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Receiver-In-Ear Versus Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aids Explained

Delving into the world of hearing instruments can prove a little daunting with so many different types of hearing aids to choose from and their accompanying acronyms. It’s not always easy to way up the difference between styles, or indeed their varying benefits. A classic example of this would be the receiver-in-canal versus the behind-the-ear hearing aids. Although they are both over the ear devices, many first time users remain unaware that there are two different options to choose from.

Image of HD295 next to a 5p UK Coin HD295 RIC

So what is a RIC?

A receiver-in-canal is an over the ear hearing aid, where the speaker is situated within the ear canal, connected by a tiny wire to the remaining elements encased behind the ear. The industry often resorts to using three different names, all of which refer to the same style of hearing aid.

• RIC – Receiver in Canal
• RIE – Receiver in Ear
• RITE – Receiver in the Ear

The size of receiver and the way it is protected may vary from model to model but fundamentally, the three acronyms mean the same thing.

Image of BTE HDR400 hearing aid HD400 Rechargeable Hearing Aid

So what is a BTE?

This is a hearing aid where all the technology is encased behind the ear; an ear mould sits firmly in the ear canal with tubing to attach the two elements. Thin tubing as an alternative to an ear mould can also be selected depending upon your particular hearing loss.

Advantages of an RIC over a BTE

  • The receiver and microphone components are positioned much further apart compared to a BTE, meaning there is ordinarily less feedback than the equivalent BTE.
  • Generally the RIC is smaller than the corresponding battery size BTE, due to part of the component sitting in the ear canal rather than the outer casing.

Disadvantages of an RIC over a BTE

  • More maintenance is generally required for a RIC due to positioning within the ear.
  • A RIC is more susceptible to blockages caused by earwax.

For more information about both types of hearing aids, check out the HearingDirect selection here. We’ve just introduced a brand new range we’re really excited about, including a fantastic rechargeable BTE known as the HD400 and an equally impressive RIC called the HD295 RIC. They’re both worth a closer look!

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