A further development from the BTE is the Receiver-in-Canal (RIC BTE hearing aid, also called RITE). It looks the same as the thin tube BTE, except that a wire passes through the thin tube instead of sound. The key difference is that the speaker is housed inside the dome which fits snugly into the ear canal. Different sizes of domes can accommodate different sizes of ear canals and hearing loss. For those severe-to-profound hearing losses a high-power BTE RIC requires a custom earmold instead of a dome. Consideration of ear canal size, shape, hearing loss and needs are taken into consideration during the consultation to determine the best acoustical fit of the hearing aid.
A wire connects the amplifier housed in the main body of the hearing aid to the speaker that is housed inside the dome, which sits inside the ear canal. In hearing aid language, the word “receiver” means “speaker.” That’s why this style is called RIC (receiver-in-canal). Since the speaker is closer to the hearing aid wearer’s eardrum, the RIC BTE hearing aid offers superior sound to the thin tube BTE. The sound is also perceived as more natural and the distance from speaker to microphone helps negate issues with feedback.
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Other Hearing Device Styles to Explore
IIC: Invisible In Canal
Suitable for users with a mild to moderate hearing loss, who are looking for the ultimate discreet hearing solution.
CIC: Completely In
For mild to moderate hearing loss. This tiny custom style rests deep in the ear canal. A discreet hearing aid solution.
BTE: Behind The Ear
Simple to maintain, easy to adjust, the BTE hearing aids supply significant power, long battery life and a variety of features.
Pros and Cons
The RIC hearing aids is by far the most popular hearing aid style sold today with its unique comfort fit and esthetically obscure positioning. It can accommodate many options and power levels for various degrees of hearing loss. The receiver is especially subjected to natural moisture in the ear canal, a regular care and maintenance routine will help reduce the need for repairs. It’s important to discuss all the options with your hearing health practitioner to ensure you find the hearing aid that will work best for your unique preferences.
The RIC hearing aids can accommodate larger, size 312 and size 13 batteries and are available with rechargeable solutions. Modern Bluetooth connectivity to other devices including smartphones, TVs, computers, music players, and remote microphone accessories expand the options of this model. Digital hearing aids have advanced processors that provide better sound quality and speech understanding in background noise.