The Most Physically Comfortable Hearing Aid: The Starkey Genesis AI RIC

Starkey Genesis on back of ear, wearing all day, comfortable

Choosing a hearing aid hinges on many factors, one of the foremost being comfort. The right hearing aid significantly improves the user experience, transcending personal preferences and needs. The Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) device with open domes is widely recognized for its comfortable fit. But amongst the RIC devices, the Starkey Genesis AI RIC surpasses its contemporaries, thanks to its recent redesign enhancing physical comfort and durability.

The Comfortable Choice: Starkey Genesis AI RIC

The Starkey Genesis AI RIC offers unparalleled physical comfort, positioning it as a top choice for hearing aid users. The latest redesign focuses on enhancing the fit on top of the ear for a more comfortable user experience. The device’s receivers now come reinforced with Kevlar, a feature that significantly amplifies their durability.

Starkey Genesis new RIC model fits more comfortable on pinna of ear
Taken from Starkey Presentation Slide.

Personal Recommendation: Having tested various hearing aids, the Starkey Genesis AI RIC stands out as the most comfortable. The device’s recent redesign and robust construction make it an appealing choice for those prioritizing fit and comfort.

Starkey Genesis new hearing aid increase comfort on curvature of ear

General Recommendation: RIC Device with Open Domes:

The RIC device with open domes boasts several advantages that contribute to its popularity and comfort. It places the receiver inside the ear canal, connecting it to the main body worn behind the ear. Open domes, the small vented tips fitting inside the ear canal, significantly improve the comfort and user satisfaction.

Key benefits of the RIC device with open domes include:

  1. Better Ventilation: This feature reduces the sensation of ear occlusion common with other hearing aid styles.
  2. Natural Listening Experience: The absence of the occlusion effect offers a more natural listening experience. This is especially beneficial for individuals with good low-frequency thresholds but high-frequency hearing loss.

For these reasons, most over-the-counter hearing aids are being made with an open dome.

Custom Molded Earpiece: An Alternative for Enhanced Comfort

While the RIC device with open domes offers supreme comfort, some users may prefer alternatives due to personal preferences or sensitivities. A custom molded earpiece is a fitting alternative for users experiencing discomfort or itchiness with open domes.

A custom molded earpiece offers:

  1. Personalized Fit: The earpiece is tailored to fit the unique contours of an individual’s ear, ensuring a comfortable fit.
  2. Minimized Risk: The custom fit reduces the risk of irritation and itchiness.
  3. Improved Stability: The snug fit offers enhanced stability for active individuals.

Acoustic Comfort and Degree of Hearing Loss

Besides physical comfort, the acoustic comfort of a hearing aid is another crucial aspect to consider. For individuals experiencing hearing loss primarily in high frequencies, the RIC device with open domes provides an excellent balance. The open domes allow for high-frequency amplification without causing the occlusion effect, ensuring a comfortable and balanced sound experience.


When comfort is a priority, the RIC device with open domes, particularly the Starkey Genesis AI RIC, is a commendable choice. Its redesigned fit and durable build make it a standout choice for a physically comfortable wearing experience. However, individual preferences might lead some users to a custom molded earpiece for enhanced comfort. Regardless, it’s crucial to consult a hearing care professional to find the hearing aid that best meets your physical and acoustic needs for a truly comfortable and satisfying hearing experience. If you need help finding a professional near you, I recommend checking out ZipHearing who works with many providers across the country.

Jonathan Javid Au.D.

Jonathan Javid Au.D., a seasoned audiologist with an extensive background in the field of audiology. With over 11 years of invaluable clinical experience, Jonathan has dedicated his career to helping individuals enhance their hearing and improve their quality of life.

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