Oticon Real Hearing Aid Review – Addressing Real World Hearing Challenges
In March 2023, Oticon launched in Australia its new premium hearing aid range called Oticon Real. Oticon Real supersedes Oticon’s current premium hearing aid range; Oticon More. Oticon’s focus with Oticon Real appears to be in addressing the common, ”Real” everyday issues hearing aid wearers experience.
Oticon Real shares the same platform foundation as its predecessor: Oticon More. Rather than using a completely new sound processing chip, Oticon Real uses Oticon’s existing Polaris chip released with Oticon More. When released, the Polaris chip supported the world’s first deep neural network (a type of artificial intelligence) to be used in a hearing aid. This technology was aimed at delivering a more personalised and natural experience for wearers. For more information on the benefits of this technology see our Oticon More review: https://www.soundsoflife.com.au/oticon-more-hearing-aid-review/
Using an existing chip platform limits the scope of development for new features. As expected, this is exactly the case with Oticon Real. Oticon Real seems to be only a modest upgrade over the Oticon More. The main improvements relate to some of the features in Oticon’s automatic adaption system called MoreSound Intelligence 2.0.
All modern hearing aids are designed to be automatic. Just like an automatic car, which automatically changes gears, hearing aids analyse the environment and automatically turn different features on and off depending on the requirements of the situation (e.g. if the situation is noisy a directional microphone may be turned on). The goal of such a system is to always optimise speech intelligibility, sound quality and comfort, no matter the listening environment. Oticon Real features an upgraded automatic system called More Sound Intelligence 2.0 featuring some minor improvements.
Improved Wind and Handling Noise
The first new feature released with Oticon Real is an upgraded wind and handling stabiliser feature which detects and cleans up wind and handling noise. Wind noise can be a real challenge for hearing aid wearers, particularly when outdoors (e.g. playing golf, walking the dog). People who have used any form of microphones outdoors would have an appreciation of the challenges of managing the audible interference and disruption caused by wind. Oticon claims that testing in a wind tunnel showed that compared to leading competitors, Oticon Real was able to both reduce wind noise and provide better speech clarity. On top of that, they claim they have also reduced the impact of handling noise, which is the sound that your hearing aid makes when it’s touched. This is unavoidable when wearers take their hearing aids on and off.
Improved Sudden Sound Stabiliser
The second new feature, available in Oticon Real is the Sudden Sound Stabiliser. Integrated into More Sound Intelligence 2.0, the new stabilisation system detects soft, loud, and sudden sounds to ensure they are not uncomfortably loud or intrusive ensuring a more natural listening experience.
Oticon Real Range
The Oticon Real range consists of two rechargeable and two non-rechargeable models. In terms of their design, these models are almost identical to what is offered with Oticon More. In our opinion the styling offers a good balance between discreet design and manageability with easy-to-use controls.
The miniRITE T is a receiver-in-the-ear (RIC/RITE) model with a disposable size 312 battery
The miniBTE T is a behind-the-ear (BTE) model with a size 312 battery.
The miniRITE R is a receiver-in-the-ear (RIC/RITE) model with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery
The miniBTE R is a behind-the-ear (BTE) model with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery
In terms of sales volumes, rechargeability is by far the most popular option for clients due to improved ease of use and convenience. Oticon provides two charging options: (1) Desk Charger and (2) Smart Charger.
The Smart Charger is the best option featuring an in-built powerbank. This means wearers can take the charger when travelling, without the need to access main power for 4 to 5 days. The Smart Charger also features a drying function that removes moisture.
Oticon Real is available in three technology levels: Real 3, Real 2 and Real 1 being the top-of-the-range model. The feature-sets of each model is shown in table 1.
At Sounds of Life we have always been impressed by how well Oticon hearing aids are accepted by wearers, particularly first-time wearers. Oticon goes to a lot of effort to optimise sound quality and provide wearers with as natural sound as possible. Although Oticon Real appears to be only a small upgrade over Oticon More, we believe its still one of the best hearing aids on the market, further enhancing Oticon’s reputation of producing high quality hearing aids. Are you looking at getting new hearing aids? Sounds of Life is currently looking for volunteers to trial the new Oticon Real.
About Sounds of Life
Sounds of Life audiology is a member of Audiology Australia and Independent Audiologist Australia. We adhere strictly to Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics. We pride ourselves on:
- Being fully independent – We are not owned or operated by a hearing aid manufacturer or large chain.
- Ethical Practices – We are focused on providing the highest level of care and do not pay commissions.
We also follow the Australian Government Hearing Services’ protocol for hearing services.