Columbia basin hearing center

Kennewick: (509) 736-4005   |   Walla Walla: (509) 876-4541

Deaf woman with hearing aid

Which Hearing Aid Style is Right?

There are several different styles of hearing implants available for those who need them, and a big part of our role at Columbia Basin Hearing Center is to help you identify the type that might be right for you. The doctors at our hearing clinic have years of experience matching people with the perfect devices, and they’ll do the same for you.

What are these different styles, and what might make them right for you? Let’s take a look.


These hearing devices are custom-made, and sit mostly in a shell behind the ear. A transparent tube hooks on top of the ear, and is then inserted in, creating an open fit that prevents wearers from feeling like there’s a blockage in the ear.

BTE hearing aids are very easy to clean and change batteries for, and are the most common style recommended for children and people with active lifestyles.


These are similar to BTW devices, sitting behind the ear with a small wire leading to a receiver. But instead of sitting inside the device itself, this receiver actually sits inside your ear. This can produce a more natural sound in many cases, and this style is often used to help with moderate to severe hearing loss. RIC hearing aids are generally slightly smaller than BTEs.

In The Canal

ITC devices are some of the smallest available, holding a powerful microphone, amplifier and receiver all in one shell. The entire device sits in the ear canal. A similar style called completely in the canal (CIC) devices are inserted even deeper in the canal, and contain an antenna for simple removal. These devices are the most discreet out there, nearly invisible in most cases.


Also called “full shell in the ear,” these hearing aids are slightly bigger than ITC devices, and can contain a few more features, including manual volume controls. The device sits below the outer ear while molded to the ear’s shape, typically blending in with skin. It’s among the easiest types to handle and remove, for people who have dexterity issues.

To learn more about the styles of hearing aid or any of the other services provided at our hearing loss center, speak to the experts at Columbia Basin Hearing Center today.


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More than 40 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss. Hearing aids can help relieve the consequences of hearing loss and help significantly increase quality of life for those with this condition.

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