Oticon is the world's second largest hearing aid manufacturer. It is situated in Denmark outside the capital Copenhagen.
Oticon’s Latest Microchip Redefines Performance
For as long as I have been an audiologist, hearing aids have relied on directional microphones to improve speech understanding in noisy environments. The microphones focus on the speech signal directly in front of the listener to increase intelligibility by decreasing interference caused by competing sounds from the rear. While this process works well in face-to- face conversation, it also limits the listener to hearing only one person’s voice at a time.
The new Oticon Opn makes traditional directional microphone technology a thing of the past. The BrainHearingTM Velox platform employs an open sound approach to manage interfering noise even in the most complex listening situations. Users can now carry on a conversation while staying attentive to other people and sounds around them. When the need arises, they are able to switch focus quickly and easily from one speaker to another.
New Technology Helps Your Brain to Hear More Naturally
Oticon designed the Velox hybrid eleven-core audio chip to replace the quad-core processors traditionally used in all manufacturers' hearing aids. The new chip:
- Processes sound data 50 times faster than ever before.
- Uses a 64-band frequency resolution for more precise sound analysis and better sound quality to support the brain’s ability to make sense of what it hears.
- Scans the environment 100 times per second to identify and balance every sound individually. This allows the listener to have access to the full spectrum of environmental sounds without being disturbed by them.
Opn combines these breakthrough technologies to enable people with hearing loss to enjoy better speech understanding and a more natural listening environment with less listening effort. The benefits of Opn have been substantiated by the Food and Drug Administration. According to Don Schum, PhD, Vice President of Audiology and Professional Relations for Oticon:
Oticon Opn is the first hearing aid proven to make it easier on the brain. 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 by 30% over other Oticon hearing solutions.
The Opn platform has been available for several weeks, and I can attest to how well this technology performs. New Opn product users are universally enthusiastic. After wearing the hearing instruments during the first week of the trial, my patients typically comment: “There is no way you are taking these away from me.”
To get an idea of how the Opn system works, view the video above or Click Here
If you are contemplating upgrading your current technology, or are simply curious to explore how well the Opn performs, please call us to schedule a demonstration. I am certain it will be worth your while.
Oticon Alta ® and Alta Pro ®
Oticon has introduced a new pair of high-performance hearing instruments, Alta and Alta Pro. These units are based on a cutting-edge microchip platform that provides exceptional understanding, even in the worst listening situations. Alta products are available in all styles and can be fitted to virtually all hearing losses.
The sound quality Alta offers is higher fidelity and more natural because the bandwidth extends to 10,000 Hz. (Other high-performance hearing aids have a 7,000 Hz limit.) The wider bandwidth mimics the response of normal hearing ears, which gives a sharper, more defined sound quality.
Alta instruments utilize a system called Speech Guard E to maintain audibility of voice while preventing discomfort from loud or competing noises. By using fast- and slow-acting compression systems, the units separate the fast-changing speech components from the slower-changing interfering noise. The result is better clarity of speech. Speech Guard E works in conjunction with another system called Voice Aligned Compression (VAC). VAC enhances speech intelligibility by making soft speech sounds more audible.
Alta also features Feedback Shield, a revolutionary whistle control, that works by automatically…
Cancelling sound waves that cause feedback (using phase-inversion)
Altering feedback frequency
Reducing the volume of the feedback’s frequency
All three systems, working together, virtually eliminate feedback with no loss of speech clarity.
Alta’s Spatial Sound Premium system synchronizes the right and left hearing aids to give you more cues about the direction and distance of sounds you hear. With older products, hearing aid users found it difficult to determine how far away a sound was. The restoration of distance and directional perception enhances speech understanding by bringing voices to the foreground. This feature also provides much greater enjoyment of music by allowing you to perceive the location of instruments in an orchestra. Now, by being able to define where a sound is, you will experience a more realistic perception of your global sound environment.
To experience Alta, schedule an appointment for a free test drive. Call (323) 463-7109.