Oticon Hearing Aids
Founded in 1904, Oticon is a Danish manufacturer with the mission: “People first.” With over a century of experience, Oticon is a leader in research and innovation for hearing solutions. It all began with Hans Demant, a Danish man who traveled to England on a quest to find hearing aids for his wife. When he realized the life-changing effects of hearing instruments, he began an import business for others in Denmark.
In the 20th century, Demant’s son William began to innovate and develop the first Oticon hearing aid models – especially after WWII. Currently, Oticon’s hearing aids are designed from research conducted by the Ericksholm Research Institute, through extensive test panels, in-depth interviews, and focus groups.
OPN: An Open Sound Solution
OPN is the newest hearing aid from Oticon, powered by the Velox Processing Platform. Velox is an ultra-fast and precise platform with a 64-band frequency resolution. Velox provides OPN hearing aids with clear sound, which assists the brain’s hearing process. The “open sound solution” empowers OPN hearing aid wearers to focus on the sounds they want to hear, which contributes to significant cognitive benefits.
The OPN has been reported to give wearers a 20% reduction in listening effort in noisy environments and 20% more capacity to remember in challenging noise situations. When the brain no longer struggles to make sense of audio signals, it has more cognitive power to remember. With Velox, OPN hearing aids provide 30% better speech understanding and clarity in noise, compared to previous models of Oticon hearing aids.
OPN offers features such as the OpenSound Navigator Environmental Analyzer, which scans the listening environment 100 times a second, while algorithms analyze, and balance every sound. TwinLink technology offers two wireless systems: near-field magnetic communication to simulate natural binaural hearing with ear-to-ear communication and Bluetooth, to connect to smartphones. With Bluetooth, OPN allows wearers to stream phone calls, music, and other media directly to their hearing aids. OPN is also the world’s first hearing aid to connect to the Internet, with the web service If This Then Then That (IFTTT.com).
OPN is available as a mini receiver-in-canal style hearing aid.
BrainHearing Technology is Oticon’s breakthrough technology. Rooted in the understanding that it is our brain that hears, BrainHearing Technology offers features to assist the brain in the auditory process. Our ears pick up sound, which then travel through the middle ear to the inner ear, where it is translated to neural signals that are sent to the brain to be registered as sounds we recognize.
Hearing loss interferes with one or more steps of this auditory process. BrainHearing Technology is developed with four main features to assist in the various gaps that are left in the hearing process due to hearing loss.
Oticon’s BrainHearing Technology relies on the following features for its success:
1. Speech Guard E: With hearing loss, speech recognition becomes a major challenge. Speech Guard E protects speech, and helps Oticon hearing aid wearers anticipate speech patterns and differentiate between speech noise and background noise.
2. Spatial Sound: Sounds come from different directions in our environment, and with hearing loss, it becomes difficult for our brains to identify the location of certain sounds. Spatial Sound supports the brain in identifying the source of sounds.
3. Free Focus: Free Focus allows Oticon hearing aid wearers to choose the sounds they wish to hear, and hone in with automatic zoom. This especially comes in handy in challenging noise situations, such as busy restaurants.
4. YouMatic: With the understanding that hearing is a very personal experience, YouMatic allows for heightened personalization of Oticon hearing aids, to meet specific hearing preferences.
BrainHearing Technology is available in Oticon’s Alta, Nera, and Ria hearing aids, which are worn completely-in-canal (CIC) or invisible-in-canal (IIC). Oticon offers tinnitus solutions in several hearing aid models, as well as pediatric hearing aids.