Oticon has released its Oticon Opn™, characterizing it as a paradigm shift in hearing aids that combines breakthrough technologies proven to enable people with hearing loss to experience less listening effort and enjoy better speech understanding.
Powered by the Velox™ platform, the newest BrainHearing™ solution from Oticon employs an “open sound” approach to manage multiple speech and noise sources, even in complex listening situations. The company says the new OpenSound Navigator™ scans the environment 100 times per second to analyze and balance every sound individually. Environmental sounds are said to be accessible, but not disturbing.
With this open sound experience, Oticon reports that it makes traditional directionality, designed to focus on the main sound in front and suppress background sounds, a thing of the past. Users can now focus on a conversation while staying attentive to people and things around them, and switch focus quickly and easily.
“Oticon Opn is the first hearing aid proven to make it easier on the brain,” said Don Schum, PhD, vice president of audiology and professional relations for Oticon Inc. “In testing using pupillometry, a well-recognized measure of stress on the brain, Opn users experienced 20% less listening effort when trying to understand speech. Additional studies show that because Oticon Opn users have freed up mental resources, they are able to remember 20% more of what is said. Testing also shows that Opn increases speech understanding, the parameter most important to users, by 30% over other Oticon hearing solutions.”
Designed specifically for hearing aids, Oticon reports that the Velox platform is a powerhouse of groundbreaking features. The tiny chip is said to have the speed needed to manage multiple sound sources, analyzing and processing sound data 50 times faster than before. A 64-band frequency resolution enables a more precise sound analysis and better sound quality to support the brain’s ability to make sense of sound.
Opn offers TwinLink™ technology, two wireless communication systems in one hearing solution. Power-efficient near-field magnetic communication (NFMI) in one dedicated system is optimized for binaural ear-to-ear communication. Users enjoy high quality sound for better listening in all environments with very low power consumption. A second dedicated system uses 2.4GHz Bluetooth direct streaming for wireless streamer-free communication to smartphones and other devices. Developed specifically for hearing aids, this variant of Bluetooth uses significantly less battery power when streaming.
The free, downloadable Oticon ON App allows users discreet control of their Opn hearing aids as well as other internet-connected solutions.
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 users 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 newest BrainHearing™ solution provides an unprecedented array of innovative technologies that open a world of sound for people with hearing loss,” said Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. “Opn makes it easier for people with hearing loss to communicate and stay socially active, with less listening effort and more ability to remember what is being said. And now, they can even connect their hearing aids to the internet.”
New Oticon Opn hearing solutions are available in the popular discreet miniRITE™. For more information about Oticon Opn, visit the Oticon website, which has recently been updated to make it easy for consumers to find the information that is most relevant and useful to them whatever the stage of their journey to better hearing.
*findings based on preliminary data