Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE) Hearing Aids: Pros and Cons

Written by the Nano Hearing Aids Team
Reviewed for Accuracy by Lindsay Roberts, AuD.

Lindsay Roberts
Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE) Hearing Aids: Pros and Cons

Receiver-in-the-Ear hearing aids are one of the  most popular and effective types of hearing aids. Like all other hearing aid types, they come with their own specific set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will particularly talk about the pros and cons of receiver-in-the-ear or RITE hearing aids.

Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE) Hearing Aids: Pros and Cons

The main trait of a receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid is that its two main components, the amplifier, and the receiver are separated from each other. These two components being separated can be helpful in many different ways, such as- 

  • Allowing to hear more natural sound
  • Not occluding the ear canal
  • Reducing annoying feedback
  • Being inconspicuous
  • Being hardly noticeable
  • Having a custom or standard earmold, directional microphone, etc.

On the other hand, these hearing aids can come with certain disadvantages like- 

  • Being difficult to handle for people with dexterity problems
  • The receiver is susceptible to damage
  • The receiver gets easily affected by moisture or ear wax
  • Getting lost easily, etc. 

Now let’s have a deeper look into the advantages and disadvantages of the receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids.

Overview of Receiver-in-the-Ear Hearing Aids

The casing behind the ear holds the amplifier, processor, and microphone of the RITE hearing aids. But the speaker or the receiver is situated in a small dome that directly sits in the ear. A thin wire connects these two parts. 

Receiver-in-the-Ear hearing aids are very often smaller in size than behind-the-ear or BTE hearing aids. RITE hearing aids can produce a more natural sound than the BTE ones, and also suffer from less feedback too.

Some people can also think the RIC or Receiver-in-Canal hearing aids are the same as the Receiver-in-the-Ear hearing aids. They are mostly the same, just the major difference is that the receivers of the RITE hearing aids get placed into the “pinna” of the ear. This is the part of the ear that can be seen from the outside. On the other hand, the receivers of the RIC hearing aids go deeper into the ear canal. 

RITE hearing aids do their job of making people with hearing loss listen to sounds really well. They work as a standard pick for any type or degree of hearing loss other than the highly severe or profound ones.

Pros of RITE Hearing Aids

Now we will thoroughly discuss the advantages of receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids. Let’s have a look at them.

Works Great for Hearing High Pitched Sounds

At the first stages of hearing loss, many people face problems in listening to high-pitched sounds. RITE hearing aids are specifically good at amplifying high-pitched sounds due to the two-part design they have. That’s why these hearing aids are also good for people with mild to moderate hearing loss problems. 

Highly Adjustable and Really Comfortable to Wear

RITE hearing aids are extremely lightweight and really small in size. That’s why it’s hardly noticeable to the user that they are wearing anything in their ear. A cast of the user’s ear is used to make the earpieces of receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids. That’s why the receiver of this hearing aid fits in the ear snugly, making it comfortable to wear. These hearing aids have a hard in-ear receiver that’s crafted for the specific ear shape of the user, which also makes them really comfortable for the users. They are also really easy to adjust. 

More Natural Sound

RITE hearing aids allow the users to hear a more natural sound through them. These hearing aids produce a great natural sound quality due to multiple factors. As the receiver sits in the ear directly, it helps the sounds to get transmitted into the ear directly making the sounds less susceptible to any distortion. Also, the dome of these hearing aids avoids blocking the ear in any manner.

Not Occluding the Ear Canal

If the whole entrance of the ear canal gets blocked or covered by hearing aids, or some other foreign object, it can cause occlusion of the ears. Due to this, people can face problems like hearing their voice too loudly, facing annoying and noisy sounds while swallowing or chewing food, and also facing a troublesome feeling that their ear is blocked. RITE hearing aids will leave the entrance of the ear canal open partially, which will help avoid the problems of occlusion.

Sleek and Hardly Noticeable Design

Even though RITE hearing aids sit outside the ear, they are way more discreet than people might think them to be. The casing of these hearing aids that sit behind the ear is really small and slimline normally. The wire that works to connect the base to the ear dome looks almost invisible. It isn’t usually seen unless someone looks for them specifically. These hearing aids also come in a wide range of colors that can easily blend in with your skin tone, hair, or can match easily with your outfits. 

Reduced Feedback

As the receiver and the amplifier of the RITE hearing aids are separated, users of these hearing aids experience a remarkably lower level of feedback than the other types of hearing aids. It means there will be much less signal confusion within the hearing aids themselves, and the irritating whistling feedback sound will be reduced.

You can also read our review article on Best hearing aid for waxy ears.

Cons of RITE Hearing Aids

Now we will have a look at the advantages receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids might have. They are-

Susceptible to Damage

Due to the receiver of RITE hearing aids being positioned inside the ear, they become more susceptible to damage from natural ear moisture, ear wax, sweat, etc. For this, these hearing aids might need replacing every 1 or 2 years, which can cause a lot of extra costs if you don’t have the proper insurance or an aftercare plan.

Easy to Lose

Due to their small size, people might lose them easily while they aren’t wearing them. 

Difficult to Use for People with Dexterity

People that have dexterity problems might find it difficult to use RITE hearing aids as they are small in size and discreet in design. It’s better for people with dexterity problems to go for bigger hearing aid types.

Not Working Well for Severe or Profound Hearing Loss

RITE hearing aids work really well for mild to moderate hearing loss problems, but they are not as good when it comes to more severe or profound degrees of hearing loss


Final Words

Receiver-in-the-Ear or RITE hearing aids are one of the most effective types of hearing aids, especially for people with high-frequency hearing loss, or mild to moderate degree of hearing loss. They come with a big set of advantages like the sleek design, natural sound, comfortable usage, etc. Also, they come with the best of the features like Bluetooth compatibility easily. Apart from that, they have their own share of disadvantages too.

While getting your hearing aids, consult your audiologist to understand which type of hearing aid will suit you the most based on your needs, preferences, and hearing loss type. If all these align well with RITE hearing aids, make sure to get them for you without having second thoughts. 

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