Oticon Opn S Review
Oticon has a well-earned reputation of producing high quality hearing aids that deliver exceptional sound quality. In March 2019 Oticon launched an upgrade to its highly successful “Opn” hearing aid range (released back in 2016) called “Opn S”.
- Opn S Mini RITE
- Opn S Mini RITE T (includes t-coil)
- Opn S 13 BTE
- Opn S Mini RITE-T Li-ion (lithium-ion rechargeable)
Oticon’s “Open sound” Approach
Like its predecessor, Oticon Opn S uses Oticon’s Velox™ sound processing platform and employs a sound processing approach Oticon calls “open sound”. This approach attempts to improve both sound quality and speech clarity whilst maintaining situational awareness in challenging situations where there are multiple speakers in background noise (e.g. holding a conversation with a group at a table in a busy restaurant).
Traditional hearing aid technology delivers speech understanding in such situations by focusing on one speaker using directional microphone technology. Directional microphones focus on speech coming from the front while suppressing the rest of the sound environment. This improves speech clarity from the front, however can adversely impact situational awareness as well as speech from other directions.
Opn S focuses on delivering both speech clarity and natural sound experience in challenging, complex situations. The goal being to enable wearers to hear speakers they want to hear (no matter where they are located relative to the wearer), while suppressing unwanted background noise so its audible but not disturbing. It is understood that Oticon uses high-speed processing with a clever combination of directionality and noise reduction processing.
One of the upgrades of the Opn S over its predecessor is dramatically improved feedback cancelling.
What is feedback?
Feedback is the whistling noise that occurs when sounds from your hearing aids escape and are re-amplified by the hearing aid (can occur if wearers put a phone to their ear or give someone a hug). Oticon hearing aids have in the past struggled with feedback, however, the Opn S range did reduce the problems. See below video for more information.
Opn S supports direct wireless audio streaming technology enabling wearers to wirelessly connect directly to their iphone without the need for an intermediary device hanging around their neck. Phone calls are clearer since the sound goes straight into their ears and background sound is automatically lowered. Wearers can also listen to televisions, stereos and basically any device that has Bluetooth.
Oticon also offers the free downloadable Oticon ON App that allows wearers the ability to discreetly control their Opn S hearing aids. The app is simple and elegant and can be used to control hearing aid volume and other useful features including:
- Remote microphone – wearers can use their phone’s microphone instead of their hearing aids’ microphones. In situations where the wearer is at a distance to the sound source, the phone can be placed near the sound source (e.g. during a lecture their phone could be placed near the lecturer for improved speech clarity)
- Management Features – Wearers can check the current battery level of their hearing aids. In addition they can access hearing aid instructions as well as a “Find my hearing aid” feature should they misplace them
We continue to be impressed with Oticon Opn’s sound quality. We expect this to be enhanced further with the improvements made to the Otion Opn S’s feedback management system. However, for clients where speech clarity is the main priority, we have found that competitive systems (e.g. Phonak Marvel and Signia Nx) using narrow directionality provides better overall speech clarity. The direct streaming capabilities of the Opn S are excellent with reported high stability and excellent sound quality. The new new lithium-ion rechargeable option ;Opn S Mini RITE-T Li-ion, is a great addition to the Oticon range. In our experience, the lithium-ion rechargeable models are the easiest hearing aids for wearers to manage in the industry.
Sounds of Life would recommend the new Opn S to anyone who is active and regularly find themselves in challenging listening situations and who also require direct audio streaming capabilities.
Sounds of Life offers the Oticon Opn S at Brisbane’s most affordable prices:
- Premium: Opn™ 1 S – $3790
- High-end: Opn™ 2 S – $2990
- Mid-range: Opn™ 3 S – $2300
Lithium-ion rechargeable models are available (extra cost)
About Sounds of Life
Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist. We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.
Contact Us today on 1300 744 432