Receiver in the Ear vs Slim tube

As an Audiologist/Dispenser which way do you tend to swing regarding fitting a person when considering RITE vs Slim Tube.
Based only on a hearing exam and the two units the ear pieces are connected to are of equal capabilities, which way would you tend to prescribe?

RITE or Slim Tube

Depends on the audiogram plus handling/wax issues,

How about my audiogram and I tend to not have wax buildup as an issue

I think you are candidate for a RIte Power

I appreciate the input. I’m testing a Oticon Vigo connect with a power receiver right now. The combination works well for me. My concern is mostly for my left ear. The canal is a little smaller than right and has a bit of a turn.
There are times when it feels like the receiver/speaker is up against the canal wall. The sensation is that sounds are hollow. When I move the receiver a little the sensation goes away. The other issue is wax easily can get into the receiver. I do not have this kind of an issue at all with the right ear. I have had a Widex and Siemens ITC hearing aids and never had an issue with wax.

Do you think a Unitron Lattitude Motta 16 with slim tube is a good option to consider testing?

A slim tube would have problems with your lows … but might be OK if you are one of those people who don’t really care about the low frequency end of the spectrum.

However my first attempt would be standard RITE cables with tulips.

They might work well and would be slimmer than the power speakers.

Nothing is written in stone - some can get away with lower power aids than might be expected, others unexpectedly need power aids.

Does the fact that I use a telephone unaided suggest that I might not care as much about low ferquency boost?

Does Oticon make a BTE unit that couples with a standard RITE that could fit my needs? How about Phonak and Unitron?

I was all set to buy the Vigo Connects until I started getting a sensation that a smaller left ear canal MIGHT give me issues with the life expectancy of a power receiver. Now I want to make sure and explore all the possibilities out there.

Thanks Norm

Can a Vigo Connect that is fitted right now with a power receiver also be fitted with a standard RITE?

There is probably more misinformation about RIC versus non-RIC than almost any other aspect of open ear hearing aids.

Resound has done some blind tests and people, with various types of hearing loss, could not consistently identify a RIC or non-RIC, even when fitted with one of each.

I have tried both back to back. Same model and brand of hearing aid programmed the same with the same results. I can’t tell any sound quality differences.

Starkey, who have extended warranty plans in the very DNA of the company will not cover receiver tubes in extended warranties.

If you doubt what I am say here there is an easy way to verify if it is true. Many dispensers do not have a restocking fee so find one that sells Siemens, Phonak, or Unitron. Unitron is probably the simplest.

Buy 2 pairs of hearing aids and have them both programmed exactly the same and try them both in varying sound situations then you will know what works for you and return the ones that don’t.

Siemens: Pure 500 / Life 500
Phonak: Versata / Audeo Yes 5
Unitron: Any model that comes in Moxi and Moda/ModaII


Advantages of a RIC are most manufactures offer varying receiver power levels so it is possible to fit a greater loss with a RIC aid.

Disadvantages of RIC are mostly due to maintenance issues. It is much more tedious to keep them free of wax, moisture, and other debris found in some people’s ear canals. The connection of the receiver to the hearing aid case can be a source of additional problems if it is not absolutely waterproof.

Wax guards, grid domes, etc. What ever wax protection the manufacturer uses must be changed often. An ongoing expense. Replacing a RIC tube once out of warranty is in the $100 area.


Non-RIC also called slim tubes, sound tubes, Life tubes, etc

Advantages of non-RIC tubes are greater reliability, simple and easy cleaning, and overall costs.

These tubes are easier to reshape for non standard shaped ears, just remove them from the aid and dip in very hot water and hold in the new shape while they cool.

To clean a blockage remove from the aid and blow through it. ( can be done in the dark while walking down the street )

Very easy and inexpensive to replace which should be done every few months.

Disadvantages of slim tubes are few.

you might get away with a regular rite with either a power dome or
a micromold (micromold should work well)

The power receiver is very very very big

From my technical point of view there is only one reason to use a receiver in the ear. For very high loss patients the RIC has less feedback and less anti-feedback generated artifacts. The standard tubing used in regular BTE aids does modify the frequency response somewhat but that is easily compensated for in the fitting software. As English D. pointed out the very thin tubing will truncate the lows.

And moving the receiver into the canal allows a smaller more cosmetically appealing aid. From a marketing point of view this is important also. Ed

I have a VERY strong belief that if GN Resound had improved the Resound Air and NOT dropped it from their range, then the RITE models would have had a MUCH poorer chance.

But, no, in their wisdom GN killed a superb product, and thus ushered in the era of the RITE-everywhere.

You are correct. From my conversation with Resound I think if they could answer honestly without worrying about policy they would also agree.