Looking for the best hearing aids will expose you to a variety of styles, including receiver-in-canal (RIC). RIC hearing aids are related to the more prevalent behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, but they provide some advantages that BTE hearing aids cannot. Keep reading to discover the benefits and drawbacks of RIC devices.
Many readers will be familiar with behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids where all the components are housed inside a single case. One of the key differentiating factors of the RIC hearing aid is that it has two separate parts. A case behind the ear holds the aid’s amplifier and microphone, while a small bud that contains the receiver is used inside the ear canal. A small tube connects the receiver to the case.
Separating the receiver from the rest of the device has a number of advantages. Feedback and occlusion tend to be much less of a problem with RIC devices than they are with other hearing aids. With the ear canal open, wearers generally report a more natural sound which is judged to be more comfortable. This type of device a great choice for listeners with mild to moderate hearing issues because it amplifies high-pitched tones exceptionally well.
The physical configuration of receiver in canal devices also provides a number of advantages. Both the case that fits behind the ear and the receiver in the ear are easy to hide. This small size also makes it very comfortable and easy to fit.
RIC devices do have several disadvantages. Compared to other types of hearing aids, RIC aids are particularly vulnerable to moisture in the ear, necessitating frequent repairs. Their comfort can also be a disadvantage: because users do not feel them in or on their ear, they are less likely to notice if they lose them. Lastly, this style of hearing aid is often higher in price than its cousins, so some shoppers may have difficulty fitting them into their budgets.
Receiver-in-ear hearing aids do have their flaws, but their numerous advantages make them a worthwhile choice for many listeners. Your hearing specialist would be happy to answer all your questions about different hearing aid styles and help you choose the best design.