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Thread: Oticon Opn Feedback

  1. #1

    Default Oticon Opn Feedback

    Hi all....I would appreciate any feedback from people who have trialed, or Audi's that are dispensing the Oticon Opn's? Per their literature, It seems to be a giant break-through in programming. Is the hoopla true?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Central California
    Posts
    512

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    I'm sure you'll get a variety of opinions, or you could just take a peak at several threads that have discussed this. Perhaps the old adage about believing only half of what you see and nothing that you hear was referencing hearing aid marketing!
    .25 .5 1 1.5 2 3.0 4.0 6.0 8.0

    15 15 20 30 30 55 75 90 NR ​KS7
    10 10 20 15 25 35 65 85 95 WRS 100/92@45/40

  3. #3

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    ^^^LOL!! And I'll add my own "hear! hear!" to that one.

    Yes Mike, there are SCADS of posts on the Oticon Opn just from November to today even. I had been a long-time wearer of Oticon Agil Pro ITE aids (custom mold, hard case). I trialed the Widex Unique (GONG! Horrible public-address-like sound quality for speech & music) and finally settled on the Opn back in December.

    Yes: LOTSA marketing hype went into these aids. But even so, for my listening preferences, I chose them, because they delivered the richest, fullest sound for BEHIND THE EAR MICS. I have to say that this being my first pair of BTE aids (albeit the receiver is IN the ear), the sound quality simply will never compare to aids where the natural cup of the ear improves overall accoustics. Think about it: if Nature thought we all heard better without our ear cups, we'd have evolved into heads with two HOLES on the sides, and good luck picking up the sound of nearby tigers. The Opn mics definitely give a flat but crisp characteristic to sound. For music, my old ITEs are better.

    However, my old ITEs never had a working TV streamer. The Opn does, and it is SUPERB - no kidding! However, the Opn has NO standalone (as in clip-on or necklace) streamer. HUGE downside! So I've been forced to keep my old Agil Pros with size 13 batts, the Streamer Pro that works fabulously with that, and then my new Opn RIEs with most excellent TV streamer.

    I am simply not interested in any appliance (be it coffee pot, baby monitor, home heating controller, or HEARING AIDS) that runs on the Internet of Things. That is the only way one can get a phone streamer compatible with the Opn today. NOT INTERESTED.

    On top of which, the Opn marketing literature gasses away about being able to hear ALL sounds in MOBS of CHAOS! Well. Um. Er. Not everyone. I guess I'm just a blockhead whose brain refuses after 3 mos to make sense out of an overload of NONSENSE.

    So there you have it. A real mixed bag. Among all the aids I've ever bought, these Opns have the most HIGH points and LOW points. It's maddening, cuz they cost me $6K, and yet the package is not complete. It's like I bought a Range Rover Evoque with no wheels, but boy is it sweet to look at!

    Hope you study the other threads, and the trial them, as that is the ONLY way to figure out what works for your individual hearing preferences.
    Be sure to come back and post/share your thoughts!
    HAs from 1985>Starkey>Phonak>AGX>Oticon Agil Pro ITE>Oticon Opn miniRITE

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  4. #4

    Default

    It's not a giant break-through in programming. But it's a very different approach from traditional HA approach. And this new approach is only possible because they now finally can build a fast enough processing platform to support it.

    Like MDB suggested, you should go through the Oticon forum and read through the threads in there. That'd be the best way.

    But I can give you the elevator pitch on it since I've been wearing it for 3.5 months, and I've also worn the more traditional type HAs for over 20 years. Simply put, all HAs help you hear better, that's all the same. But traditional HAs help you understand speech better in noisy environment by blocking out sounds around you and beam form to the sounds in front of you. That way you hear less surrounding distraction and can focus on what you want to hear better in front. But this comes with a price. Sometimes you want to hear more (or all) sounds around you, but directional beam forming isolates you to the front only.

    The OPN takes a very different approach. It says you should hear everything around you. So it doesn't block out any sound. It may analyze and balance, etc, but it lets all sounds through. So how do you manage noise? It says let the brain manage surrounding noise. That's how normal hearing people do it. They say the brain can learn to tune out the noise and focus on speech (or whatever they want to hear), if normal hearing folks can do it, so can hearing challenged folks. With this approach, you don't have to live with the trade-off mentioned above (sounds around being blocked).

    So you say then how is it better than the traditional HAs? Surely you can also set traditional HAs to hear everything just the same (like in music mode). Well, the difference is that it still does help reduce noise, but in a VERY different way. It doesn't reduce noise by blocking out surrounding sounds like traditional HAs do. It reduces noise by identifying what is speech, produce a noise model from the sounds behind and on the sides, then use this noise model to clean up the speech in front. Kinda like how headphones do noise cancellation, but much more complicated than that. You can search one of my posts that explains this in more details if interested in the HOW.

    The end result is that the speech muddled with noise in front of you is cleaned up to provide more clarity to help you understand it better. But you still hear everything else around you. So you still need to train your brain to tune out the noise and focus on this speech. But the speech is cleaner.

    The big hoopla is that the noise reduction approach, or more correctly, the noise-cleaned-from-speech approach (because it doesn't really reduce overall steady state noise) by the OPN is not possible unless you have a very fast processing platform to support this strategy which Oticon now finally has been able to build in their new Velox platform. Why fast? because 100 times per second over and over, it has to go in and scan the sound environment and analyze and balance and clean up noise from speech, all in 16 separate frequency bands. If it tries to do it any slower, the noise and speech long term average will look the same and it can't separate them out. Kinda like looking through a microscope, the more magnification, the more details you see. Except in this case, the faster it does it, the more different speech and noise look, different enough to become separable.

    With this, you no longer have to live with the old trade-off and you get to hear everything. And still understand cleaned up speech in noisy places, too. In a way, this approach brings you closer to how normal hearing people do it. They hear everything, and they can still manage to use their brain to sort out/tune out/process the sounds they hear.

    Is it better than HAs that use the traditional approach? Not necessarily. Is it different? Yeah, for sure it's very different. Which approach is better? Only you can decide. But if you're used to wearing the traditional type HAs, you'll need more time to retrain your brain to adjust to the OPN. The OPN relies on your brain heavily to keep up and do the work it's supposed to do to process what you hear.
    Last edited by Volusiano; 03-13-2017 at 10:11 PM.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  5. #5

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    Yes: "The OPN takes a very different approach. It says you should hear everything around you. So it doesn't block out any sound. It may analyze and balance, etc, but it lets all sounds through. So how do you manage noise? It says let the brain manage surrounding noise. That's how normal hearing people do it. They say the brain can learn to tune out the noise and focus on speech (or whatever they want to hear), if normal hearing folks can do it, so can hearing challenged folks. With this approach, you don't have to live with the trade-off mentioned above (sounds around being blocked)."

    But I still just struggle mightily in crowded, noisy places to hear the person right in FRONT of me unless I put my aids into the directional program. Now, maybe I've had some brain strokes and am unable to ever learn how to distinguish speech in a maelstrom of noise? So be it! It just seems blockheaded to toss that challenge MY way - that somehow, I'm missing out on life if I can't hear EVERY last sound (needed or not) around me while some clerk is mumbling something about my order 2 feet from my face.

    The whole point of aids is to AID us in hearing better. To insist that we adapt to the technology - again - just irks me. I'd like to take that techie from the bowels of Oticon's development lab and say, "I'm going to put a blindfold on you, spin you around 10 times, and you're gonna head for that $6,000 pot of money right in front of you!" Yes, the poor tech would LOVE to get his/her paws on the dough. But it may simply be impossible!
    HAs from 1985>Starkey>Phonak>AGX>Oticon Agil Pro ITE>Oticon Opn miniRITE

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Bluejay View Post
    But I still just struggle mightily in crowded, noisy places to hear the person right in FRONT of me unless I put my aids into the directional program. Now, maybe I've had some brain strokes and am unable to ever learn how to distinguish speech in a maelstrom of noise? So be it! It just seems blockheaded to toss that challenge MY way - that somehow, I'm missing out on life if I can't hear EVERY last sound (needed or not) around me while some clerk is mumbling something about my order 2 feet from my face.

    The whole point of aids is to AID us in hearing better. To insist that we adapt to the technology - again - just irks me. I'd like to take that techie from the bowels of Oticon's development lab and say, "I'm going to put a blindfold on you, spin you around 10 times, and you're gonna head for that $6,000 pot of money right in front of you!" Yes, the poor tech would LOVE to get his/her paws on the dough. But it may simply be impossible!
    I heard from another OPN wearer who shared that his audi told him that many traditional wearers who are her clients don't take on well with the OPN because they're used to the traditional way of noise reduction, which is blocking out sounds. So I think if you've worn HAs for the last 30 years, you're probably very used to how hearing through traditional HAs should be, so the OPN for sure must be much harder for you to adapt. I can empathize because I had the same experience the first month I wore the OPN. All the noises of every kind bothered me a lot. But about a month later it got better and better. I think everybody adjust differently and some longer than others, especially the longer you've worn HAs, or the older you are.

    But like you said, the OPN still offers a directional mode to help users adapt more gradually, and it looks like you're taking advantage of that mode. I have it in one of my 3 programs, too, although I don't use it anymore (and rarely used it before, too). So they didn't entirely do away with the old technology. They're capable of both technologies, and the user has a choice on how they want to use it.

    I don't know how long it'll take you to adapt to it, so all I can say is stick with it if you already own it, and it looks like you're making the most of it anyway. That's all you can do on your part, and I think your brain will eventually sort itself out and you'll gradually feel more at ease with it. It may take you 6 months or a year, but time is on your side and it can only get better and time passes. Meanwhile, use the directional mode whenever you need to. That's why it's there, a push of a button away, just like your old HAs anyway.
    Last edited by Volusiano; 02-16-2017 at 09:32 PM.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  7. #7

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    Wow, Mike, I'm very thankful to have hit on this forum and picked up on your question.
    Forgive me, I don't want to hi-jack your topic, it's just that I have been reading up on all mug's, as I am beginning my 6-month trial on Costco's ReSound CALA. When I picked them up, I saw their Phonak Brio 2's and did a walk around with them.
    Phonak claims that rather than the regular four programs, their platform allows the device to check the environment 100 times per minute and blend the best programs in real-time. That means determine "what to block out", a different approach than Oticon. I'll try them!
    I have determined that I MUST have compatible streaming direct from iPhone to HA's for telephone, Audible and music. The Costco CALA's are providing that but sales person said the Phonak Brio's will also. Thanks, hope to read more reports. Floyd
    Last edited by reidfm; 02-21-2017 at 09:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    512

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    The Brio 2s will not provide "direct" streaming. You will need an intermediate device. I believe Compilot II Air or Compilot II

    Quote Originally Posted by reidfm View Post
    Wow, Mike, I'm very thankful to have hit on this forum and picked up on your question.
    Forgive me, I don't want to hi-jack your topic, it's just that I have been reading up on all mug's, as I am beginning my 6-month trial on Costco's ReSound CALA. When I picked them up, I saw their Phonak Brio 2's and did a walk around with them.
    Phonak claims that rather than the regular four programs, their platform allows the device to check the environment 100 times per second and blend the best programs in real-time. That means determine "what to block out", a different approach than Oticon. I'll try them!
    I have determined that I MUST have compatible streaming direct from iPhone to HA's for telephone, Audible and music. The Costco CALA's are providing that but sales person said the Phonak Brio's will also. Thanks, hope to read more reports. Floyd
    .25 .5 1 1.5 2 3.0 4.0 6.0 8.0

    15 15 20 30 30 55 75 90 NR ​KS7
    10 10 20 15 25 35 65 85 95 WRS 100/92@45/40

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reidfm View Post
    I have determined that I MUST have compatible streaming direct from iPhone to HA's for telephone, Audible and music. The Costco CALA's are providing that but sales person said the Phonak Brio's will also. Thanks, hope to read more reports. Floyd
    The OPN is one of those few made-for-iPhone HAs out there that will provide direct streaming from the iPhone.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  10. #10

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    You absolutely have a point here! Not only do I have the decades of HA use, but even my age of 61, and the lifestyle fact that I live in a SNOW cave for months every year. Ah, I exaggerate a bit on the last one, but I DO think that younger folks (20-something, 30-something) have a natural ability to sit in a maelstrom of noise and keep track of several audio inputs simultaneously - something which would exhaust me in short order.

    Also, because my Agil Pro aids do SO WELL in directional mode, I have been wearing them half the day, and really just switching to my Opns at night when I want to stream the TV. So ... I am guilty of simply NOT wearing these Opns round-the-clock until just recently. The past week, I put them in upon rising in the morning (after all, they fit BETTER than the hard case Agil Pro!), and wear them all day now.

    In addition to my old Agil Pros doing better in places like Costco, WholeFoods, et al, their size 13 battery was a BLESSING. Dang if I don't get a full 11+ days of use out of them. But they only stream with the phone - no TV streamer ever worked with them.

    I will simply have to knuckle down and keep these Opns IN till my lazy ol' brain starts making more sense of all that sound. I have my directional setting and my volumes to play around with. and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the light feeling of these aids. If I had those Comply domes, I would never even know I was wearing aids. By contrast, my old Agil Pros are hard case, difficult to squeeze into my swollen ears in the morning, squeak here! there! You know: HAs are like spouses with their ups and downs, comfort and irritation! I am lucky to have THREE of them - counting my 2-legged companion.
    =======================

    Quote Originally Posted by Volusiano View Post
    I heard from another OPN wearer who shared that his audi told him that many traditional wearers who are her clients don't take on well with the OPN because they're used to the traditional way of noise reduction, which is blocking out sounds. So I think if you've worn HAs for the last 30 years, you're probably very used to how hearing through traditional HAs should be, so the OPN for sure must be much harder for you to adapt. I can empathize because I had the same experience the first month I wore the OPN. All the noises of every kind bothered me a lot. But about a month later it got better and better. I think everybody adjust differently and some longer than others, especially the longer you've worn HAs, or the older you are.

    But like you said, the OPN still offers a directional mode to help users adapt more gradually, and it looks like you're taking advantage of that mode. I have it in one of my 3 programs, too, although I don't use it anymore (and rarely used it before, too). So they didn't entirely do away with the old technology. They're capable of both technologies, and the user has a choice on how they want to use it.

    I don't know how long it'll take you to adapt to it, so all I can say is stick with it if you already own it, and it looks like you're making the most of it anyway. That's all you can do on your part, and I think your brain will eventually sort itself out and you'll gradually feel more at ease with it. It may take you 6 months or a year, but time is on your side and it can only get better and time passes. Meanwhile, use the directional mode whenever you need to. That's why it's there, a push of a button away, just like your old HAs anyway.
    HAs from 1985>Starkey>Phonak>AGX>Oticon Agil Pro ITE>Oticon Opn miniRITE

    KHz 0.25...0.5...1.0...2.0...3.0...4.0....6.0...8.0

    Left ..65....80....80....65.....65....60....65....90
    Right 65....80....80....75.....75....70....65....90

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