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BTE and RITE
Product Quality

Behind-The-Ear (BTE) and Receiver-In-The-Ear (RITE) instruments involve a case that sits behind the ear and an earmold or dome that goes in the ear canal. Both components are essential to a device’s operation, so Sonic designs them to be robust.

To protect our BTE and RITE devices, Sonic designs and molds instrument cases in a shape that naturally funnels moisture away from internal components and the battery compartment. This is a great first step towards reliability, but Sonic goes even further with protective features like these.

Microphone Membranes

All Sonic BTE and RITE products feature dual microphones, and it’s critical to keep them both in good working order. To keep unwanted debris and moisture out, we cover each microphone with an acoustically transparent membrane. This unique material protects the microphone without changing the characteristics of the audio entering the device. If the membrane itself ever becomes clogged, a hearing care professional can easily replace it without having to send the device back to Sonic.

Microphone membranes as seen on the Flip miniRIC product.

 

Hydrophobic Coating

Moisture around hearing instruments can be hard to avoid — humidity in the air, an accidental spray of water, even sweat from physical activity. Just a brief exposure to these harsh environments can degrade and eventually interfere with the components in a hearing aid. To combat this, Sonic BTE and RITE housings feature a patented, invisible coating designed to repel moisture and oil.

Called a “hydrophobic coating,” this thin, permanent layer is applied through chemical reactions. It makes the surface of a Sonic device chemically stable and resistant to oil and water.

Hydrophobic resistance is measured by how easily a liquid beads up and easily rolls off. A surface is deemed “hydrophobic” at a contact angle of 90 degrees. The coating on Sonic BTE and RITE devices repels moisture at 130°— going a step further to ensure moisture doesn’t enter where it’s not wanted.

The coating surface is also highly resilient. After being immersed in a mildly acidic solution for a period of one week, it retained its water and oil resistant properties.

 

Conformal Coating

Keeping moisture off the surface of an instrument’s housing is the first step in product protection. Sonic also takes measures to safeguard the components inside BTE and RITE instruments.

Interior components are subject to many stresses including condensation from high humidity, vibrations, and electrical noise. Sonic applies a very thin conformal coating to the interior components of all BTE and RITE products. Although only a few hundredths of a millimeter thick, this coating provides an important barrier against moisture and dust. It also bolsters the wiring and soldering on the circuit board with an extra bit of rigid support.

 

Wax Guard (RITE receivers)

With RITE style products – much like Custom models – the receiver is placed in the ear canal. It’s great for hearing — but it’s more subject to moisture, wax, and other debris.

All Sonic Receivers for RITE -style products feature a user-replaceable wax guard. These wax guards act as a front-line of defense, keeping wax and debris out of the receiver, protecting it and keeping it in perfect working order. When a wax guard becomes clogged, simply replace it yourself. No need to visit an office or send your instrument back to Sonic.

Premium protection
There are more precautions than you
might guess that keep your hearing
aid in good working order.

Don’t just take our word

Sonic products have a very high IP rating for water and dust resistance. Learn more about this international standard.

Learn more