Receiver In Canal (RIC) or Open hearing aids are fast approaching Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids as the most popular type of hearing aid chosen by new users. Their design is based on the traditional BTE hearing aid, however the revolution sits in the separation of the microphone, amplifier and processor into a small casing that sits behind the ear, and then putting the receiver/speaker into a small dome that sits directly in the ear which is connected to the casing via a thin wire. This results in them being smaller, suffering less from feedback and producing a more natural sound.
If you would like to find out more about Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids then please see our list of the advantages and disadvantages below, or contact our expert team. We can also arrange for your free hearing test with one of our network of qualified local audiologists.
Advantages of Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
• Small and Discreet - compared to a Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aid, the Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) style of hearing aid is much smaller and less conspicuous. This is because the separation of the functions into two parts (the microphone, amplifier and processor in a small casing behind the ear and the receiver/speaker in a small dome sitting in the ear) means that both of these parts, especially the behind the ear casing, can be much smaller. In many cases the behind the ear casing of an Open / RIC hearing aid will be the size of no more than a third of your ear.
• Reduced Feedback - compared with many other hearing aid types, users of Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids report a significant reduction in feedback producing annoying and sometimes embarrassing whistling noises. This is due to the separation of the two main components leading to less signal confusion within the device itself.
• Open Ear Canal - unlike other types of hearing aids which cover the entire ear canal, the Open / RIC style of hearing aid leaves the ear canal partially open. This causes less of the issues of occlusion of the ear such as hearing your own voice louder or it sounding hollow, feeling that your ear is blocked or chewing food sounding noisy or unpleasant.
• Natural Sound - users of Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids often report that they produce a much more natural sound than many other types of hearing aids. This is due to both the lack of ear occlusion and also the speaker/receiver being directly in the ear canal where it is less susceptible to distortion.
• Improved Amplification of High Pitched Sounds - high frequency sounds are often some of the first to suffer when a user is experiencing the initial symptoms of hearing loss. Open / RIC hearing aids are particularly effective at amplifying these sounds making them an excellent choice for people with early onset or mild to moderate hearing loss. Although there are also a number of Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids that have been designed specifically for those with more severe hearing loss.
• Comfortable - because they are split into two parts Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are much smaller and more lightweight, making them extremely comfortable and easy to wear. Many users report that after only a few minutes of wearing one they completely forget that they are there.
Disadvantages of Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
• Receiver Susceptible to Damage - due to its position in the ear canal, the receiver/speaker portion of an Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aid is much more susceptible to damage from natural ear moisture and sweat than for many other hearing aid types. The receiver will usually need replacing/repairing every 1-2 years. The repair/replacement process is usually quite quick and can easily be completed by your audiologist, however this can inevitably result in extra hassle and cost.
• Increased Chance of Loss - because Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids are so small they are much more susceptible to loss than the larger and Behind The Ear (BTE) types. However simply getting into a good routine of removing them only at night and placing them in a specific and safe location can usually dramatically reduce the instances of loss.
• Costly - compared to many Behind The Ear (BTE) and some other hearing aid types, Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) can be more expensive. However many users find that the advantages of Open / RIC hearing aids offset the increased cost.
To find out more about Open / Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids and many of the other hearing aid types available contact our experts today and arrange for your free hearing test with one of our network of qualified local audiologists.
To View full details of other types of Hearing Aid in more detail, learn more by clicking on the links below
Behind The Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)
In The Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)
In The Canal Hearing Aids (ITC)
Completely In the Canal Hearing Aids (CIC)
Invisible In the Canal Hearing Aids (IIC)
Super Power Hearing Aids
For more of a summary of each type of hearing aid available and what each represents you can view more by click the link.