Can Oticon Opn BTE PP be fitted with slim tubes and domes?

I am planning to buy these Oticon OPN1 BTE’s on wednesdag for 360€. It seems like a reasonable price. I hope that they are an upgrade from my Phonak Bolero B90’s.

I only tried the RIC’s of the OPN1 and remember that they are great for speech in noise, less for playing the piano. Does anyone have experience with these?

Does anyone know whether these can be fitted with ‘slimtubes’ and domes? Because I won’t be wearing a hook if I can prevent it.

I am looking at the Oticon Corda MiniFit, which resemble the Bernafon flextubes remarkably, but I don’t know how they would fit on these BTE’s without some adapter.

Could the adapter be these Oticon Dome Grip Tips or are they just other kinds of domes?

The instructions says yes.

All of this is on the Oticon website.

The fitting range of standard 13 sound tubes and the slimtubes is different. You might verify a fit for your loss with the slimtubes.

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Great! Now I only have to identify the adapter from BTE to slimtube: the Grip tip is apparently an alternative to a dome.

The issues with playing musical instruments usually seem to come down to the feedback suppression methods used by the aids. They need to be turned down or even turned off. The aid you have selected seems to be a very high power aid intended for those with a profound loss. Yet, you have a moderate-severe loss. It seems to me that a lower powered RIC aid would be sufficient for your loss, while providing better audio quality. Signia and others have special programs for those playing a musical instrument. You could benefit from a custom mold though, and they would help with the feedback issue, possibly allowing suppression to be turned right off for the music program.

@Sierra Thanks for your remark. I now have the Bolero SP, which is also for more severe hearing loss. However, I found that it is better able to handle the piano than the OPN1 RIC was. I speculate that is exactly because the receivers can handle more sound.
Still, I will check the fitting range and recheck the range for the Bolero SP for comparison.

@Zebras I am still wondering what the bit between the body and the slim wire is and where I can get it. Any thoughts?

This is how your loss fits within a M (medium) powered RIC receiver fitting range.


And this is what the First Fit gains would look like with this M receiver and a custom mold with 2 mm vents. You may get away with closed click sleeves, but at least in the computer custom molds would be safer from a feedback point of view.

I’ve just looked at the places where I get supplies in the UK and they don’t sell them. When I was struggling to find supplies, I emailed a few people on eBay. Might be worth you doing that?

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@Sierra The fitting range from the technical specs for the OPN1 BTE:

The fitting range for the Bolero SP B90’s with my current audiogram taken from Phonak’s Target software:

Comparing the two I see that the OPN1’s fitting range is 10dB higher than the Bolero SP’s. My audigram falls in the middle of the Bolero SP’s and just above the middle of the fitting range for the OPN’s.

Comparing the OPN1 to the OPN1 RIC with a 85 receiver:

The 85 has some very soft sounds, which I won’t hear anymore, however it can generate sounds between 20 and 30 dB like my Bolero SP’s which the OPN1 BTE can’t. Question is whether I will ever be able to hear those sounds…Looking at the fitting range of the 105 receivers of the RIC in the specs, I see an identical fitting range as the BTE’s.

So indeed I would rather have the RIC’s: They allow me to switch receivers. Any idea what a reasonable rate for second hand OPN1 RIC’s’? What is see is somewhere around 900$ for a pair. Seems a bit steep, but those could be the ones that aren’t sold. :slight_smile:

@Zebras I just emailed two of my local suppliers whether they would be able to deliver those thingies to me.

It seems to me there is no value in having hearing aids that are much more powerful than you really need, other than providing margin for a very significant deterioration in your hearing. Typically what I see is that the more powerful the aid or receiver, the higher the total harmonic distortion. The high frequency bandwidth is also often limited. Those seem to be the price of getting more power. You have reasonably good high frequency hearing, so I would not write off hearing the highs.

Price is another matter of course. Seems to me that the BTE’s would work for you, but perhaps not ideal.

If you are not actually using high power, the THD may not be as high as the spec. For a “high power” receiver, more likely they turned up the sound output until the THD number looked bad, turned down a few dB, and wrote that on the spec. THD typically falls at lower sound output.

Yes, a basic compromise in ‘speaker’ design is good output to high frequency or BIG output at mid-high freqs. Mechanical things don’t like to move fast. A lighter armature will vibrate fast but not strong. A heavier armature has more output in mids but trades-off the highs. For speech, mids-highs are critical. I agree Markismus’ flat curve and love for music suggests an extended top-end.

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I am starting to be convinced that this may not be the best acquisition.

What I am wondering is whether the Phonak Bolero B90 SP’s wouldn’t have this same problem. I agree that I am still looking for better hearing aids, so they aren’t perfect.

I hear what you are saying. My guess would be that when they use the same RIC hearing aid but switch out the receiver only to give more power, they must be doing it by lowering the impedance of the receiver. That will draw more current from the amplifier in the aid. I guess the question is what impact will that have on distortion. Unlike a lot of audio equipment, they don’t provide that kind of detail. It does beg the question as to why they supply Standard, Medium, Power, and Super Power receivers all using the same aid. If there was no advantage to the lower power units why would they supply them?

Here you are:

There is a specific adapter and thin tube for power aids. I have an Oticon mini BTE and have both and ear hook and thin tube amongst my spare parts.

It’s late here but I’ll try answer definitively tomorrow when I’m wide awake.

Alternatively, contact that website - they’re pretty knowledgeable.

Your audiogram isn’t a million miles away from mine. You’ll be ok with thin tubes.


@davart Thanks!

I can’t find the technical specs of the mini BTE. I can’t seem to find them in Genie2.
I only find the Siya BTE and the Alta2 miniBTE which have a 85 receiver. I see the word Synergy on your HA’s. Are Oticon Spirit Synergy Mini hearing aids the right ones?

In the case that your HA’s do have 85 receivers, that would support @Sierra 's argument, instead of repel it. So I am still in a quandary…and the meeting is planned for this afternoon…I think I am going to shower first!

What is the difference between the OPN mini BTE and the OPN BTE PP13?

Everyone thank you for the support! It is much appreciated. I decided not to buy these OPN’s.

To get “more!” out of a ‘speaker’, we have two choices:

  1. more electrical power to the speaker
  2. a speaker which makes more sound from electrical power

HAs call the speaker a receiver, and it is a very specialized thing, but does not break any laws of physics.

And there are dozens of receiver models to cover a wide range of needs. High power, extended bandwidth, ultra-tiny, even crude+cheap.

It does seem that “high power” receivers often go for lower impedance to suck more from a fixed battery voltage. But that hurts battery life. In general low impedance raises amplifier THD, but with B or D amplifiers the amp THD should be insignificant.

Speakers all have THD distortion, rising with level. The balanced armature receiver has some extra sources of distortion but the designer can work with proportions, size, and specs to deliver astonishing high clean levels to an ear.

Speaker/receiver acoustic output per electrical Watt, efficiency, can be good at low frequencies but always falls-off at high frequencies. Take receiver 17A003 as typical. If the iron in the armature is increased (red), the added iron in the varying magnetic field will produce more Force and higher output. However the higher Mass shifts the resonance(s) down and there is -less- output at higher frequencies. A lesser mass of iron (green) gives less output at low freq but vibrates better at high freq.
(In real receiver line-ups it is unlikely to find this simple relationship because other parameters may be tweaked.)

So it really matters “why?” we want “high power”. If it just has to sound louder, clarity not critical, the red curve makes the most of the power. This is also good for severe loss 100-1000Hz and “no hearing” (don’t even try) above 2kHz (many “power” users may be in this situation). For my ski-slope, I don’t want <1kHz and actually the stock '003 does best where I need it. For a musician with OK hearing to 4kHz but needing fine discrimination of 5k-10kHz cymbal and string-zing balance, the “green '003” light armature covers that area best.

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Why can’t the processor compensate if the characteristics of the receiver is known? I would think that an upper limit is indeed given with a given receiver.
However, the fitting range suggests that up to 9kHz the receiver is able to generate output up to even an higher power than at the frequecies below 750 Hz. If the fitting range holds and the characteristics are known, I just don’t see why the larger receiver should introduce more distortion.

What am I missing?

The only thing I see is that it won’t be able to generate soft sounds at high frequencies as well as less powerful receivers. So when I play a note, I suspect that it could start to warble when it dies out: Not being able to generate the full harmonics at lower volumes. Is this what is meant with harmonic distortions?

The electronics can add gain. They can’t force the speaker to make more acoustic power than it is physically capable of.

Yes, we can increase amplifier power, but at the cost of battery life. And the higher electrical power demands larger electric parts inside the receiver, a larger heavier receiver.

We say “harmonic distortion” because, in the simplest case, we put in say pure 1kHz and get out 1kHz 2kHz and 3kHz. Yes, all real sounds have harmonics, but we do not want the amplifier or speaker to add more.