RICs are a type of open-fit hearing aid that use a thin plastic “micro” tube that extends from the body of the hearing aid (housed behind the ear) over the outer ear and into the ear canal. A small, soft tip sits inside the ear canal without sealing it. This way, air and sound can continue to flow to the ear canal naturally, reducing feelings of being "plugged up".
Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids—also referred to as receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) or canal receiver technology (CRT)—are smaller than standard BTE models, but are easy to maneuver and can still house a sorts of features. Like standard BTEs, they can be worn comfortably behind the ear. However, unlike regular BTE hearing aids, the RIC’s loudspeaker or “receiver” is located outside the housing and positioned at the end of a thin ear wire, placed near the ear drum. Since generated sound only has to travel a very short distance with lower transmission loss, less sound energy (and battery power) is required to produce a superior listening experience.
RIE hearing aids are small, discreet and very versatile. These advance hearing aids - which people also refer to as 'Bluetooth hearing aids' - typically offer great connectivity and audio streaming from everyday devices, e.g., smartphones and TVs. They also work with hearing aid accessories and apps. Rechargeable hearing aids are very convenient, giving you power without battery worries, and they are available in the RIE hearing aid style.
Design-wise, RIE hearing aids sit behind the ear. Traditionally, microphones in the main body of the hearing aids send sounds down through a thin, virtually invisible tubing, curving discreetly around the back of your ears, into a receiver covered with a comfortable dome. The dome-covered receiver sits in your ear canal. That is why Receiver-in-Ear hearing aids also belong to the ‘in ear’ hearing aids category, i.e., the sound processing takes place in your ear.