Oticon Opn Review
Oticon has a well-earned reputation of producing high quality hearing aids that deliver exceptional sound quality.
Opn™ is Oticon’s latest generation of hearing aids built on its new Velox™ sound processing platform and includes two new innovations: a new sound processing approach called “open sound” and direct audio streaming with internet connectivity.
Opn™ employs a new sound processing approach Oticon calls “open sound”. The new 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. Over the years directional microphone technology has improved and today offers excellent performance in challenging situations. In fact research has shown that the speech understanding of wearers with hearing aids featuring narrow directionality (used in Siemens binax hearing aids) was significantly better than even normal hearing people in challenging environments*
Opn™ 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. See below video for more information.
Opn™ 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™ 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
Opn™ is the first hearing aid that can connect to the emerging “internet of things“. Opn™ connects to the Internet via If This Then That (IFTTT.com), a web service that automates other web-based functions to make life easier. Users can connect to a wide range of IFTTT-enabled devices used in everyday life such as door bells, baby monitors, and thermostats. Opn™ provides wearers with a solution that will enable them to use their hearing aids with a growing number of IFTTT-compatible products and services as they become available.
Our experience with our clients fitted with Opn™ is overall sound quality is excellent. In challenging situations for most clients it does provide a good balance of speech clarity and sound quality whilst maintaining situational awareness. For clients where speech clarity is the main priority, we have found that competitive systems (e.g. Phonak Belong and Signia Primax) using narrow directionality provides better overall speech clarity. The direct streaming capabilities of the Opn™ are excellent with reported high stability and excellent sound quality.
Sounds of Life would recommend the new Opn™ to anyone who is active and regularly find themselves in challenging listening situations and who also require direct audio streaming capabilities.
Oticon Opn™ is currently available in receiver-in-canal models across three performance levels: 1, 2 and 3. Opn™ 1 is the premium model (released in Australian in May 2016). Opn™ 2 and 3 are high-end/mid range models (released in Australia in November 2016).
Sounds of Life offers the Oticon Opn™ at Brisbane’s most affordable prices:
- Premium: Opn™ 1 – $3690
- High-end: Opn™ 2 – $2990
- Mid-range: Opn™ 3 – $2100
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
*Two clinical studies have shown that binax provides better than normal hearing in certain demanding environments (University of Northern Colorado, 2014; Oldenburg Hörzentrum, 2013): Speech Reception Thresholds (SRT) in cocktail-party situations improved up to 2.9 dB for wearers with mild to moderate hearing loss using Carat binax or Pure binax hearing aids with narrow directionality, compared to people with normal hearing.