Early 2021,the Neosonic MX moved to the top of my list of best hearing amplifiers, and now competition has arrived. The Neosonic MX-RIC is, as you can imagine, closely related to the Neosonic MX. However, this MX-RIC model also features some distinctive extras. At first sight, the sleek black hearing aids are distinctive enough, but there’s more to be excited about.
In this review for the Neosonic MX-RIC, I’ll first go through the model itself: key features, possible downsides, and general performance. Then, I’ll also devote some time to comparing it to alternatives, most specifically its older brother. As always, I conclude with a visual 30-second review that you find at the bottom of this page.
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This model is the ‘Editor’s Pick’ for the best hearing aids in 2022.
Key features of the Neosonic MX-RIC
At first sight, the key feature for the Neosonic MX-RIC seems to be the black design. They look slick, which I always appreciate. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter what they look like. The devices are really too small to flaunt them. Behind the exterior, however, there are plenty of key features left. It charges faster than its competitors, giving you 20 hours of battery usage after a 90-minute charge.
More distinctively, the Neosonic MX-RIC is water-resistant. The IP65 rating is standardized code for: “Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.” Additional research showed me that the product needs to withstand this water ‘pressure’ for a duration of 15 minutes, while the nozzle is three yards away. Now I don’t advise you to take a nozzle and try this at home, but if you’ve ever had a pair of hearing aids ruined because you were surprised by rain, you understand how important this feature is.
Other than that, the MX-RIC replaces the old Neosonic RIC model. RIC stands for receiver-in-canal, indicating a configuration other than the ‘standard’ behind-the-ear hearing aids. With an RIC model, a wire brings the sound into your ear canal, whereas a behind-the-ear model uses a hollow tube. As you can imagine, a digital wire generally has less distortion than a hollow tube.
Who is this hearing amplifier for?
First of all, the model is perfect for anyone specifically looking for an RIC model or a pitch black hearing amplifier. The water resistant feature further makes the MX-RIC perfect for people who love spending time outdoors. Naturally, you don’t take any hearing amplifiers for a swim, but if you’re someone who loves taking a hike, you know that sweat and rain can quickly ruin most hearing aids – this Neosonic model offers a great option that doesn’t limit you.
How well does the Neosonic MX-RIC work?
The MX-RIC is an upgraded version of the previous Neosonic MX model – a promising start. Indeed, the Neosonic MX-RIC comes with all the works we’ve come to expect from this manufacturer: dual microphones, a great sound quality, enhanced background noise reduction capacities, and excellent customer support (tip: buying your hearing aids directly from Neosonic gives you a 10% reduction on the price). You can try the MX-RIC for 45 days, and automatically receive a one-year warranty.
What’s not to like about the Neosonic MX-RIC?
If I’m honest, there’s very little not to like about the Neosonic MX-RIC. The price is higher than other models, but still very competitive. The black design is optional, and everything technical about the MX-RIC is great. People who prefer a classical behind-the-ear setup might want to try the normal Neosonic MX, but that would be a very select group of people. The only option missing on the MX-RIC is a telecoil. If that’s a priority for you, you should consider the Otofonix Helix.
Hearing amplifiers that are good alternatives
With the introduction of this newest RIC model, Neosonic reduced the price of the older model – the Neosonic MX. This is good news if you like the idea of this model, but you don’t ever see yourself needing the water resistant features. If you’re looking for an over-the-counter hearing aid but need a telecoil function, consider the Otofonix Helix. For an even more affordable option than the Neosonic MX, its little brother, the Neosonic B10 might be worth considering by itself. The Neosonic B20 was introduced later, and is best described as the MX-RIC’s little brother.
What’s the difference between the Neosonic MX and the Neosonic MX-RIC?
The biggest difference between the Neosonic MX (read review here) and the Neosonic MX-RIC is right in the name. The RIC configuration means that sound is transferred through a digital wire instead of a hollow plastic tube, as is the standard. Aside from that technical detail, the RIC model has some other upgrades, like: an improved battery that charges faster, and water resistant features that make this model particularly interesting for active people.
After the MX-RIC, Neosonic introduced a new MX version in late 2021: the Neosonic MX Smart. This hearing aid is based on the original MX and instead of offering RIC functionalities, it boasts an app-controlled hearing aid that is operated remotely.
Should you buy the Neosonic MX-RIC?
Definitely. If you’re in the market for hearing aids, I can’t think of a better balanced over-the-counter model than the Neosonic MX-RIC. The water resistant features make it a great option if you love spending time outdoors, and the flash charging is another plus. While it’s the most expensive over-the-counter hearing aid by Neosonic, it’s also packed with features and still cheaper than its main competitor, the Otofonix Helix.