Inside each RIC is a computer chip known as the circuit which determines its sound processing capabilities. Circuit design is the battleground upon which the Big Six compete. Though there are some standard core technologies, each manufacturer’s design implementation is proprietary and guarded as intellectual property.
Due to competitive pressures – as in the smartphone market – the Big Six routinely announce upgraded versions of existing circuits, or an entirely new circuit generation. When this happens the models with the outdated circuits often remain on the market for years, making it possible for dealers to sell poor performing technology to unsuspecting consumers.
The only way to protect yourself is to be aware of which RIC models are based upon current generation circuits. This is why Hearing Found advises consumers to only consider RICs with the most current circuit, or with the circuit introduced just prior to the most current (“One-Back”).