Choosing aids: HA performance for different types of loss (also OPN 1/2/3 for specific degree of loss)




I’m curious as to more experienced members’ thoughts on choice of hearing aid based on hearing loss - for instance, do certain brands specialize more in specific types of hearing loss? Of course it would be to a brand’s advantage to help all types of loss that can be benefited with HAs, but some perhaps invest in specific technologies, or maybe just have developed research over time because of the scientists they happened to hire, that make them “better-known” for treating certain kinds of loss. Thoughts?

Secondly, and of specific interest to me, I’d love anyone’s advice on the concept of “added value” (I know, loaded topic) of OPN1 vs. 2 vs. 3 given my hearing loss. I have an appointment at the end of the month (through Hearing Revolution - I’m most interested in sticking with Oticon I think), and I will of course ask these questions, but I’d love to know your thoughts too.

RE: my lifestyle: I’m 33, work in quiet office environments with cubicles, attend a lot of meetings, and I’m also a fairly active ballroom dancer.

P.S. One reason I’ve been pondering this topic is that my Grandma also needs aids. Years ago she tried the Oticon Intiga’s but they were too small for her to manipulate so she ended up going with NuEars. She absolutely hated them (her complaints suggested they weren’t adjusted correctly). She has since “lost” them and now that she’s living close by I’d like to offer to try the process again with her. I haven’t seen her audiogram but I’d guess she has severe (possibly severe-to-profound) presbyacusis, likely from 40 dB down to 90+. She doesn’t hear much at all if her attention isn’t already directed to the sound source. She won’t have patience for trying a ton of different brands, so I’d like to get an idea of maybe max. 2 different brands/models she can try. I think I’ll try going through Hearing Revolution for her because the nearest Costco is a 45-minute drive from where she lives and she hates car rides.

Thanks in advance for your two cents on this subject! I’ve learned a lot from this forum.


I think your hearing loss could be covered by lots of different aids. Sounds like you have a predeliction for the Oticon OPN and I think that could likely work fine. Regarding differences between OPN 1,2 and 3: I think the big difference is in their ability to handle speech in noise. If you’re usually in quiet environments, you’d likely not notice much difference. If you do a search in the forum for Oticon OPN 1 versus 3, you should find a review by Volusiano.

Regarding your Grandma. She may “need” them, but does she want them. If she’s not really motivated, it’s going to be tough. If you’re tired of yelling at her, consider getting one of the simple amplifier that has a big microphone that hooks up to her ears. You can just have her put it on when you need to talk to her. If she’s somewhat motivated, then try to involve her in the decision. What does she want? What kinds of problems is she having? Finding an audiologist that she likes will go a long ways.


I agree 100% w vol.

Your grandma is totally uncorrected.

Likely, she can get fitted with a lower tier aid and see a great difference. The lower tier today, was the top tier of 5 years ago.

If she isn’t hung up on vanity, I would suggest a BTE with custom earmold.

I personally find that the Oticon OPN and the Resound Linx/Enzo 3D are tops. Oticon has the better sound as a hearing aid only. Resound has the better accessory line by far. In a quiet environment, both are exemplary.


Thanks! Yes I’ve read thoroughly all of Volusiano’s posts…very helpful! I guess I was thinking most people don’t have the luxury of trying more than one from the same dispenser without going through a lot of trouble (paying in full for one, trying it for max. 30 days, returning it, buying a different one, etc.) It’s hard to compare-and-contrast that way, so I was kind of hoping someone would have thoughts like, “For someone with your hearing loss and your lifestyle, OPN X and OPN Y will function pretty similarly and Y may not be worth the added cost.” I understand it’s a personal choice though. I find is frustrating that I can’t try on different styles in the store or even pay a deposit to wear them for a week. If I buy a car, I get to drive it around the block, drive a different car, and I can drive 10 different cars in one day before I make a purchase if that’s what I want to do! For me, hearing aids are a huge expense (several months’ salary) so it would be nice to be able to make an informed decision.

I have a predeliction for Oticon because it’s what I had before and it’s too much of a hassle to try a lot of different aids. As I understand it, even at Costco you have to pay up front and then return them. I just don’t have that kind of credit where I can pay down $8-10k to try 3 different sets of aids before I decide. So I narrowed the decision for myself to what I wore before because I loved them. (Also because they are more “hands-free” than others and I don’t want to have to keep fiddling with different settings; I move through different environments frequently throughout the day).

Where my grandma is concerned, also great advice so thank you! She wants to hear, and she wants to be engaged, and she gets frustrated with having to ask people to repeat or being left out of the conversation. However, she has no patience for “learning curves” and if the aids don’t sound right to her, she just won’t wear them. She’s very difficult to please because what she wants is her own hearing restored, and unfortunately that is not possible. I hope that if I accompany her and involve her and find a good audiologist, then we can make some progress and she can live better.


Thank you so much for this advice!