Oticon has introduced a completely new line of hearing aids called the Opn. The line actually only has one hearing aid model, but it comes in three levels of technology. Oticon has done some new things with the Opn: a new chipset, a completely new strategy to deal with directionality, and it has given the device access to the internet. Specifically, it has allowed the aid to join and use the If This Then That (IFTTT) network.
For a hearing aid, this is pretty mind blowing stuff and the amount of people who may make full use of this connection is probably limited right now. But, and it is a big but, it points the way to the future, or what Oticon sees as the future of hearing devices.
It is actually a future that I quite like: the connection of the hearing aids to the IFTTT network will allow ever deeper integration into the daily activities of users. It will also in real terms make their lives better, and that has to be a good thing. Let’s talk about the Oticon Opn.
Oticon’s Latest Most Advanced Premium Solution
Oticon says that they believe that hearing solutions up to now have been narrow in their focus, delivering what they call tunnel vision. The focus they are speaking about is how directional microphones work. The focus has always been on the speaker to the front, ignoring and shutting out all other speakers. They thought that there had to be a better way than this narrow and artifical listening experience.
They also feel that limiting those sounds under-stimulates the brain and deprives it of the context needed for understanding. In a way this does make a lot of sense. Naturally we hear everything. The brain uses it’s natural abilities to sort out the sounds.
Oticon thinks that reducing the access to the sound in this artificial way stresses the brain and makes it harder for it to focus naturally and switch attention to something else when needed. Such under- stimulation makes social interaction much less enjoyable, and they believe that it increases the likelihood of social withdrawal and the potential for faster cognitive decline.
Increased cognitive decline caused by hearing loss is something that we in the profession have been worried about for some time. Their new, groundbreaking technology is fast and precise enough to analyze and follow the acoustic environment you are in, differentiating between individual sounds. They believe that their new strategy will allow you to constantly open up and balance individual sounds to deliver a rich and meaningful soundscape, empowering your brain to choose what to focus on, and easily change focus if it so desires.
In this way, they believe they are taking a fundamental step forward in improving speech understanding in complex environments while, at the same time, preserving mental energy.
Open Up A Closed World
The open sound experience makes it easier to listen to multiple speakers at the same time in challenging environments. Through proven research methods we can document that users are less exhausted from trying to understand what is going on when wearing Oticon Opn, ultimately leaving them with a 20% reduction in listening effort and consequently more energy. This actually ensures that users remember 20% more of what is being said in typical environments for conversation. Additionally, brain capacity is released to actively reflect and respond, rather than being used trying to understand what is being said.
Less listening effort – reducing the load on the brain in noisy environments
More capacity to remember – freeing up mental resources, enabling the user to recall more in noisy environments
Better speech understanding – even in the most noisy environments, without suppressing surrounding sounds through narrow directionality
Less stress. Remember more. Better hearing. Oticon Opn™ introduces groundbreaking technology that is fast enough to support the brain. With precision and accuracy, it analyzes the acoustic environment and differentiates between the individual sounds. The result is a significant improvement in the ability to understand speech in complex environments while, at the same time, preserving mental energy – ultimately empowering users to open up to the world. Users are provided with more accurate information making it easier to locate and separate sound sources so they can focus on what they find important. This happens so quickly it facilitates the listener’s ability to change focus when desired.
This is the premium hearing aid in Oticon’s line which uses their new Velox Sense processing chip. This line is a completely new way of processing sound and is suitable for more demanding listening environments.
Oticon Opn is available in a compact, newly designed miniRITE that sits discreetly on the ear. Oticon Opn offers a wealth of new features and functionalities all incorporated in a sleek and modern 312 battery-based design. The Opn is available in a range of colors, however, there is only one model:
- Oticon Opn Mini RITE: The device is a wireless slimline ‘Mini-Receiver-In-Ear (miniRITE)’ hearing aid using a 312 battery that is available in three levels of technology.
A revolutionary feature that balances sound and noise sources to provide 30% better understanding of speech in noise. This feature is a pioneering approach to help people with hearing loss navigate in complex and dynamic environments. OpenSound Navigator is a new integrated speech-enhancement algorithm that preserves speech and reduces noise in complex environments. This is enabled by the new revolutionary Multiple Speaker Access Technology (MSAT), which ensures access to all speakers in a dynamic environment.
Locate, follow and shift focus to the speakers you want to hear Spatial Sound™ LX combines a number of advanced technologies to provide a more precise spatial awareness to help users identify where sound is coming from. Using the energy-efficient and fast binaural communication offered by NFMI, Spatial Sound LX preserves interaural level differences in four frequency bands. This maintains the sense of location and direction naturally provided by the head shadow effect.
This feature ailors OpenSound Navigator to individual needs and preferences, YouMatic LX is the pesonalization feature in Oticon Opn that intelligently controls the level of performance and response of the OpenSound Navigator across listening environments. YouMatic LX ensures that the OpenSound Navigator delivers the optimized open sound experience to individual users, and at the same time, provides the best possible speech understanding in difficult, noisy situations.
Speech Guard LX
SpeechGuard mproves speech understanding in noisy environments Speech Guard LX preserves clear, transparent sound quality and speech details for better speech understanding with less effort even in complex environments. Speech Guard LX uses adaptive compression and is the only amplification technology that combines the benefit of linear amplification and fast compression. Linear amplification is applied in a 12dB dynamic range window to preserve amplitude modulation cues in speech signals.
Soft Speech Booster LX
Improves soft speech understanding up to 20% Soft Speech Booster LX makes soft sounds audible to people with hearing loss. By increasing access to the soft sounds that occur in most situations and conversations, Soft Speech Booster LX improves soft speech understanding by up to 20%.
Better sound quality in the full dynamic range of life Clear Dynamics expands the input dynamic range, processing input sounds up to 113 dB SPL, to provide better sound quality without distortion and artifact at loud input levels, while still keeping the sound quality of soft input levels intact. Clear Dynamics has an operating range from 5 to 113 dB SPL.
Wind Noise Management
Better access to speech in situations with wind noise With the powerful Velox platform, Wind Noise Management offers innovative and highly efficient wind noise suppression. High speed estimators analyze the presence of wind noise 500 times per second in 16 frequency channels for fast and precise application of up to 30 dB wind noise reduction. Wind Noise Management attenuates wind bursts in less than 50ms, making it fast enough to precisely attenuate wind between words.
FeedBack Shield LX
Dual-microphone feedback system eliminates feedback rapidly and effectively Feedback is uncomfortable and annoying. With Feedback shield LX, Oticon Opn delivers ultra-fast and effective feedback management without compromising audibility or sound quality.
I really like the idea of the Oticon Opn and what it may herald for the future of hearing aid technology. Every hearing aid manufacturer right now is innovating: rechargeable hearing aids, hearing aids powered by fuel cells, hearing aids that can be programmed remotely by your professional, to name just a few of the innovations happening and planned right now. All of these new innovations allow hearing aids to be better, allow users to hear better and allow users to simply live better. That has to be a good thing. If you would like to know more about hearing aids, hearing loss or if you would like your hearing tested in Cleveland, give us a call at 440-248-4790, or book an appointment online now. We will be happy to see you.