Episode 6: RIC Style of Hearing Aids

Hello, and welcome to Hearing TV.  My name is Phillippa, and today we’re talking about RIC hearing

Receiver in the canal aids, otherwise known as RIC, or RIE, are an excellent option for many reasons.

The RIC Comprises a small hearing aid which sits behind the ear, to which is connected a speaker, or receiver, which goes into the ear.  On the end of the receiver you can use either a disposable silicon dome, or a custom made hard acrylic tip.  So, by separating out the various components of the hearing aid, the device becomes modular and parts are easily replaced.

Let’s start with the part behind the ear. This incorporates the microphones, which pick up the sound coming through the air and send them to the computer chip inside.  The computer chip analyses the sound using the features you have chosen – meaning that it will apply more or less sophisticated
noise management and replication of the sound you want to hear depending on what level of technology you have chosen.  Then, the signal is sent down the wire to the speaker, or receiver, which sits in your ear.

The receiver comes in different strengths, from normal to super-power, which is dictated by your degree of hearing loss.  Then, we put aa disposable dome, or a custom-made shell, over the receiver so that it sits comfortably in your ear.

The RIC aid is our favourite option for various reasons:

Firstly, because the aid is modular, the parts can be easily replaced if they break.  The receiver wire is the weakest part, most prone to blockage or breakage, so we simply take it off and replace it either under warranty or at a small cost.

Secondly, if your hearing drops, the receiver can be replaced by a stronger one, which means that you don’t have to buy a new hearing aid.

Thirdly, the apparatus is almost invisible as the receiver wire sits against your skin, and the hearing aid is hidden behind your ear – most people will not even notice you have one on!

Then because your ear is not blocked, we have much less difficulty with what we call an “occlusion effect”, where your voice echoes in your head.  The open design means that you can hear sounds naturally, combined with amplification only where you need it.  The whole sound experience is much more natural.

Then, because the receiver, or speaker, is close to your eardrum, the range of high frequency sound that can be delivered is greater, resulting in clearer speech.  And because of that distance between the speaker and the microphones, you are less likely to get the dreaded whistle, or feedback which was one of the most offputting features of older hearing aids.

Overall, the RIC is a lightweight, virtually invisible, and versatile hearing aid for most people.