Widex SmartRIC aids now out

While at my audi’s yesterday (to hand in a pair of DEAD Phonak aids after just 1.5 yrs of use) she mentioned that she’d attended a presentation on the new Widex SmartRIC aid.

I had to admit, I’ve never seen an aid that looks like this! I wondered if the shape was ergonometric? Would it sit securely on the ear? I was intrigued when my audi said the mic is pointing FORWARD on these aids - at the part that sits on top of the ear. GLORY BE! I have fantasized about that for years! Why should our aids pick up sound from the ceiling or behind us more than IN FRONT where people are standing? Yes, we have directionality, but it seemed that my old-fashioned ITE aids with the mic facing out was pretty good.

Then she showed be the charging case. WOW. That is actually SEXY if a hearing aid charging case could be called sexy? It’s small, sleek, VERY transportable. You can even charge that case by setting it on top of a phone charger disk like I use for my Flip-4.

I have no idea if Widex offers the kind of rich, full sound and program choices I get from Phonak, but then my audi pointed out the fatal flaw in this sleek, new aid: it has NO program buttons on it. None at all. Just the smooth, sleek case with wire + speaker.

Turns out, the only way to do ANYTHING on the new Widex SmartRIC aid is with a phone app. We all know how reliable and fun those are! So, volume, program, on, off, whatever, has to be done on a PHONE carried with you - or a smaller, matchbox sized gizmo that has all the buttons (harking back to Roger pen or some such).

Well, that was a conversation stopper. I don’t know about most of you, but I literally have days when I need to carry my cell phone in a small purse on my person ALLLLLLL DAY. Those are the days when I’ve got calls coming in or need to make myriad calls to manage 100 things. If I’m outdoors, I need the phone on me. In the car, it better be on me. In a store, doc’s office or wherever, I better have that phone.

But inside my own house, moving from room to room, or upstairs to down, or watching TV or not, I don’t need my phone! That is the 90% of my days. I can just press a button on my Phonak Lumity Life aid to answer a call on a completely different floor in my house. I can take a call if I’ve forgotten my phone in the CAR outside! I can park the Roger ON iN by a speakephone and hear the call in a completely different room! Ditto the TV. It’s pretty amazing how stable the BT is once it’s paired + connected.

I’ll be curious to see if anyone here trials the Widex and what they think about the sound quality, hearing in LOUD places, the program options and … life with a PHONE in their hand 24x7.


ACK! I would be remiss if I didn’t also add that this new Widex aid claims to offer >30 hrs of use on a single charge! Placing the aids in the charging base for just half an hour will give you 8 more HOURS of use!

Now THAT gets my attention. I currently get 13 hrs a day from a pair of Lumity Life aids that are going back in the shop to replace the battery, and 17.5 hrs on the other pair of identical aids that are a month newer … and likely to also drop down to 13 hrs of use a day before March ends.

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Thanks for the info, but that’s one big ugly boomerang :nauseated_face:
Not a smart design at all :-1:t3:

Those Widex HA look like a twisted Carambar:

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My gut reaction to the new look as well!!! But then my audi mentioned the mic being positioned on that bit close to the wire that sits on top of the ear, and I thought, YEAH BABY! I want my mic to point forward and NOT at the ceiling.

Even so … it would take getting used to. And the buttonless boomerang would be a BONER for changing programs or volume, etc., if one needs to do it all through a PHONE APP.

Phone apps make me nervous. If that software controls a vital part of my hearing, I DO NOT want that control taken over by some app that requires user account, logging in, tracking of all calls, perhaps being HACKED and shut OFF?


At least one can EAT the carambar! (well, tell that to a DOG with the boomerang in sight).

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I think that design is overkill, they could have made it a bit subtle or go the ReSound way with a microphone and receiver in the ear (M&RIE):


The news about SmartRIC mentions the two microphones being in a horizontal plane. Indeed, two microphones in a horizontal plane is the basic requirement for adjustable directionality. I think the shape of the aid is more about letting it sit differently on your ear, perhaps more comfortably or less visibly, while keeping the mics horizontal.

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AH SO! I didn’t grasp the concept of M&RIE till you spelled it out. Is it also the case that these speakers are for those with mild to moderate hearing loss?

Guess that’d count me out, but the concept is GREAT. I totally get “The Pina Effect” … and for that matter, the entire cup-shape of our ears helps!

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Yes. this YouTube video takes a long time to say the same thing. Their internal testing showed an average 1.5 dB improvement in snr over the traditional RIC design. Some people showed up to 5 dB improvement (which means I guess that some people got nothing).

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@1Bluejay The widex smartRIC won’t take UP receivers, so it’s not for you anyway. Also, unless your wires are way to long your dmic doesn’t point at the ceiling.

That said, I really like it. I like Widex’s dedication to hardware innovation versus software innovation. I expect the shape does help with directionality and wind and touch noise. I agree that the lack of a button is a disappointment, but some people don’t use their buttons anyway. The boomerang is a bit funny, but they are actually much smaller in person than they look online and the fit behind the ear is nice. It will need to be the right person, but I’m looking forward to fitting one.

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Thanks for that insight about the mics! For years I felt that sound was bouncing off the ceiling and into my ears, but that was when I really DID have ridiculously long ear wires. My current audi swapped in shorter wires, and while I DO have to push the aids into my canal throughout the day, I don’t tangle my fingers on the dang WIRE anymore.

I totally agree with the positive design innovation of Widex. Please come back to post the general “take” on these as your customers trial them!


This form factor feels like evolution of Signia’s Stylettos, and both brands are owned by the same company. The battery life seems to be similarly excellent.
As an owner of AX Stylettos I would be really interested in Smart RICs, but ONLY if they offer modern connectivity, meaning LE Audio and Auracast.

So do your Stylettos have any buttons on the body? Or, like Widex, do they require all operations to be done on a cell phone app?

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No they don’t have any buttons, it’s all done via app. It is possible to enable double tap to answer call, but it’s unreliable.
Unfortunately they’re [Widex] using old platform underneath, so no LE Audio nor Auracast it seems.
It seem that this period is posing to be a time of “lazy offerings” form HA manufacturers. Tinny additions/slight changes, low significance and mostly marketing.

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All electronics manufacturers are at a standstill right now. Nobody has any new ideas. All that remains is to stuff the AI ​​in.

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100% agree, well they are giving us nice but weird shapes to play with ; )

LOL! What’s next? Maybe a Xmas version where the Widex boomerang looks more like a red and white striped candy cane? Love the creativity …

But let’s get back to basics, makers: How about spending every last nickel and dime on helping us understand SPEECH IN LOUD NOISE.

Do that. Sell it. And it’ll be a win-win for all of us.

Well, I’d also add, the first HA maker who offers “Geek Squad” services (via partnering or hiring within, etc.,) is going to have a HUGE competitive advantage. Boggles my mind. A company could hire 10 people at a salary to offer this service. They’d be so SWAMPED with customers it’d be a profitable spin-off.

OK. Sorry for that digression … it’s been on my mind.

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The REAL AI de-noising would definitely help as shown by such existing devices. Unfortunately HAs are too small and it would have to be implemented in external mics like Roger.
They’re all hitting the wall of hardware limitations.
That’s why I want LE Audio/Auracast in my next HAs, to not be dependent on manufacturers poor and costly offerings and to connect any external mic that I want


My earlier generation of Widex HAs, the Widex Moments, are operated 95% via the Widex phone app (The HAs have a single button to turn them off and on, and to increase/decrease the sound volume).
From my own experience, the need to use the app on my phone for tweaking my HAs hasn’t been a problem.

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