Oticon now has a complete portfolio of hearing aids with the addition of Cros and Bi-Cross for people with single sided deafness. They have also updated their high powered hearing aids with the new Super and Ultra Powered “Exceed” models capable of a maximum power output (MPO) of 146dB SPL with 86dB SPL of full on gain. It boasts “the world’s most powerful hearing device.” These new instruments all feature Oticon’s latest Velox S chip platform and operating systems as follows.
Oticon explains that it is the unique interaction of their patented systems; Open Sound Navigator ™, Speech Guard Lx with their new OpenSound Otimizer™ that improves the sound quality and the listening experience in the ‘dynamic’ environments of everyday life.
Benefits of OpenSound Optimiser™
OpenSound Otimizer™ is described as a “Pro-Active” feedback management system that can anticipate “feedback risk” and eliminate feedback before it builds. The everyday life of a hearing aid wearer is filled with ‘dynamic’ environments. A dynamic environment is where there is provocative activity around the head including; talking, chewing, hugging, using the phone, wearing a hat, resting against the couch or sitting close to a wall or window.
Traditional Feedback Systems Are Reactive:
Traditional hearing aids are reactive in that they take action to remedy feedback once it has started building. Part of this traditional remedy includes reducing amplification (Gain) of up to 10dB. This relatively slow process takes up to 500 ms-1before it returns the user to stable gain. The result is discomfort when audible feedback is present as well as periods of inadequate gain resulting in missed speech information. In everyday dynamic environments feedback systems are challenged up 50% of the time. Because traditional feedback systems reduce the gain by up to 10dB in dynamic environments a significant amount of valuable speech information can be missed.
OpenSound Optimiser is Pro-Active
Open Sound Optimiser delivers optimal and consistent gain with minimal risk of feedback. It analyses the sound an incredible 56,000 times per second and “proactively identifies feedback risk and engages a patented breaker signal in risk areas before feedback builds within 60 ms-1. Oticon hearing aids with OpenSound Optimiser provide up to 10dB higher feedback limit and therefore eliminate frequent gain reductions. This system preserves stable amplification providing up to 30% more speech cues throughout the day. This results in better sound quality and speech understanding. Users can be confident they can hear accurately in challenging listening environments that are often more dynamic in nature.
Open Sound Navigator
Preserves the natural sound scape by giving continuous 360 degrees access to all relevant sounds. The system preserves the speech streams coming from any direction. This enables the user to switch attention when desired. Because noise filtering occurs so quickly “even between words” the user’s ability to focus their attention on the desired speech signal is persevered. This minimises listening fatigue.
Oticon research claims that compared to the original Opn, Opn S improves speech understanding with an additional 15%, subjective listening effort is reduced a further 10% and memory recall is improved with an additional 10%. On their white paper they state that 96% of users prefer new Oticon Opn S 1 over Oticon Opn. “During a 2 week field trial participants carried on with their daily lives and thus subjected to the dynamic environments they were normally in.” At the end of the trial the results showed that 96% of users rates Opn S1 as ‘much better’ or ‘somewhat better’ than Opn. Oticon says “this is an unprecedented high preference for a new hearing aid by Oticon has never been seen and is attributed to OpenSound Optimizer™”
By introducing a “unique way of handling feedback by preventing it from occurring, OpenSound Optimizer™ preserves optimal gain, in an open fitting, without the risk of feedback*.”