What is a Receiver in Canal hearing aid?
Receiver In Canal hearing aids (RIC) or Open Fit hearing aids can be seen as the new generation of high-powered and technologically advanced digital hearing aids.
They are now one of the most popular types of hearing aids, as they combine many of the advantages of Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids, such as sitting partially behind the ear and so thus being able to include lots of clever technology.
However, the crucial difference is that that in Receiver In Canal hearing aids (RIC) or Open Fit hearing aids the casing behind the ear holds the microphone, amplifier and processor, but the receiver/speaker is situated in a small dome that sits directly in the ear, the two parts being connected by a thin wire.
This design means that Receiver In Canal (RIC) or Open Fit hearing aids are often smaller than BTE designs and they are able to produce a more natural sound and suffer less from feedback.
Open Fit hearing aids (Open) / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids have numerous different advantages and disadvantages. Our information below states the benefits of the Receiver in Canal hearing aids and details some of the most common of these.
However, for more details please contact our expert team today and we’ll happily talk you through all of your options and book your free hearing test too.
First the pros of RIC hearing aids - Great if you struggle to hear high pitched sounds
For many people, the first symptom of their hearing loss is an inability to hear high-pitched sounds. Due to their two-part design, Open Fit hearing aids (Open) / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are particularly good at amplifying high-pitched sounds yet still producing a natural sound result.
This makes Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids particularly good for people with early-onset or mild to moderate hearing loss. However please note that there are also many Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids that have been specifically designed for those with more severe levels of hearing loss.
You’ll hardly notice that you are wearing one
Again due to their two-part design, Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are extremely small and lightweight making them very comfortable to wear. In fact, many users report that the only reason they know that they are wearing their Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aid is that their hearing is so much better!
Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are often reported as producing some of the most natural sound quality of all the different types of hearing aids. This is due to two factors. Firstly as the speaker/receiver sits directly in the ear it allows for sounds to be transmitted directly into your ear canal meaning that they are less susceptible to distortion.
Also as Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) feature a more open dome in the ear this avoids blocking the ear and thus mitigates any issues of occlusion.
Considering that Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids do sit outside of your ear they are actually much more discreet than you might think. The casing that sits behind your ear is usually incredibly small and slimline and the wire that connects that to the ear dome is often almost invisible unless someone was specifically looking for it.
Most Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are also available in a range of colours that can blend in with your hair or skin tone.
Occlusion of the ear canal results from the entire entrance to the canal being covered or blocked by a hearing aid (or other foreign objects). This can cause issues such as hearing your own voice too loudly, your voice sounding hollow, experiencing noisy and annoying sounds when chewing or swallowing food and an unpleasant feeling that your ear is blocked.
As the receiver/speaker in Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids leaves the entrance to your ear canal partially open then issues of occlusion are thankfully avoided.
Many users of Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids report that they experience significantly lower levels of feedback with these compared to other types of hearing aids. Due to the separation of the microphone/amplifier and the speaker/receiver in Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids.
It means that there is much less chance of signal confusion within the device itself, thus the annoying whistling sounds produced by the feedback are reduced.
Now the cons of RIC hearing aids - The receiver can be susceptible to damage
As the receiver/speaker part of an Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aid is positioned directly in the ear canal itself, you may find that it is more susceptible to damage from sweat and natural ear moisture etc than many other types of hearing aids.
This means that it usually needs replacing every 1 to 2 years. If you do not have an aftercare plan with your hearing aid then this can result in extra cost.
You are more liable to lose them
This is a common misconception, as 8/10 RIC's sold are rechargeable, they are therefore the only aids that you have to put in the box when you take them out, making it a lot less likely that you will misplace them. That being said, recently masks pinging off account for the majority of insurance claims - hopefully, masks will become a thing of the past.
To find out more about Open Fit / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids, or any of the other types of hearing aids that are available, contact our advisors and let us help you find the right hearing aid today. Call us free on 0800 567 7621
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.