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RIC Hearing Aids UK - Pros and cons of Receiver in Canal hearing aids

Updated 27/03/2024
Table of Contents

RIC hearing aid types

Receiver in Canal RIC Hearing Aids

Exploring the different hearing aid styles available


The differences of RIC hearing aids

The crucial difference is that in Receiver In Canal hearing aids (RIC) 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.

RIC hearing aids offer a combination of discreetness, advanced technology, and enhanced listening experience, making them a preferred choice for individuals with various types of hearing loss.  Discover the RIC hearing aids benefits and disadvantages below.


The main top three benefits of RIC hearing aids:

What is a Receiver in Canal hearing aid?

RIC hearing aid

What is RIC in hearing aids?  Receiver in Canal hearing aids (RIC) can be seen as the new generation of high-powered and technologically advanced digital hearing aids.

Are RIC hearing aids any good?  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 thus being able to include lots of clever technology.

This design means that Receiver in Canal (RIC) are often smaller than BTE designs and they are able to produce a more natural sound and suffer less from feedback.

RIC Hearing Aids UK

The Pros and Cons of RIC Hearing Aids (RIC)

What are the benefits of RIC hearing aids?


RIC hearing aids are 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, Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are particularly good at amplifying high-pitched sounds yet still producing a natural sound result.

Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are particularly good for people with early-onset or mild to moderate hearing loss. However please note that there are also many 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 a RIC hearing aid

Again due to their two-part design, 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 Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aid is that their hearing is so much better!


RIC hearing aids allow you to hear a more natural sound

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 Receiver In Canal (RIC) features a more open dome in the ear this avoids blocking the ear and thus mitigates any issues of occlusion.


RIC hearing aids are inconspicuous

Considering that 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.

Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are also available in a range of colours that can blend in with your hair or skin tone.


RIC hearing aids don't occlude the ear canal

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 Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids leave the entrance to your ear canal partially open then issues of occlusion are thankfully avoided.


Annoying feedback is reduced with RIC hearing aids

Many users of 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 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.

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RIC Hearing Aids

What are the disadvantages of Receiver in Canal hearing aids?


The receiver can be susceptible to damage

As the receiver/speaker part of a 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.


You are more liable to lose RIC hearing aids

This is a common misconception, as 8/10 RIC's sold are rechargeable, they are therefore the only hearing 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. 

Let's compare a few of the other hearing aid models with RIC hearing aids below:


RIC vs BTE hearing aids

What is the difference between RIC and BTE hearing aids?  Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC) hearing aids, also known as Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) or canal receiver technology (CRT), offer a compact alternative to standard BTE models while retaining versatile features.

These RIC aids, like traditional BTEs, rest comfortably behind the ear. However, they differ in that their speaker is situated outside the housing, connected to a slim ear wire positioned near the eardrum. Because sound travels a short distance with minimal loss, less sound energy and battery power are needed, resulting in an improved listening experience.

This design combines the benefits of discretion, comfort, and enhanced sound quality for wearers.


RIC vs CIC hearing aids

What is the difference between CIC and RIC hearing aids?  Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aids have a small behind-the-ear component with a wire leading to the ear canal, making them versatile for various hearing loss levels. They offer advanced features and are less prone to feedback but are more visible.

Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) hearing aids are custom-made to fit deep inside the ear canal, making them virtually invisible. However, they suit mild to moderate hearing loss, have limited features, and may cause feedback and a sense of ear plugging. RIC strikes a balance between performance and visibility, while CIC excels in discreetness.

The choice depends on hearing needs, cosmetic preferences, and lifestyle. Consultation with an audiologist is crucial for the best decision.

Hearing Aids RIC Style

RIC hearing aids provide a discreet and advanced solution for individuals with hearing loss. Their inconspicuous design, advanced technology, comfortable fit, and customisation options make them a popular choice among wearers.

With improved sound quality, wireless connectivity, and a natural listening experience, RIC hearing aids empower individuals to overcome the challenges of hearing loss.

►Explore rechargeable RIC hearing aids here

►Explore RIC hearing aids with Bluetooth here

►Explore the best RIC hearing aids of this year here

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Discover More Hearing Aid Styles Below

Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
View Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
Completely In the Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
View Completely In the Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
View In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
View In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
Invisible in the Canal IIC Hearing Aids
View Invisible in the Canal IIC Hearing Aids
Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids
View Super Power (SP) Hearing Aids
This information was written by Paul Harrison - Audiology Expert

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert & Founder

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

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Explore other types of hearing aids by clicking on the links below:

►Behind the Ear BTE hearing aids

►In the Ear ITE hearing aids

►Invisible in the Canal IIC hearing aids

►Completely in the Canal CIC hearing aids

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Common FAQs about RIC hearing aids in the UK

Are there any mini RIC hearing aids available?

Yes, modern Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aids offer a discreet and powerful solution for hearing loss. These small RIC hearing aids are designed to be inconspicuous while delivering excellent sound quality.

Their behind-the-ear component is minimal, with a thin wire leading to the receiver placed in the ear canal. Despite their size, small RIC hearing aids often incorporate advanced features like noise reduction, Bluetooth connectivity, and directional microphones.

They are suitable for various degrees of hearing loss and provide wearers with a comfortable and versatile hearing experience. These devices blend functionality with subtlety, allowing individuals to enjoy improved hearing without drawing unnecessary attention.

How much do RIC hearing aids cost?

The price of RIC hearing aids is influenced by individual preferences and financial considerations, making it a variable factor unique to each person.

Hence, it is crucial to consult with one of our hearing care professionals to identify the ideal hearing aid tailored to your needs.

It's worth noting that our hearing aid costs encompass more than just the device's price; they also encompass valuable benefits like lifetime aftercare at no additional charge.

One of the main reasons why our customers buy RIC hearing aids with us is because we offer home visits and prices that are upto 40% off the high street.

Click here to compare and discover hearing aid prices in the UK.

How do you clean RIC hearing aids?

Cleaning RIC hearing aids are essential for maintaining their performance and longevity. To clean RIC hearing aids:

1.  Daily Wipe-Down: Gently wipe the hearing aid and earpiece with a clean, dry cloth or a specialized cleaning brush to remove dirt, moisture, and earwax.

2.  Earmold Cleaning: For RIC models with earmolds, remove and clean them separately using a mild soap solution and a soft brush or cloth. Ensure they are completely dry before reattachment.

3. Replace Wax Filters: Check and replace wax filters regularly, as they can clog with earwax. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for replacement intervals.

4.  Keep Dry: Store your RIC hearing aids in a dehumidifier overnight to remove moisture, which can damage the device.

Proper cleaning and maintenance ensure your RIC hearing aids continue to provide clear and reliable sound amplification.

How do you insert RIC hearing aids?

Inserting Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aids correctly is crucial for comfort and optimal performance. Follow these steps:

1.  Clean Hands: Begin with clean hands to prevent transferring dirt or oils to the hearing aids.

2.  Hold the Aid: Grasp the hearing aid by its body, avoiding contact with the microphone or receiver.

3.  Turn On: If your hearing aid has a manual power switch, activate it now.

4.  Position Behind Ear: Place the hearing aid comfortably behind your ear with the thin wire extending towards your ear canal.

5.  Insert Earmold or Earpiece: If your RIC has an earmold or earpiece, gently insert it into your ear canal.

6.  Secure and Adjust: Ensure the hearing aid feels secure and comfortable. Make any necessary adjustments to the wire or tubing for an optimal fit.

7.  Check for Feedback: Listen for any whistling or feedback; if present, reposition the aid slightly.

With practice, inserting RIC hearing aids becomes second nature, ensuring improved hearing without discomfort.

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