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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Desira

Types of hearing aids: #1 RIE

There are various hearing aid models to choose from, each coming with a set of advantages and disadvantages for the user as well as the audiologist. In this blog series, I will reviewing the different types, starting off with our most common type, the receiver in the ear (RIE) hearing aid.

An RIE hearing aid has the bulk of the device being behind the ear, with a thin wire connecting the main device to the receiver, which goes directly in the ear. When we say receiver in audiology, we are referring to the speaker which will be emitting sound into your ear.

This creates a very distinctive appearance compared to the more traditional behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid. The overall result is a very sleek hearing aid, with a clear and crisp sound due to the receiver being in the ear.


1) Cosmetics: Since the device is small, it can easily be hidden by hair, glasses or headwear.

2) Receiver: Can be detached and exchanged. So if your hearing degrades further, you don't need a new hearing aid, but a more powerful receiver.

3) Buttons: RIE hearing aids have one or more buttons which allow you to control the device.

4) Comfort: Depending on the hearing loss, the receiver may be held in place using a soft tip. This is more comfortable than a custom mould, which can sometimes feel like a plug.

5) Quality of sound: Since the receiver goes inside the ear, the hearing aid has a better sound quality than a traditional BTE device.


1) Still a type of BTE: For people who don't want anything on their ears, this device is still not their first choice.

2) Profound losses: People who have a profound hearing loss (very severe hearing loss) will often still need to opt for a Super Power BTE device. RIE devices may not be strong enough to cater for such losses.

Although advantages and disadvantages can vary on a case by case basis, these are good overview of what you would expect with this type of model. The choice will always depend on the patient needs and hearing loss. It is always best to discuss this fully with your audiologist.

Should you have any questions regarding an RIE, or any type of hearing aid, feel free to contact us.

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