Lifestyle Comparison of RIC and ITC/ITE style

My first post on this wonderful site (despite being a lifelong HA user for about 40 years) :slight_smile:

Has anyone made the switch from wearing custom aids (over many years) to the RIC style, and what was your experience?

Having worn custom styles (CIC, ITE) for the past 20 years I like how effortless they are – I can hold a phone to my ear, put on headphones to listen to music, wear a headset for video calls at the office, and wear glasses all the time (now with the occasional mask of course).

Now that I no longer care about appearances or discreetness (in fact I want my next aids to be as flashy as possible to give others a visual cue about my hearing impairment), I’m shopping for my next aids and seeing how many RICs are out there, and the additional features they (usually) offer over the same aid in a custom style.

Custom aids just feel more natural to me, but wearing RICs recently for a few days made me realise how used to occlusion I have been (and I have long suspected that the way I hear my own voice affects my interaction with others).

RICs seem to offer more in power and/or features (Bluetooth, rechargeability, etc.) but to me feel a bit ‘fiddly’ as if I could easily damage them by pulling the cable too hard. Are they more rugged than I think?

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I have never had a problem with the cables on my Phonak marvels over the past 2 years. Prior to my Marvels I had Unitron RIC aids for 5 years and did have a cable failure which reminded me to pull the receiver out of my ear in line with the downslope of the ear canal and then remove the aid from behind my ear.

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You’ll be amazed (hopefully) at the difference between ITE and RIC due to all the extra features.

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First time HA user, 3 months, ric style.

Holding a phone up works ok unless there is other noise in the room. Headset works if I adjust so there is room at top of ears. I wear glasses for computer work quite a bit. Mask mandatory when I work on location. It all works.

I wish there were more flashy stand out colors. I went with a neutral color but kinda wish I’d gone with black. Hearing ability is first, the Phonak bt is a bonus.

I get the impression that the receiver wire can be damaged but are relatively inexpensive to replace. There are proper ways to handle them. But I’ve had masks flip them off my ears and they hang from my ears by the domes. Flip them back and they seem ok.

Best wishes!

WH

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