Global trends of RIC hearing aid

Regarding the chose of hearing aids, there is an indispensable link, which is also a link that everyone pays attention to-the appearance of the hearing aid. Most hearing-impaired friends hope that hearing aids can be concealed, especially our Chinese users.

Why are RIC hearing aids so popular in developed countries such as Europe and America? The editor takes everyone to find out.


1.What is the RIC hearing aid?

There are three types of common hearing aids:
Behind- the- Ear(BTE)
In- the-Ear (ITE)
Receiver in Canal (RIC)

The RIC type hearing aid is to strip the receiver inside the hearing aid and put it directly into the ear canal. The middle is connected by an external catheter with a special metal wire.
This type of hearing aid is also very concealed to wear. Often only a thin line can be observed from the front and the side, which will be ignored if you are not paying attention; from the back, you can see the small hearing aid body, as long as the hair is slightly longer. Obscured.


2.Why do European and American countries prefer RIC machines?

Looking at the sales of hearing aids in the past 5 years (2016-2021), the majority of users in China mainly use BTE (back-of-the-ear) hearing aids, followed by ITE (in-the-ear hearing aids). The two almost occupy the market. Half the country. The market share of RIC hearing aids is less than 10%, and the growth has been very slow in the past five years.

Our neighboring country, Japan, also has a very large share of ITE, but the market share of RIC hearing aids has gradually increased in the past five years, even invading the BTE market. According to industry forecasts, the proportion of RIC hearing aids will reach 50% by 2024.

In European and American countries, the United States now accounts for 60% of RIC hearing aids, but as early as 2013, the share of RIC hearing aids exceeded 50%. Germany’s RIC hearing aids have also experienced rapid growth in recent years, and are expected to reach 50% of the market share in 2019.

So why are RIC hearing aids so popular in developed countries such as Europe and America?

The survey shows that in the US market 10 years ago, the concealment of hearing aids was the most concerned issue for users. In the latest quarter of 2021, the US hearing aid market survey shows that the sound quality and effect of hearing aids have become the primary consideration for users. Users no longer blindly pursue concealment, and their pursuit of concealment is more rational.

The popularity of RIC hearing aids is largely because it combines the benefits of BTE and ITE.
BTE is considered to be the best choice for people with severe and severe hearing loss. Its advantage is that the battery is large and the service life is relatively long. At the same time, acoustically, because the distance between the sound outlet and the microphone is very long, it is not easy to produce howling when the power is high.

In terms of appearance, ITE (in ear canal hearing aid) and CIC (total ear canal hearing aid) have always been considered the best choices. Their biggest advantage is concealment, but as Asians with relatively small ear canals, sometimes they are not necessarily concealed.

Therefore, we often hear patients complain that ITE is too large in clinical practice, or that CIC has no effect at all.

The RIC hearing aid has a smaller body and a more beautiful appearance. At the same time, it takes into account the advantages of the BTE sound hole and the microphone being farther apart, and can achieve the same effect as BTE in terms of power amplification. In addition, the receiver of the RIC hearing aid is placed in the ear canal, and the receiver of different power can be replaced as needed.


3.What are the advantages of RIC hearing aids?


1) Acoustic advantages

BTE generally uses the conventional No. 13 sound tube to conduct sound. The 13 sound tube conducts sound very well and has enough power for amplification. If you add a horn sound tube, you can also significantly increase the high-frequency gain.

However, the No. 13 sound pipe also has a big disadvantage, that is, the appearance is not good-looking, too thick and too obvious. Therefore, many fitters will replace the 13th sound tube with a thin sound tube when matching BTE (not the thin sound tube of the RIC machine, but the thin sound tube of the BTE). Although the thin sound tube is more beautiful, it has a great influence on the acoustic transmission, which will cause a lot of loss in the high frequency. This means that hearing aids must work harder to compensate for the loss of high-frequency gain, and the end result is that they consume more batteries.

Compared with BTE, the external auditory canal resonance effect of the RIC type hearing aid is smaller, the middle frequency has a smoother response, and the high frequency gain and output can be larger. It can not only have the concealment of a thin sound tube, but also have better sound quality.


2)Less howling

The closer the microphone and receiver are, the higher the chance of howling. Due to the lengthening of the distance between the receiver and the microphone, the probability of howling will be greatly reduced after the RIC is worn.


3) fast maintenance

RIC hearing aids can be repaired quickly in stores. After the receiver is broken, you only need to go to the store and spend a few minutes to replace it with a new one. There is no waiting period for maintenance. The ITE and BTE must be returned to the factory for repair.

In addition, if the patient has hearing loss during one or two years or short-term use of the hearing aid, there is no need to buy a new pair, just replace a receiver.


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Post time: Apr-22-2022