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Hearing Exchange

RIC (Receiver In Canal)

A receiver in the ear (RIC) or Speaker in the ear (SIE) is a smaller kind of hearing aid that sits behind you hear and has a thin wire covered in plastic leading from the hearing aid to your ear canal.  At the end of the wire is the speaker, which will typically be covered in a silicon dome or custom made ear tip.  Because these hearing aids have an external speaker, it means the casing can be considerably smaller as it only contains the battery, microphones and microchip.  Having an external speaker also allows for upgrades in volume.  If your hearing loss becomes poorer, beyond the amplification capabilities of the speaker, the speaker can be changed for a more powerful (slightly bigger) one, meaning you do not have to purchase a new hearing aid.

The main disadvantage of RICs is that they tend to require more maintenance.  Due to the speaker being placed directly into your ear it is susceptible to wax, debris and moisture build up, which can cause it to fail.  Additionally, the extra size of the speaker means RICS can occasionally be difficult to insert in very narrow ear canals.  If you feel you have a propensity to perspire excessively or you have very narrow ear canals, you may be better off with a BTE.