2023 update: the Neosonic Mini RIC is no longer available. For an RIC model from the same company, I recommend the Neosonic MX-RIC (which is even recommended in and of itself).
The Neosonic Mini RIC is this company’s receiver-in-ear model. Many other companies have added such a model hearing amplifier to their catalogue. The different configuration of a RIC compared to classic BTE hearing amplifiers helps increase the sound quality, and the last few years have seen many brands offer a RIC model. Neosonic followed this trend halfway 2019.
With Neosonic’s excellent reputation, this model might bring something exciting to the mix of RIC models. Their sound quality is usually excellent, and the RIC configuration might add to that even more. On top of that, the company has good customer service, good conditions for returning or repairing your device, and a 45-day trial.
This all sounds promising, which is why we’ll review the Neosonic Mini RIC in more detail below. We’ll explore the key features, see how it works in every-day life, and find out if there are any downsides to Neosonic’s RIC hearing amplifier. In the end, I’ll give you a buying recommendation and mention some alternatives. If you can’t wait for the verdict, there’s a 30-second visual summary at the bottom of this post.
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Key features of the Neosonic Mini RIC Hearing Amplifier
The first key feature for the Neosonic Mini RIC is right there in the name: it’s very small. Not only is it small for a hearing amplifier, it’s also lighter and smaller than other RIC models in similar price categories.
The model type is another key feature. In 2019, many manufacturers added a RIC model to their catalogue. Conventional behind-the-ear hearing amplifiers use a hollow tube to bring the (digitally processed) sound into the ear canal. The receiver-in-canal model brings the digital sound directly into the ear canal, minimizing a loss of sound quality.
Most RIC models have a handicap, however. The increase in sound quality usually comes with compromises, such as a lack of volume settings or less sound processing than in comparable BTE models. The Neosonic Mini RIC doesn’t suffer from compromises. It processes sound at a high quality and delivers it straight into your ear canal.
The sound quality itself is the last key feature. While four-channel processing isn’t spectacular, it trumps the competition. That means Neosonic brings you an affordable RIC model with all options intact and no compromises on sound quality.
Who is this hearing amplifier for?
The high frequency focus of this model is common in hearing amplifiers. Because amplifiers are tailored as a one-size-fits-all solution to hearing problems, the focus on high frequencies helps solve the problems of age-related hearing loss.
With a 48 dB peak gain (the measureable sound increase), users up to moderate hearing loss can use the Neosonic RIC. The light weight and relative ease of use make it a good option for first-time users.
How well does the Neosonic Mini RIC Hearing Amplifier work?
Above, I mentioned that the Neosonic has more features than comparable models. With four listening programs and a memory function, you can adjust your hearing amplifier to the current situation. The memory function means that (under normal circumstances) the Neosonic RIC will start on the same listening program you left it on.
The batteries (size 10) last for around four days, depending on how much you use the amplifiers during the day. This battery life is a bit low, but nothing to be worried about.
Many people report that the Neosonic Mini RIC is comfortable to wear. In fact, the device seems to take less time to get used to than the average hearing amplifier. While a small size can also be an issue, most people prefer a smaller hearing amplifier over a bigger one.
What’s not to like about the Neosonic Mini RIC Hearing Amplifier?
While a small size is great, it can give some difficulties in handling the device. While this is more a reflection on hearing amplifiers in general, the particular small size of the Neosonic Mini RIC might pose problems for more people than normal. The only way to really test this is to order a pair and see how hard it is to operate the hearing amplifier.
From here on, it’s nit picking. There just isn’t that much wrong with these hearing amplifiers. They’re only available in one color. There is no volume change feedback. But I have to stress that these are small problems, especially considering how affordable the Neosonic RIC model is. They’d be nice extras to have, but the Neosonic is already quite extra.
Hearing amplifiers that are good alternatives
Since I wrote this review, you’ll need an alternative, because the Mini RIC is no longer available. In its place, Neosonic now has the MX-RIC hearing aid. It’s a far better model, which comes highly recommended.
For other alternatives, there’s the Otofonix Encore. This model is a classic BTE model, but still manages to outdo the Neosonic Mini RIC in almost every aspect (although it is bigger). It also has two microphones and a telecoil function. For a smaller budget, the Banglijian BL16R is a good alternative.
Should you buy the Neosonic Mini RIC Hearing Amplifier?
Yes, probably. In a more recent RIC hearing amplifier comparison article, the Neosonic Mini was chosen as the ‘Best Product’. Only if you’re looking for something else specifically, the alternatives above might be a better fit than the Neosonic Mini RIC. When you’re just looking at comparable hearing amplifiers, you’re not going to find a better device for a better deal. On top of that, Neosonic is a real company with real customer service, which makes buying or trying the model a lot easier.
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