6 Best Behind-The-Ear Style (RIC) Hearing Aids REVIEWED

October 25, 2023
Blake Cadwell
Written by
Blake Cadwell
Blake Cadwell

Blake Cadwell is a hearing aid wearer and co-founder at Soundly. He regularly tests and reviews hearing technology to share his experience with Soundly’s readers. Blake's research and perspectives have been featured in the The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, AARP and FastCompany.

Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A
Reviewed by
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A

Dr. Amy Sarow is a practicing clinical audiologist and serves as Audiology Lead for Soundly. Her expertise and experience span topics including tinnitus, cochlear implants, hearing aid technology, and hearing testing. She holds a doctoral degree in audiology from the University of Iowa. During her residency at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sarow was inspired by the three-tiered, patient-centered approach, incorporating clinical work, teaching and research.

Our team of audiologists and hearing aid wearers tested more than 50 products in preparation for this guide. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

Here are some of the factors we consider.

  • Features and usability
  • Customer reviews (both on our team and outside our team)
  • Comfort and form factor
  • Management in background noise
  • Customization and fine-tuning
  • Overall value and price
  • Model of care
Best Overall Value

No Doctor's Visit and 100 Day Returns

  • Bluetooth enabled and rechargeable
  • 100-day risk-free trial
  • Nearly invisible with a sleek design
9.5
Excellent

Approximately 80% of hearing aid wearers have a receiver-in-canal (RIC) device that sits behind the ear. This style of hearing aid is popular for several reasons, including advanced sound quality, comfort, connectivity, and more.

Because of RIC’s popularity, dozens of options exist. Every leading brand has its take on the style, and that can make choosing the right one a challenge.

Our team has trialed nearly every leading receiver-in-canal hearing aid for comfort, quality, and features. We even dunk test them to check their waterproof claims.

Photo from a demo day at Soundly's testing lab.

This guide will dig into the best receiver-in-canal hearing aids on the market.

Prefer to watch? 

Click below for our rundown.

Receiver-in-canal hearing aids all share the same design. 
Diagram showing how RIC hearing aids work.

The body of the hearing aid sits behind the ear, with a small wire that reaches over the top of the ear and down into the ear canal. 

Inside the canal, a tiny speaker (called a receiver) plays amplified sounds from the world around you.

Most receiver-in-canal hearing aids have two microphones on the body of the hearing aid. These microphones gather sounds from the world around you, then process and amplify that sound and send it to the speaker in your ear through the receiver wire. The whole process takes less than half a millisecond. 

Reciever-in-canal and another style, called BTE hearing aids, are sometimes confused. Instead of a speaker inside the ear, BTE hearing aids house the speaker on the body of the device (behind the ear) and broadcast sound down through a rubber tube into the ear. BTE hearing aids are most commonly prescribed for severe to profound hearing loss where more power is necessary. Read our full breakdown of the two styles here

Why are receiver-in-canal hearing aids so popular?

More space for technology.

The first reason is practical. The space behind the ear is a convenient and comfortable place for your hearing aid to rest. Most receiver-in-canal hearing aids are still relatively small, but they are larger than most in-the-ear styles.

That extra space is used for features like Bluetooth, telecoil, and rechargeable batteries. Alternate styles of hearing aids have less space to work with and typically cut out these extra features.

RIC hearing aids are comfortable.

Receiver-in-canal hearing aids also tend to be the most comfortable style of hearing aids due to the lightweight wire and speaker that sit in the ear.

Receiver-in-canal hearing aids are also popular because the style typically takes priority when new technologies are released.

Most manufacturers launch their latest algorithm updates and sound enhancements to receiver-in-canal hearing aids before rolling them out to other styles (usually 6-12 months later).

So how did we choose the list of products below? 

In general, we weighted sound quality, ease of use, and company credibility heavily in selecting the products we recommend.

Ultimately the designs that made this list are a mix of top-of-the-line premium devices and some more affordable options for those looking to purchase on a budget.

One important note is that not all receiver-in-canal hearing aids are programmed the same way.

On the list below, we’ve included hearing aids with three different care models:  

  • Hearing aids that are prescribed by a doctor locally (most hands-on support)
  • Hearing aids that are prescribed through Telehealth (convenient and less expensive)
  • Hearing aids that are sold over the counter with no professional involvement (least expensive)

We’ve included our top two choices in the prescription, Telehealth, and OTC categories.

With all that out of the way, here are the best receiver-in-canal hearing aids on the market as of late 2023. 👇

Group 1 - Telehealth Prescribed

This first group of hearing aids come with professional programming through video and phone calls.

The brands below go direct to consumers and use their scale to save money. The average cost of the products below starts at $1,200 instead of $4,000. For that reason, we are BIG fans of this category for anyone who is relatively tech savvy.

Jabra Enhance Select Hearing Aids
Jabra Enhance Select
Best Overall Value

Jabra Enhance Select

Jabra Enhance Select

$1,195 - $1,995 / pair
Listen to a demo
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Affordable
Behind the Ear
Bluetooth
Rechargeable
Professional Fitting

Jabra Enhance Select hearing aids are made by the world's 4th largest hearing aid manufacturer (ReSound). Jabra Enhance (originally called Lively) made a name for itself by recreating the full-service audiology service online.

Instead of requiring you to come into their office, Jabra reduces the cost by programming remotely and shipping to your home.

All Jabra products come with a 100-day return policy and 3 years of unlimited remote care. You can find the same product for sale at a local clinic for around $4,500.

Get started by filling out Jabra's online survey via the right-hand corner of their website.

  • Overall notes: If you have mild to moderate hearing loss, are on a budget, and want a hearing professional to program your hearing aids to match your hearing loss, this is one of the most compelling products on the market.
  • Price: $1,395 for a pair of battery-powered - $1,695 for a pair of rechargeable, $1,995 for enhanced sound quality
  • Features: Rechargeable, Bluetooth (not hands-free), Behind The Ear Style
  • What audiologists say: “Their audiologists can personalize and program Jabra hearing aids in real-time; highlighting the benefits of telehealth and competent professionals.” - Garrett Thompson, AuD
Soundly Scorecard
+
No items found.
Pros

One of the most affordable and convenient ways to purchase online while maintaining professional care

Comes with a 100 day free-return period

Offers rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth streaming

Cons

Remote care requires users to be somewhat tech savvy

Jabra only offers styles that sit behind the ear

Get Jabra Enhance Select prices and details 👉
See Price
Orka Two Hearing Aids
Orka Two
Best Bluetooth Connection

Orka Two

Orka Two

$1,899 / pair
Listen to a demo
pause
Affordable
Behind the Ear
Bluetooth
Rechargeable
Professional Fitting

Orka Two is one of the most exciting products to join the category in a long time. The product’s design is second to none (although only available in white), and the underlying technology is impressive. Unlike hearing aid incumbents, Orka has figured out how to use a much more powerful General Chip inside their devices (the same chip as AirPods and other consumer tech).

The chip gives them up to 1,000 times the processing power and unlocks features like AI Denoise and universal Bluetooth connection. The tradeoff is battery life - Orka Two lasts 12 hours on a single charge compared to 20-30 hours among traditional options.  

Importantly, Orka’s hearing aids are built-from scratch vs. white labeled from an existing manufacturer. That means Orka can freely deliver updates to their devices over the air (similar to a software update on your phone).

  • Overall notes: A hearing professional on the Orka team programs your hearing aids to match your hearing loss. The product quality and design is top-tier.
  • Price: $1,899 for a pair (Orka just has one product at this time)
  • Features: Rechargeable, Bluetooth streaming to Android, iPhone, TV or Laptop, Behind The Ear Style
Soundly Scorecard
+
No items found.
Pros

A compelling new entrant into the category from ex. Apple and Facebook designers

Comes with a 45 day free-return period and three year warranty

Strongest and most flexible Bluetooth connection on the market

Cons

Remote care requires users to be somewhat tech savvy

Orka only offers styles that sit behind the ear

Orka Two only comes in white at this time

Learn More About Orka 👉
Learn More
Audicus
Largest Telehealth Selection

Audicus

Audicus

$998 - $2,998 / pair
Listen to a demo
pause
Affordable
Behind the Ear
Professional Fitting
Bluetooth
Rechargeable

Audicus was one of the first brands to program hearing aids remotely and ship them to your door. When the brand launched nearly 10 years ago, Audicus was dubbed the Warby Parker of hearing aids. They make their service simple to use and offer a range of simple but effective products.

Unlike other over-the-counter style devices like Eargo and Lexie, you do not need to program your own hearing aids. The Audicus team of hearing specialists walks you through an online test or accepts an existing audiogram.

With the results in hand, they program your hearing aids before shipping. This streamlined process saves you time and cuts the cost by about 50%-70% compared to traditional options.

  • Overall notes: Audicus has more than 7,000 reviews with an impressive average of 4.7 stars. Their customer service and lifetime specialist support are unique to the industry. If you are on a budget and want fully customized hearing aids, Audicus is among the best options available.
  • Price: Models available, ranging from $699-$1,299 per ear.
  • Features: Full range of styles (invisible and behind the ear) and features (Bluetooth and rechargeable)
  • What audiologists say: “Audicus is a fair option for anyone looking for remote care. The Telehealth model helps reduce the final price.” - Garrett Thompson, AuD
Soundly Scorecard
+
No items found.
Pros

Audicus hearing aids are programmed remotely which leads to lower prices and more convenience

Audicus offers a diverse range of styles and pricing including an affordable in-the-canal product

Audicus offers their products with a monthly subscription starting at $99

Cons

Audicus hearing aids are more expensive than some other Telehealth alternatives.

Audicus hearing aids do not come with hands-on support at a local clinic.

Get $100 off any Audicus product with code 100HEARING 👉
See Price

Group 2 - Over-The-Counter

The second group of hearing aids puts the power of tuning in your hands. Each of the brands below sends you an un-programmed device in the mail and walks you through the customization process using a smartphone app.

This model saves you money, and some studies have found that self customization leads to more wearer comfort and satisfaction.

Image of Bose rechargeable hearing aids
Lexie B2+ Powered By Bose
Affordable and Rechargeable

Lexie B2+ Powered By Bose

Lexie B2+ Powered By Bose

$999 / pair
Affordable
Behind the Ear
Rechargeable
OTC
Bluetooth (iPhone Only)

In July 2022 Bose formed a strategic partnership with Lexie (a well respected hearing healthcare company) to release Lexie B1 hearing aids. In October they released a second model with rechargeable batteries. Then in May 2023 they added Bluetooth streaming capabilities for iPhone users. In January 2024 Lexie released a new and improved charger. Constant improvement on an already great product - we love to see it.

Lexie B1 and Lexie B2+ hearing aids are self-fit using an innovative app that allows hearing aid wearers to fit, program, and control their hearing aids with clinically proven, audiologist-quality results. Purchase B1 hearing aids for $849 or rechargeable B2+ hearing aids for $999 (compare models here).

  • How it works:
    ✔️ Start by purchasing Bose online or at a local retailer
    ✔️ Once the product arrives at your home, you'll download the app and self-program the hearing aids to match your hearing loss.
    ✔️ If you need further adjustments, Lexie has a team of licensed professionals who can make remote updates or provide technical advice.
  • Overall notes: If you have mild to moderate hearing loss, are comfortable with smartphone tech, and are on a budget, Bose is one of the most compelling products available.
  • Price: $849 for a pair of B1 hearing aids or $999 for a pair of B2+ hearing aids
  • Features: Rechargeable batteries, Bluetooth Streaming for iPhone users, Programming app, Behind The Ear Style
  • What audiologists say: “One of the simplest to use OTC hearing aids, at a very competitive price. A solid option for those who want to self-manage their mild to moderate hearing loss.” - Garrett Thompson, AuD
Pros

Strong underlying technology

Self-fitting using the Lexie app

Affordable and rechargeable

Cons

Bluetooth for iPhone only  

Only comes in one color

Costs $150 more than disposable battery version

More Reviews + The Latest Pricing and Discounts 👉
See Price
Lucid OTC Hearing Aid Customization
Engage From Lucid Hearing
Sam's Club Upgrade Option

Engage From Lucid Hearing

Engage From Lucid Hearing

$799
Affordable
Behind the Ear
Rechargeable
OTC
Bluetooth

Lucid Hearing is an under-the-radar brand in the OTC market but has some of the strongest technology and experience. The brand is best known as the manufacturer behind all of the Sam's Club hearing center hearing aids.

The brand released two impressive OTC devices in late 2022. Engage is Lucid's rechargeable, Bluetooth enabled and self-fit hearing aid that sits behind the ear. The product comes in several colors and has one of the most stable Bluetooth connections due to a patented antenna.

  • How it works:
    ✔️ Start by purchasing Lucid Engage hearing aids online.
    ✔️ Once the product arrives at your home, you'll download the app and self-program the hearing aids to match your hearing loss.
    ✔️ If you need further adjustments you can take your hearing aids to a nearby Sam’s Club for free service or call Lucid’s hearing specialists.
  • Price: $799 for a pair  
  • Features: Rechargeable batteries, Bluetooth streaming enabled for Android and iPhone, fully customized to your hearing loss using an app, behind the ear style.

Pros

Bluetooth streaming for iPhone and Android

Rechargeable

Self-fit

Cons

Packaging and recharge case are less sleek than Bose and Sony

Purchase Lucid Engage online or at select retailers 👉
See Price

Group 3 - Locally Prescribed

Local audiologists prescribe this final group of hearing aids. They are typically more expensive ($3,000-$8,000 for a pair) and come with top-tier technology.

A few big hearing aid brands manufacture nearly all locally-prescribed hearing aids. The "Big 5" spend millions in R&D and typically lead the way on tech.

There are style and philosophy differences between these traditional options, but they offer the same features and generally the same prices. Think of them as BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus. Different, but also a lot the same.

Phonak Audéo Lumity
Best Bluetooth Connection

Phonak Audéo Lumity

Phonak Audéo Lumity

As low as $3,198 / pair
Behind the Ear
Professional Fitting
Bluetooth
Rechargeable

Phonak Lumity hearing aids are new in August 2022 and replace the world's most popular hearing aid (Audéo Paradise).

Lumity get’s top marks from audiologists for stable Bluetooth connection, precise customization and impressive accessories like the Phonak Roger Pen.

Think of this hearing aid as the Mercedes level. High-end, built by the world's largest hearing company and packed with all the tech you could want.

  • Overall Notes: Audéo Lumity is the #1 hearing aid on the market by sales volume. It offers best-in-class Bluetooth streaming, powerful sound algorithms, remote care, and an innovative ear vent. If you can swing the cost for this premium device, chances are that you'll be very happy.
  • Price: The national average price for Phonak Lumity is $6,213 per pair. In my price research I found two larger providers who offer lower prices starting at $3,195/pair. Click here for more on prices.
  • Features: Rechargeable, Bluetooth and hands-free calling, behind the ear style, motion sensors
  • What audiologists say: “Our patients say that the sound is clear and crisp, while maintaining natural sound quality. Patients also love the unique ability to pair with almost any cell phone and take calls hands-free.” - Garrett Thompson, AuD
Pros

Top of the line customization, Bluetooth connection and rechargeable batteries

Enhanced background noise reduction

Highly water-resistant option available for active lifestyles

Cons

Audeo Lumity is a premium product with an average price of $3,198 - $7,000 per pair

Phonak manages sound quality in a way that can lead to a "closed off" feeling compared to Oticon or ReSound's more open sound quality

Get the full Phonak Lumity breakdown 👉
Learn More
Signia Charge&Go
Sleek Charging Case

Signia Charge&Go

Signia Charge&Go

$3,198 - $4,798 / pair
Behind the Ear
Bluetooth
Professional Fitting
Rechargeable

Signia Pure Charge&Go hearing aids were released in October 2023. They are among the smallest behind-the-ear devices on the market in 2023 and amazingly hold nearly 40 hours per charge (second only to Starkey Genesis AI). Signia is known for limiting background noise by using motion detection to gather information about your surroundings as you move from one space to the next. Their new IX line of devices uses updated beam-forming to track multiple conversations at once. The hearing aids automatically sense when you start walking or sit down and make intelligent decisions about where to focus.

  • Overall notes: Signia Charge&Go IX is a hearing aid for someone on the go. It's the smallest, has the most extended battery life, and offers best-in-class motion-based adjustments.
  • Price: The national average price for Signia 7IX hearing aids is around $7,400 per pair. We've found some national providers with prices as low as $3,198/pair. Click here for more on prices.
  • Features: Rechargeable, Bluetooth, Behind The Ear Style
  • What audiologists say: “Signia offers hands-free streaming (for iOS) and connectivity with their app. It is a solid device with impressive specs and design." - Garrett Thompson, AuD
Pros

Among the smallest body size on the market

Second longest battery with 40 hours per charge

Fully customizable with premium sound processing

Cons

Only sold through local clinics at $3,198 - $7,000 a pair

Does not include a Find My Hearing Aids feature

Get Signia Charge&Go prices and details 👉
Learn More
Image of Starkey hearing aids
Starkey Genesis AI
Longest Battery Life

Starkey Genesis AI

Starkey Genesis AI

As Low As $4,798 / Pair
Behind the Ear
Professional Fitting
Rechargeable
Bluetooth

Starkey released a brand new family of hearing aids in late February of 2023. Starkey Genesis AI replaces Starkey's Evolv AI lineup which was intruduced just a year earlier. Genesis is re-built from the ground up with some mind-blowing features like live translation and fitness tracking.

Genesis boasts the longest-lasting rechargeable battery on the market, with up to 51 hours on a single charge. Most people are fine with 20 hours, but this extra battery life could mean a weekend camping trip without a charge.

  • Overall Notes: Starkey Genesis AI has more tech features than any other brand of hearing aid. If you can afford the premium price and lead an active lifestyle, this product is a great choice.
  • Price: The national average price for Starkey Genesis is $7,350 per pair. I found some national providers with prices as low as $3,598/pair. Click here for more on prices.
    Features: Full range of styles and features including Bluetooth, rechargeability, and fitness tracking.
  • What audiologists say: “Starkey Genesis AI is a solid receiver-in-canal hearing aid option. It is jam-packed with technology; any techy or tinkerer would love it." - Garrett Thompson, AuD
Pros

Great features like AI

TK

TK

TK

Cons

Can be tempermental

Tk

TK

Get Starkey Genesis AI prices and details 👉
Learn More
Soundly team reviewing NEXIA hearing aids
ReSound NEXIA
First Hearing Aid With Auracast

ReSound NEXIA

ReSound NEXIA

As Low As $3,198 / pair
Behind the Ear
Bluetooth
Professional Fitting
Rechargeable

ReSound unveiled NEXIA in October 2023. If you’ve read our past reviews, you might know that ReSound is a regular innovator in the hearing category.

The brand was the first to partner with Apple for Bluetooth streaming back in 2013. In 2022, ReSound released an impressive algorithm update with improved beam-forming tech that boasted a 150% improvement in background noise.

ReSound is also the only manufacturer that places a microphone inside the ear to use the natural shape of the pinna to sort out background noise. Those popular features will remain with ReSound NEXIA with some exciting additions.

The first is a visible reduction in size. Impressively, NEXIA maintains a 30-hour battery life while cutting 25% off the overall size—big thumbs up from us.

The second big announcement is that NEXIA has an updated Bluetooth capability that allows Auracast streaming in public places. If you aren’t familiar with Auracast, check out our guide to the topic here.

ReSound is among the best in the industry at separating speech and noise in a background situation. Our lead audiologist recently put NEXIA in a test box and found the hearing aids could consistently provide up to 8-10 dB of background noise reduction.

ReSound NEXIA is on most of our shortlists for the best premium, receiver-in-canal hearing aids on the market.

  • Overall notes: ReSound NEXIA is an all around excellent product with an innovative approach to microphones and one of the smallest form factors in the industry. ReSound NEXIA has strong Bluetooth connection that now boasts Auracast compatibility.
  • Price: The national average price for ReSound NEXIA is $7,410 per pair. In our price research we've found some national providers with prices as low as $3,198/pair. Click here for more on prices.
  • Features: Rechargeable, Bluetooth with hands-free calling for iPhone and iPad, Small behind the ear style
  • What audiologists say: “ReSound offers elegant design and good (if not elite) sound quality. These hearing aids are high quality and reliable.” - Garrett Thompson, AuD
Pros

Great for background noise management

Auracast compatible

Small form factor and an optional 3rd microphone in the ear

Cons

More expensive compared to direct to consumer and OTC options


NEXIA's in-ear M&RIE microphone is a bit larger and can be uncomfortable for some

Get the full ReSound NEXIA breakdown 👉
Learn More
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