IIC vs RIC looking for opinions

Sorry but I have a problem regarding being insecure and self conscious. This stems from bullying as a child and 60 years later I am still a bit self conscious and insecure.

One year ago i finally decided to do something about my hearing deficit and went with the Lyric device. Absolutely undetectable and frankly a vast improvement in my hearing. Now when i open my front door i hear the birds and the splashing water in my koi pond.

I am not totally happy with the Lyric as they die every 2-3 months and this necessitates a return visit to have new device inserted.

At 4K a year( which includes unlimited number of replacement Lyrics) it will be pricey as time goes on.

I am looking at other options. Please do not lecture me about my image problem. I am insecure and simply would feel better if I had devices which were not visible

So my question in essence is as follows:

I realize a smaller aid such as an IIC is too small to allow for bells and whistles such as Bluetooth. Aside from lack of Bluetooth streaming what do i give up if I go the IIC route vs a small RIC?

Another reason i prefer IIC is I am very active including mountain biking martial arts etc.

My though is the IIC will be less prone to becoming dislodged as compared to a RIC.

Is the tech in a RIC that much more advanced than an IIC or in the end will i essentially have similar auditory improvement with either device aside from the lack of Bluetooth?

BTW: The Lyric although it does improve my hearing is in essence an analog device which to my mind is little better than the OTC amplifiers I see for sale for a couple of hundred dollars and as mentioned they cost 4K a year for the pair.

Thanks for the help

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Just a quick response. Besides Bluetooth, the main thing you give up with an IIC is number of microphones (and also the available distance between microphones) More microphones spread out is theoretically better for noise reduction and directionality. (Having the HA completely in the ear may let you use some of the ear’s “natural” directionality) Unless you’re bald and wear very bright colored RICs, people are highly unlikely to notice them. I’ve pointed out that I’m wearing hearing aids and people still don’t see them.


I don’t like to wear my hearing aids during my morning commute, I prefer silence over the road noise.

Every morning I arrive for the morning meeting, Set down my coffee cup and my phone, pull my hearing aids out of my pocket, turn them on and stick them in my ears. Right there in the middle of the conference room.

After two years of this, one day one of my coworkers said, “I didn’t know you wore hearing aids!”

Wearing hearing aids is like carrying a ball point pen in your pocket. Even if everyone can see it, no one notices it.


Until the day comes that you forget to retract the pen, and you look in the mirror to see that great big blue splotch on your brand new white shirt!

I too have a vanity issue, so, I tend not to wear my Bose hearphones in some venues even though I do hear better with them.

I also don’t carry a ball point pen in my pocket. I think it looks kind of nerdy.

On the other hand, my big BTE aids, with size 13 batteries, are almost invisible to most people. I think the only ones who can see them are others who are wearing aids. And even then they have to look pretty closely to spot the wires.


I don’t think you owe anyone an apology for not wanting BTE hearing aids. They’re definitely noticeable and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. I had IIC hearing aids for 25 years and just switched to RIC marvels at my audiologist’s advice and am having the hardest time getting used to them. I never was aware of having my hearing aids with the IIC (Starkey soundless) and had as active a lifestyle as I wanted. With the marvels, I constantly have to push them back into my ear, changing the settings since the microphones don’t capture sound naturally like IIC do, and they also catch on things (glasses for one thing). If your hearing allows for IIC, I’d say go for it. You won’t miss the bluetooth since you’ve never had it (I also don’t use it much except for phone calls sometimes but I don’t leave it on all the time b/c it definitely makes my hearing aids sounds different and I don’t like it).


I’m not going to lecture you. I’m going to argue with you. My opinion is, it is a mistake to treat a characteristic as if it was a feature. A feature is, for example, my eyes are 1.3 inches apart. A characteristic is that my eyes are always red and irritated. My eyes are 1.3 inches apart and there is nothing I can do about that. My eyes are red and irritated but there are many, many things I can do about that. Unless I believe it is a feature.

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I tend to flaunt my nerdiness. As a famous person once said, “it’s hip to be square.”

Whenever anyone needs to borrow a pen, they always come looking for me. It’s part of my EDC.

Old thread, but good topic! I’m in a similar boat, where I’d prefer the IIC, but am unsure. I currently have a Phonak Audeo(size 10 battery) It’s small, but answering a phone call or doing some activities is not ideal. The smallness sacrifices Bluetooth capabilities.

Curious to see what you decided and why?

As you seem to lean toward in the ear models the custom might be a better option to look at. Most if not all the manufactures make these types of hearing aids. They can be rechargeable and very easy to learn and use. With that said they cost more. Phonak makes a custom using materials like titanium. This increases comfort and reduces reactions for some who have allergies to certain materials it offers a nice choices. Most if not all the major makers make custom hearing aids. More are making them in a variety of colors so they look like ear buds. What you need to work with an audiologists is what works best for your hearing loss. People’s hearing loss is as different as there are people. Add to that that not all custom hearing aids work best for for all types of hearing loss. It is a balance between what you need to treat your hearing loss and what you want in a hearing aid. The main question to ask yourself at the end of the day Is “Do these hearing aid help me hear clearer and better then I did before?” A RIC on the other hand is a type of behind the ear model of hearing aid. They are very discreet but are hardly noticeable and cost less then a custom hearing aid. They offer a lot of nice features some examples are Phonak Marvels, Livio AI Edge, Widex Moment and the list goes on. They come with such features as Bluetooth, t-coil, streaming, Remote programming, rechargeable or not and much more. They are also available in different colors to blend in better into your hair color. The difference is cost they are usually cheeper and treat a greater degree of hearing loss. There are videos on YouTube that talk in great detail about the two types of hearing aids if you like more information. I hope this helps you with your question and have a great day.

Don’t want to be argumentative but Rics don’t cost less than a custom hearing aid. Most customs cost about the same, with the exception of the titanium models from Phonak, which may be a few hundred dollars more.

Curious about this. I believe it’s been discussed on other threads that custom aids cost more to make than RIC and BTE. Is the cost to the provider any different? I’m guessing “suggested retail” (is there such a thing for hearing aids?) is the same, but really have no idea. Are customs available in the lower level models? Seems like it would be really hard to sell low level customs for a comparable price as non customs.

This might be different outside of the U.K, I have to admit. I don’t know about charges in the U.S or on continental europe.

The Signia Silk NX is an in the ear aid that doesn’t use a custom mold. There might be others like this, not sure. These are easily fit to most people with less than severe/profound hearing loss. Ear canal size will be important with this type aid.

But most in the ear aids have custom earmolds that have that added time for fitting. Most are available in all hearing aid levels for a different price. For the DIY people you can buy ITE aids off eBay for example. Lloyd’s can fit these aids into custom molds for you.

The RIC aids are the fitters dream. They are a good product that are very easy to fit. Many choices of receivers for different hearing losses. Many dome types also and custom earmolds can be fit on them too.

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