Hearing aid detection of voice from the front, side and back


I use the Comfort program on the OPN while both riding as a passenger and driving cars. When I asked about how the Comfort program worked - specifically in cars, it recognizes speech like in the General program, so good for radio and Bluetooth phone, GPS (car speaker not streamed in HA’s) , and road noise is less. It is not the same as reducing the Volume in Program 1.
If I am sitting in the backseat and front seat people talk – I still can’t understand the conversation unless they look at me. I try to sit behind the driver, so I can see the the passenger. It’s a big struggle.


The OpenSound Navigator only has the following parameters:

Directionality Settings ((Open Automatic, Fully Directional, Pinna Omni)

Noise Reduction (on/off), Simple (0, -1.5, -3 dB), Complex (-5, -7, -9 dB) -> Note, these are values for the OPN 1 only. The max NR value for the OPN 2 is -5 dB, and for the OPN 3 is -3 dB.

OpenSound Transition (Help with auditory focus) (Low, Medium, High)

The following are the default values for each built-in program:

P1 (General VAC+, default): Open Automatic, NR On, Simple NR 0dB, Complex NR -5 dB, OpenSound Transition: Low.

Speech in Noise: Open Automatic, NR On, Simple NR 0dB, Complex NR -7 dB, OpenSound Transition: Medium

Comfort: Open Automatic, NR On, Simple NR -1.5 dB, Complex NR -7 dB, OpenSound Transition: Low.

Lecture: Same as Comfort

Music: Pinna Omni, NR Off, Simple NR N/A, Complex NR N/A, OpenSound Transition: N/A

In addition, Speech in Noise has slightly more gain than P1.
Comfort slightly less gain than P1.

So if you’re in the Comfort program or the Speech in Noise program, or even the default P1 General VAC+ program and still have issue with understanding speech in noisy environment, INCREASE YOUR SIMPLE NR AND COMPLEX NR TO THE MAX AVAILABLE VALUE. I don’t even see any advatnage with setting them with any value less than the max value in the first place. For example, if you have an OPN 1 and you use a max NR value of -5 dB for Complex NR, this basically makes your OPN 1 only as good as the OPN 2 with its max NR value of -5 dB. Why pay a premium for the OPN 1 only to demote its capability to be on par with an OPN 2 only?

I would love to hear from an Oticon rep explain to me why they would choose anything less than -9 dB max NR value on an OPN 1 for any of their built-in programs except for the Music program. The noise reduction of the OPN is based on a noise model of sounds in the back and sides. So if there’s no sound in this noise model, NR doesn’t kick in. And if NR doesn’t kick in, it doesn’t matter what the max NR value is because it is not applicable. And if NR kicks in, you want max attenuation of the noise on the speech. Why would you want any less?

Anyway, I have P1 (default) and Comfort and Speech in Noise programs in my OPN 1 ALL SET with -3 dB in Simple NR, and -9 dB in Complex NR. I would recommend anyone still struggling with understanding speech in noise, no matter what program they use (P1 or Comfort or Speech in Noise), ask their provider to set the max possible NR value for both Simple and Complex NR in ALL of your programs except the Music program. The Music program has NR disabled so Simple and Complex NR are grayed out and N/A anyway.


Do you know if settings like this can work with the KS8? I have a program on mine called “Noise/Party”. One other question about the KS8s: The directionality program is available only in the “Automatic” program. Do you or any of the other readers know of a way to produce similar results in programs such as “Noise/Party”?


In the KS8, the directionality program is already set pretty strong on the Noise/Party program. If it’s like the KS7, there are two options: one is fully directional and the other has some ability to respond to situation. It’s also possible to set up two Automatic programs if there are different characteristics you want.


Thanks @Volusiano for the info! What about the car? I’m struggling to hear my wife clearly when I’m driving. Otherwise my Opns are perfect. Any advice for programs to add? Don’t want to amend P1 as it is perfect in every other setting.


I would make sure that the Soft Voice/Sound Perception by your audi to max value. And increase the volume by a click or two to see if it helps. That’s what I do anyway when I’m in the car environment and struggle to hear someone. Soft spoken people in the car is a challenge.

I assume that your P1 settings already have max noise reduction values set. But usually the noise reduction is applied more toward cleaning up the speech in front against the noise model for sides and back sound. And the challenge with the car environment especially if your driving is that the speech is on your side or in the back, which the OPN allows through for you to hear, but doesn’t benefit from having a noise model to be applied against it for better clarity.


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