Oticon Hearing Aids
Founded in 1904 in Denmark, Oticon is one of the oldest hearing aid manufacturers in the world. With over a century of experience, Oticon is a leader in research and innovation for hearing solutions. Oticon is driven by their “people first” mission, rooted in its company history. In the early 20th century, Hans Demant traveled to England to obtain hearing technology for his wife. When he saw the beneficial effects of hearing aids, he became an importer to increase accessibility for others in Denmark.
After World War II, Oticon expanded its scope in technological research and design. Inspired by the scientific dimension surrounding hearing loss, Demant’s son William lead the way to groundbreaking hearing technology. With research and development from the Ericksholm Research Institute, Oticon hearing aids embody a combination of heightened personalization of hearing aid features and cutting edge technology that continues to push the envelope for hearing aid design.
Velox Processing Platform
Oticon has just introduced Velox, an ultra-fast and precise processing platform. Powered by a tiny processing chip that runs at a high speed, Velox manages sounds from your environment 50 times faster than previous Oticon models. Equipped with a 64-band frequency resolution, sound is presented with a clearer quality, which assists the brain’s hearing process. As a result, Velox gives wearers a better listening experience, with less effort. Wearers have reported 20% reduction in listening effort in noisy environments and 20% more capacity to remember in challenging noise situations (because the brain is freed up from struggling to make sense of audio signals). Additionally, Velox provides wearers with 30% better speech understanding and clarity in noise, compared to previous models of Oticon hearing aids.
Velox’s “open sound solution” gives wearers the experience of a full soundscape, even in the most challenging sound environments. Oticon hearing aid wearers are empowered to focus on the sounds they want to hear, while experiencing significant cognitive benefits.
Introducing the new Oticon Opn
Powered by the Velox processing platform, the new Oticon Opn offers wearers improved features and functionality. Opn gives wearers a more sophisticated listening experience with less effort. Building upon Oticon’s previous hearing aid features and innovations, Opn improves BrainHearing by providing wearers with a fuller spectrum of sound in their environment as well as clearer sound signals that better assist the brain in the auditory process. Opn provides an improved and unique feature that sets it apart from traditional hearing aids: while older hearing aids suppress sounds and boost others, Opn gives wearers the full soundscape in their environment.
This is the “open sound” experience that Oticon aims to provide. With more audio information, Opn gives a more natural listening experience. Wearers are now able to simultaneously take in environmental sounds while making the decision to focus on the sounds they want to hear. With a more inclusive sound picture, Opn provides a more natural listening experience, without sacrificing quality.
Opn achieves this exciting new technology with a feature, the OpenSound Navigator Environmental Analyzer. Powered by Velox, OpenSound Navigator scans the full 360 degrees of the wearer’s current listening environment 100 times a second. During this process, algorithms analyze, and balance every sound. With this rich sound picture, Opn wearers are more fully connected to their environment. OpenSound Navigator allows for background noise to help situate wearers within their environment. Oticon reports, “Users can now follow the sounds they want to hear and shift attention when desired. Surrounding sounds are available, but not intrusive so users can focus on the sounds they want to hear, even in noisy situations.
Another exciting feature in Opn is TwinLink technology: two wireless communication systems in one hearing aid. Using near-field magnetic communication (NFMI), Opn simulates natural binaural hearing with ear-to-ear communication between the two hearing aids. This contributes to Opn’s success in giving wearers a listening experience with higher quality of sound. TwinLink is also endowed with Bluetooth accessibility. This gives Opn wearers the option to stream phone calls, music, and other media directly from their smartphones to their hearing aids.
In terms of connectivity, Opn is the first hearing aid in the world to connect to the Internet. With the web service If This Then That (IFTTT.com), Opn hearing aids connect to services offered on the site to connect to sounds commonly experienced in daily life (doorbells, baby monitors, alarms, thermostats, security systems, etc.). Additionally, Opn hearing aids are able to connect to home appliances, car sound systems, and home entertainment systems (gaming, TV, etc.). Internet connectivity ensures that wearers have access to all of the sounds in their lives, in a seamless and user-friendly fashion.
Oticon’s BrainHearing Technology, powered by the Inium platform, assists the brain in the auditory process. When we hear a sound, it is through a complex process that involves both our ears and our brains. Sound waves enter through the outer ear, travels to the middle ear, where it is amplified, then sent to the inner ear. In the inner ear, tiny hair cells turn sound vibrations into electric signals that are received and processed by the auditory cortex in our brains. Inspired by the fact that the brain hears, BrainHearing technology steps in to support the brain in the face of hearing loss.
BrainHearing technology works in conjunction with the brain’s processes and the neural pathways of focusing, orienting, separating information, and recognizing sounds to improve hearing. For individuals who suffer from hearing loss, the brain tries to fill in gaps of sounds they do not hear. This is where BrainHearing technology steps in: with four main features:
1. Speech Guard E – superb speech recognition: Speech Guard E protects speech clarity and details for you to easily understand what is being said – even in noisy surroundings.
2. Spatial sound – locate the sources of sound: Spatial Sound supports your brain’s natural abilities to sense where sounds are coming from – even in noisy situations. This helps you know where to focus your attention.
3. Free Focus – zoom in on what’s most important: Free Focus consists of automatic zoom functions to help you easily focus on the most important sounds. It helps you shift your focus from one conversation to another.
4. YouMatic – shape the sound to suit you: The way you hear is as unique to you as your DNA. YouMatic is a tool to personalize your hearing instruments to your unique and personal hearing preferences and needs. (Source: Oticon BrainHearing Technology Overview)
With these four functions, BrainHearing technology keeps neural paths open and engaged, so that the brain does not exhaust itself in trying to play catch up or fill in gaps.
Other Features and Styles
Oticon hearing aids come in many different styles, with a wireless control in the form of a small remote control the size of a key. This remote control enables wearers to adjust volume and program settings with ease. If wearers connect with their smartphones, they are able to download an app to control hearing aid features and programs. Most Oticon hearing aids have the ability to connect wirelessly.
The new Opn, powered by Velox, is available in a mini receiver-in-the-ear style – powerful, but small and discreet.
BrainHearing technology is available in Oticon’s OPN, Alta, Nera, and Ria hearing aids, which are worn completely-in-canal (CIC) or invisible-in-canal (IIC). These styles are designed with discretion in mind while still maintain a high level of performance.
Hearing Aid Providers
It is important to remember that you are not alone in this process. If you are an important friend or family member in the life of a hearing impaired person, you can be that guide. Hearing loss has the potential to be an isolating experience. For people who have been living with hearing loss, finding the right solution is life-changing. Click below to find the right hearing care provider today.