What receiver-in-canal (RIC) lifespan are you experiencing?

I am fitted with a pair of Siemens Pure BTE RICs. About every two to three months I need to replace each receiver (not at the same time.) They do not suddenly completely fail, but loose what I estimate to be between 25 & 50 % of their power. Is anyone else experiencing this with RICs?

The Siemens instruments replaced a pair of Oticon Epoqs that did the same thing only more frequently. My audiologist failed to convince either Oticon or Siemens to evaluate returned receivers to help figure out what is going on. The instruments (and receivers) will still be under warranty for a while, but I worry about after the warranty expires and replacing (at $70/ea.) close to $1K in receivers every year. Not to mention the inconvenience.

I use a Dry & Store each evening and have no problems with cerumen. Is this just me or is this normal mean time to failure for RICs?

do you ran or go to the gym with the hearing aids?

Despite a pretty active lifestyle, I do not run or go to a gym.

The ear canal is obviously a humid environment and the instruments are in my ears 14-18 hours a day but you’d think the receivers would be designed with that in mind. After thoroughly swabbing my ear canal after a shower I let them air-dry for about half an hour before putting the instruments in.

I really just want to find out what other RIC users are experiencing. I’m really at a loss for an explanation if it’s just me.

I’m using Siemens Pure 500s and the receivers are going at a rate of 1 per 9 months. I bought them with a 3 year warranty and then it’s my dollar.
Siemens! are you listening.

Yeah, it’s frustrating.


Consider yourself lucky getting 9 months out of a receiver. I have the Pure 700s which I’m very pleased with other than the unacceptable receiver life.

Wow, I didn’t know Siemens receivers had such a short lifespan.

All receivers can have a poor life.

I specialise in RIC aids and have fitted zillions.

I do suffer however in that I have to replace cables far too often.

Some suppliers have a RIC warranty, others don’t.

Warranties won’t cover someone deciding after 2 weeks that a cable is too short. I have to pay for the now unwanted & unusable cable.

Unwarrantied cable failures in the first several weeks I also have to cover - the client will simply refuse to pay.

Unfunded RIC replacements are costing me a FORTUNE.

Oi … telecram you seem to have posted your question TWICE in the forum …

Yes. I first mistakenly posted in the published articles section. I saw no way to delete it once it was posted. Sorry. Won’t happen again.

I posted the info below on another thread in the hearing aid forum.

One additional point I feel is important. We as H/A wearers need to take some responsibility and do the research before buying. If you are not comfortable with intricate cleaning on a weekly basis, make a lot of wax, live in a very humid environment, work up a sweat often, or just want the highest reliability you can get don’t buy RIC aids.

The dispenser you go to should go over this with you. Please read on.

Boy, I would love to jump in here with both feet! We sell lots of mini BTE open ear hearing aids, both RIC and non RIC aids. I’m not sure of the percentage but it is a significant number of the failures of RIC aids over the non-RIC. And, to top it off there is little to no difference in performance.

All of you with RIC aids need to know how to change/clean wax guards. It is absolutely imperative! Sorry, I don’t mean to be on the soap box but it is a growing problem. Once all the RIC aids come out of warranty the receiver will be in the neighborhood of $100 US and you will not get a warranty on them.

If you do not know how to change/clean your wax guards please get help.

At our website we have a number of articles about maintenance and are always happy to answer any questions on how to maintain a hearing aid.

In addition, here is a brief article on cleaning aids:

Maintenance and Cleaning
Did you know that just by putting your new open ear hearing in your ear one time you can make it fail to work? It’s true, so learning the care and cleaning tips which follow is important.
Open ear hearing aids fall into two categories with regard to maintenance, RIC and non-RIC. RIC stands for Receiver-In-Canal.
RIC hearing aids:
These have a small electronic component on the end of the tube that is placed in the ear canal. This component is called a receiver and works like a speaker making sound right next to your eardrum.
Usually a mushroom shaped dome, sometimes it is shaped like the tulip flower, is fitted over the receiver with a very snug fit. The dome will need to be removed by pulling on the center part that is stretched over the receiver.
Once the dome is off it should be inspected closely for blockages. Many domes have a very fine grid or screen in them to prevent wax and moisture from getting into the receiver. Clean the screen carefully with alcohol and blow dry before replacing it on the tube, making sure to get it all the way on to the tube so that it cannot be pulled off easily.
Some manufacturers have a replaceable wax guard over the end of the receiver. These come in packs of 5 to 10 each with a tool for easy removal and replacement.
Non-RIC Hearing Aids:
On non-RIC aids, since the receiver is kept in the case and sound travels through a hollow tube into your ear canal, there is very little chance of wax getting into the receiver. However, the tubes can still become plugged and no sound will come out.
The tubes either snap on or screw onto the hearing aid. Start by twisting the tube, where it connects to the hearing aid, counter-clockwise ¼ turn. If the tube detents into this position it is a snap on tube, so simply pull it off. If the tube continues to turn easily it is threaded onto the hearing aid and will simply unscrew.
Once the tube is disconnected from the hearing aid a simple remedy is to blow through the tube from the end that was connected to the hearing aid. If you can feel the airflow, by putting your fingertip close to the dome end, then the tube is clear and ready to be reinstalled.
If the tube is plugged use a short piece of monofilament line, heavy test fishing line, to push through it to unplug it.
It is a good idea to have extra non-RIC tubes, domes, and wax guards (for hearing aids that use them) on hand along with extra batteries.
Do one at a time so you do not get mixed up by putting a left side tube on a right side hearing aid or vice versa.

Seems like a person should stay away from RIC if there hearing loss allowed?

I would love to hear what recomendations for a non RIC might work for my loss?


As far as I know, the receivers are not manufactured by Siemens. They are manufactured by Knowles or by Technitrol (Pulse) which is the former Sonion-Microtronic.

If the RIC is so problematic, why is the industry pushing so hard to sell these devices.

Most of the HOH folks I know have to work for a living and will find constant repairs and the associates costs impossible to manage.

I agree there should be some sort of waterproof RIC.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be taunting the hearing aid gods, butI have used my Pure 500 BTE RIC’s for 15 months now and have had no problems with the receivers. Even if I had to pay for new receivers once a year (which I haven’t had to do so far), the benefits of these aids over my previous aids (Phonak miniValeo aids with open tubes) would be worth it.

If the RIC is so problematic,

RICs aren’t really much more troublesome for INDIVIDUAL users … but if you are a dispenser who has fitted 100s of RICs then ANY failure rate seems like a BIG problem.

I too have had no problem with a pair of RITE HAs after 11 months (knock on wood). I haven’t been particularly careful with the HA and haven’t yet bothered to clean the receiver/speakers. If a receiver assembly happens to fail, it won’t be a big deal since a replacement costs just $65 from www.AmericaHears.com.

Just a continuation of this comment. I picked up two new receivers this week and it was just like the first week I had the HAs, all the sounds were there again. Tire noise from cars driving by on the street, peoples voices so strong that I turned the volume down on some programs. It’s too much like natural hearing loss, it comes upon you so slowly you don’t really notice it until you pull HAs out and realize that there’s not much difference any more. Where’s the audi’s receiver tester tool?


I heard a comment regarding ear wax as a major contributor to receiver failure.
I wonder if failure is just as likely due to the quality of the component.


It is not about quality, it is about shape. And shape is dictated by function.
For example, a wheel can not be built with a square shape :stuck_out_tongue: , despite the fact it will certainly be more resistant to anything.

Here is an actual receiver:


Practically, it is already “armored”.
Try to figure out what could (or should) be done, to avoid having this tiny hole clogged with earwax.

Do they make all receivers for the various mfg’s?

I hope they can make the power receivers smaller as my left ear canal is smaller than the right. There is also a little bit of a turn in the canal that put the speaker to close to the wall making it very susceptible to wax problems.

Seems to me the best solution would be no receiver in the ear, rather all done from the case behind the ear!