preferences wherever you are.
Audicus Dia II hearing aids start at $998 per pair and come with a one-year warranty. You can purchase the aids online or contact Audicus directly for more information. If you don’t want to pay up front, then you can choose a monthly membership that starts at $39 per month per ear.
Starkey’s latest hearing aid model, the Evolv AI, is available in a behind-the-ear style and uses advanced AI technology and personalized hearing adjustments to provide great overall sound quality. The rechargeable Evolv AI comes with activity tracking for daily movement, exercise, and steps, and it also has fall detection built into the hearing aids that can alert your close contacts in the event of a fall.
Unfortunately, you cannot purchase Starkey Evolv AI hearing aids online, so you’ll need to talk to a representative to request an appointment. All new Starkey hearing aids come with warranty coverage that includes repairs due to an internal component failure, repairable external damage, and remakes due to improper fit.
ReSound Linx Quattro hearing aids allow direct streaming on Apple and Android devices, so it’s easy to answer calls, listen to music, and stream TV. The rechargeable Linx Quattro lets you fine tune your hearing preferences and adjust to your environment, and its full range of sounds makes it easy to focus on one-on-one conversations. The ReSound Smart 3D app enables you to discreetly personalize your hearing preferences, and the free ReSound Relief app features engaging activities and soothing sounds for people with tinnitus.
The Linx Quattro comes in receiver-in-ear, completely-in-canal, and behind-the-ear designs. The behind-the-ear fit is comfortable and easy to wear on a daily basis without worrying about it falling out.
Pricing is not available on the company’s website, so you’ll have to contact a ReSound hearing professional for more information. ReSound typically offers a one- to four-year warranty, depending on the model you choose. To purchase a ReSound hearing aid, contact ReSound or speak with a local ReSound hearing professional.
Direct streaming from iPhones and Android devices
Superior sound quality
Fuller range of sounds
Available in multiple fits
More expensive than other hearing aids
Must be purchased through a hearing health provider
To choose the best behind-the-ear hearing aids, we considered many factors.
Comfort: We looked for behind-the-ear hearing aids that are lightweight, fit easily into the ear canal, and provide a comfortable and flexible fit that can be worn on a daily basis.
Affordability: Most behind-the-ear hearing aids are more affordable than other styles, so we tried to find hearing aids that were less than $3,000 per pair.
Size: We looked for brands that offer a range of size, color, and shape options for behind-the-ear hearing aid models. Larger behind-the-ear hearing aids often have a longer battery life and better amplification and sound quality than more discreet models.
Performance: We wanted behind-the-ear hearing aids that don’t require constant battery charges or replacements. We also focused on behind-the-ear hearing aids that provide optimal performance through dual microphones and were able to reduce feedback and unwanted whistling noises.
Additional features: We looked for behind-the-ear hearing aid models with special features such as Sound Match technology, more channels, and Bluetooth connectivity. These additional features help make behind-the-ear hearing aids a worthwhile investment.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are not as discreet as some other styles, but they offer some of the most powerful technology and they’re great for just about any user.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are typically more noticeable than in-the-ear hearing aids, which are placed directly inside the ear canal. Behind-the-ear hearing aids have a speaker placed inside the hearing piece.
You can keep behind-the-ear hearing aids in place by making sure the tubing or wire is the proper length. You can also purchase accessories such as retaining clips or surgical tape to make it more comfortable for everyday wear.