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Widex SmartRIC Launch

Widex SmartRIC on someones ear

On the 15th March 2024, we were invited to the highly anticipated launch of the latest hearing aids by Widex.

For nearly 70 years, Widex have been pursuing the ultimate goal of natural sound.  These guiding principles have helped push Widex to the forefront of innovation.

What is a SmartRIC?

The Widex SmartRIC adds to the existing portfolio of receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids and utilises the existing chipset. It is the first time Widex have introduced what is often known as a ‘style RIC’. A style RIC is a device that has no buttons or on-device functionality. It prioritises style and design over the classic features on hearing aids such as volume or program control.

Widex SmartRIC

Why prioritise style?

For many people, the appearance of their hearing aids really matters. They want something they won’t feel embarrassed to wear and although hearing aids are getting trendier over time, the industry still has a long way to go until it is fashionable, like glasses for example.

Is it style over substance?

No. Although we lose on-device functionality we do not see the performance compromised at all. In fact, Widex believe this is the best RIC device they have ever made because of their new L-shaped design. The design helps to optimise the microphone placement, which helps with performance in background noise and reduces wind and touch noise.

Improved microphone directionality

Widex report that the improved directionality is a result of the microphones being at a more horizontal angle. A more horizontal angle helps to improve directionality. Directionality helps to improve signal to noise ratios.

Reduced wind and touch noise

Touch noise is the rustling noise you get when you move your hair or scratch your ear. It creates quite an annoying noise in the ears which takes time to get used to.

Wind noise is also a common complaint with hearing aid wearers, particularly with our clients living close to the sunny beaches of Whitstable.

Widex have recognised these annoyances and they have redesigned the microphone covers to try and overcome this. To do this, the microphone inlets have been moved to the side and they are now flat, with no protruding inlets. This is to make them more aerodynamic and also helps to protect them from touch noise. It has helped to reduce touch noise by up to 88% and wind noise by up to 20dB (according to studies conducted by Widex).

Limitations of a style RIC

Style RIC’s with all their beauty do have their limitations.

The only way to turn the devices on or off is to place them in the charger. Not an issue if you wear your devices ‘full-time’ but it isn’t ideal for people who are ‘part-time’ wearers, unless you are happy to carry the charger with you at all times.

If you like to adjust your hearing aid volume, or perhaps access additional programs for music or noisy restaurants, you will need an up-to-date smart phone. The SmartRIC utilises its Bluetooth capabilities to connect with the phone and associated app.

These limitations mean that style RIC’s are really only suited to individuals that are open to the use of smartphones, or they prefer to just put them in first thing in the morning and leave them alone until they take them out at night.

Widex smartRIC charger

Charging times

Battery life is an important consideration when it comes to hearing aids and Widex have some impressive figures to boast about:

  • Full hearing aid charge = 4 hours
  • Fast charge = 30 mins (8 hours of use)
  • 37 hours of life without streaming
  • 27 hours with 8 hours of streaming
  • 5 full hearing aid charges
  • 7 days of full use before charging the charger
  • Minimum 3 full hearing aid charges even after 3 years of use

This means, when it comes to battery life, the devices should be suitable for just about anyone, no matter how nomadic or dynamic their lifestyle may be.


Widex generally only make a noise when they’ve got something to say and so they are clearly feeling confident that this product is going to be a proud addition to their portfolio. Although style RIC’s do have their limitations through their limited on-device functionality, they are really appealing to the right client due to their more thoughtful design and appearance.

We at Whitstable Hearing, look forward to offering the Widex SmartRIC to our clients and so if you are interested in learning more, please do call us today on 01227 851 033 or email

We will get you booked in for a comprehensive hearing evaluation, and guide you towards the most appropriate hearing technology based on your unique hearing profile.