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A New Shape for Sound: Widex Launches SmartRIC Hearing Aid with New Design for Better Hearing in Noise

The new Widex SmartRIC's L-shaped design eLevates and aLigns its dual-microphone system for better directivity so you can focus on the things you want to hear.

MOMENT SmartRIC marks a significant departure from Widex's traditional offerings, presenting a fresh approach in both design and functionality. In this video, Audiologist Matthew Allsop gives you his first impressions of the new hearing aid after having been given a preview at Widex headquarters in Denmark. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions clicking on the gear icon.

Widex, one of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers with global headquarters in Denmark and US headquarters in Hauppauge, NY, has launched its new L-shaped SmartRIC receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid designed to improve directional hearing abilities and enhance speech intelligibility.

With its distinctive L-shaped 20-degree curve at the top of the hearing aid, SmartRIC’s dual-microphone directional system is both higher up on the ear and closer to being on the horizontal plane than traditional RICs. This strategic placement reportedly allows the directional microphones to better align with the wearer's focus, leading to an enhanced signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), especially in noisy environments.

The new design melds hearing aid stylishness with innovative function. For people familiar with hearing aids, it reminds one of the elegant curvatures of Signia Styletto and Phonak Lumity Slim hearing aids, except the SmartRIC is said to be engineered to give users added directional hearing for the voices and sounds they wish to focus on.

Widex Smartric With Man

The L-shaped design of Widex SmartMIC provides it with a more horizontal directional microphone alignment for better hearing in noise.

All major hearing aid manufacturers have unique audio processing philosophies, and Widex has traditionally prioritized natural sound above over-processed and compressed sound in most scenarios—a kind of “less is more” approach—while recognizing the importance of directionality and noise reduction in noisy environments. The optimized microphone angles of SmartRIC are meant to enhance directional capabilities in challenging listening situations, ensuring clear and focused speech sounds for the user.

“Elevated on the ear and engineered with improved microphone angles, Widex SmartRIC directs focus where it is needed most—honing in on what truly matters in any sound environment,” said Widex Vice President of Marketing Alan Raffauf in a press statement. “By rethinking the way sound is captured in a hearing aid, we’re helping patients enjoy a more engaged life, a life where they feel more connected to natural sound in any situation.”

Alan Raffauf

Alan Raffauf.

Besides the distinctive L-shaped angle, Widex has incorporated several other design refinements to create a hearing aid that seamlessly integrates into users' lifestyles. The newly designed microphone inlets effectively minimize wind and touch noise—those annoying muffled sounds made when something brushes against a hearing aid—making challenging environments more comfortable and natural for wearers.

SmartRIC is also built upon and shares the same chip platform as its predecessor, Widex MOMENT SHEER, which uses PureSound™ with ZeroDelay™ for a more natural hearing experience. This means the new hearing aid has unparalleled processing speeds, eliminating the artificial, tinny sound often associated with some devices. This results in a more authentic, true-to-life listening experience for wearers, with Widex research suggesting a stronger brain signal when delay (latency) is minimized.

The rechargeable Widex SmartRIC also has an impressive battery life, boasting up to 37 hours of usage on a single charge, making it the company’s longest-lasting RIC.

For added convenience, Widex has introduced its first-ever portable charging solution, which holds an impressive 5 extra charges. The new charger, which is small enough to fit into your pocket or small purse, features LEDs to inform you of its charging status and offers patients hassle-free charging and peace of mind when on the go. The compact case can fully recharge the hearing aids in just 4 hours or provides an additional 8 hours of continuous use with a quick 30-minute charge. It uses a USB-C cable or can be charged on a Qi charger pad.

Widex Smartric And Charger

The Widex SmartRIC Charger carries an impressive 5 extra charges for on-the-go use.

SmartRIC is the first new product launched by Widex since the September 2022 release of Widex MOMENT SHEER, a rechargeable RIC with AI-based sound personalization, stress management, and new tinnitus relief solutions in a modern shell. The MOMENT line was introduced nearly 4 years ago and entails a full range of hearing aid styles from Behind-the-Ear (BTE) to virtually invisible Micro Completely-in-Canal (CIC) solutions.

These devices are well regarded for their sound quality. Widex hearing aids are highly rated for streaming quality and music listening, earning the MOMENT 440 a 2023 Expert Choice Award from the independent HearAdvisor test lab. Additionally, Widex Zen and SoundRelax programs make them uniquely good hearing aids for people with tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

The SmartRIC will be available for purchase this month in five premium color options, providing hearing care professionals and their patients with a powerful new device for delivering the most natural sound experience. HearingTracker reached out to Widex for more details last week about SmartRIC, and we hope to provide more data, pricing information, and specifications about this new product soon.

Source: Widex and HearingTracker

Karl

Editor in Chief

Karl Strom is the editor-in-chief of HearingTracker. He was a founding editor of The Hearing Review and has covered the hearing aid industry for over 30 years.