Long Time BTE Wearer Trying Oticon3 OPN Next Week

Wore Oticon Delta 8000;s years ago, the Semiens Pure Micon 7 and the for the past year some high end Starkey. I switched to Starkey simply because I got zero feedback with custom molds using my cell phone and hugging people, sitting in my recliner, etc.

I can’t stand the Starkeys…they are simply too in your face rot got unnatural sounding and they drive me nuts…and we even had a Starkey rep try and reprogram them.

Tries a set of Otiocon OPN 1 yesterday in the audi’s office and instantly voices sounded far better. Enough so that I told her to get me a demo pair. My insurance covers 80%. Price quoted was $5600 for the pair, 3 year warranty, 2 years of batteries, unlimited tuning appointments.

I had my hearing tested today…a prerequisite to Amplifon paying the 80% and got as follows…and I have no clue what it all means other than the audiologist tells me that my right ear is for the most part useless for speech discrimination. I already knew that.

Work recognition scored 84% in the right ear and 32% in the right. This has been consistent the past 3 years. This was with no hearing aids, headphones on and him speaking the words.

My frequency #'s are as follows for 250, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 4000, 8000 hz

Right: 40, 50, 55, 100, 110, 110, 110
Left: 50, 55, 75, 70, 70, 60, 80

Can anyone tell me if the OPN 3 (all the bells and whistles) with custom domes seem to make sense for me?

Thanks,

Jim

The OPNs now have a more powerful receiver so they should be more suitable for your loss in the right ear at least than the previously released receivers. I believe the OPN minirite3 is the standard platform, 2 is the advanced and the 1 is the premium level.

Actually I made a mistake…I am going with the #1 premium device.

I currently use custom molds and will do so with the OPN’s since I am already used to wearing the, although I know that the Oticon ones are a bit different.
Sounds like you are suggesting that I go with the higher powered 100 receiver min my right ear?`

Hey CONGRATS on the Oticon trial! But I’m intrigued: I am in trial with the Oticon Opn miniRITE BTE using size 85 receiver. I didn’t know they also had a size 100? It could be that these are too big for my ear canal, but the more power I can get, the better. I have a size LG power dome on my size 85 receivers, which seem just a teense too big, but I need a really snug seal, given my loss.

If a receiver 100 is also out there, tho, I’d like to ask my aud-guy if it could fit me. (FUNNY HOW MUCH I LEARN HERE vs at my aud-guy’s).

I agree that these Opns seem to offer an order of magnitude better quality of sound than either the Widex or the ReSound that I also tried. Of course the DOME was an issue for me, too, and I have found a working solution with the power dome.

I’m not a professional, but judging by your audiogram I would think one of the higher power receivers would be needed for your worse ear. I’m sure your Audi will choose the best receiver for your loss. I use the Oticon OPNs myself. I find they are pretty good, but I’m still struggling with speech in noise myself.

I think the 100 receiver was only released recently by Oticon. Maybe your Audi hasn’t gotten them yet.

1Bluejay, I think for your hearing loss, the size 85 is probably sufficient enough and you don’t need the size 100. That’s why your audi fitted you with size 85 in the first place.

Having a bigger size receiver is not always better. I’m sure Oticon optimizes their receiver for the task they’re designed to perform. Have mismatched sizes to what you need can negate their optimized performance.

Also, the 100db receiver requires custom molds, so I’ve been told by my audi.

Thank you so much Abarsanti & Volusiano! You are right: the size 100 Oticon receiver is just out. In looking at my audiogram at the aud-guy’s today, I could see what his logic was in fitting me with the size 85’s: I bob along in the 70-85 db loss, and he said if I need additional power, I can go with size 100, which is more for 90 db loss cases. I’ve got room to grow into them, which gives me comfort! :slight_smile:

To the OP of this thread (jfenton57), how did your Opn1 trial go? We’d love to hear some feedback! Thanks.

No, Opn 1 is the standard level, Opn2 is the limited and Opn 3 is the garbage level :smiley:

these test are made for when you can start to hear a single tone. you still nedd more amp. for words and a overhead for louder sounds. I would go with at least 100 for both.

I’m on trial with the base level OPN 3 and I was set on OPN 1 but my audiologist feels the higher levels are just good marketing and as a user I wouldn’t realize any additional benefit for spending more $$$. We discussed this at length and he called the Oticon support line for an explanation and confirmation on the differences between levels in my presence. He hung up the phone looked me in the eye and said there was nothing in the level 2 or level 1 devices that would justify you upgrading, I’ll sell them to you if you wish your out of pocket will double and that’s about it.

Thinking I may have gotten lucky and found an honest businessman, he said he fitted his Mom recently and guess what level he sold her…level 3.

I would love to see Oticon post here to clarify their marketing facts vs fiction, compare device levels with specifics including data and analytics to substantiate any claims and state plainly why they need 3 levels in the first place for this device.

If you look at the Oticon website, they show how the 3 levels are different. In these 4 areas, rapid noise reduction, sound localization, speech clarity, and automatic settings based on personalized preferences, the premium OPN1 has 3 dots, OPN2 has 2 dots, and OPN3 has 1 dot. I don’t know if the dots denote anything quantifiable or not, I’m guessing they just want to convey “most” performance for 3 dots, “more” performance for 2 dots, and “basic” performance for 1 dot.

So you need to understand what those 4 areas mean in order to decide whether they’re important to you or not.

There’s a poster (TPChapman) who recently posted on this thread http://www.hearingaidforums.com/showthread.php?20724-Oticon-OPN-does-it-live-up-to-the-hype&p=147453#post147453 (see post #28) that he actually tried out the Opn1 and Opn2 and was able to tell that the Opn1 sounds better. He said that the Opn2 is good but somewhat muffled compared to the Opn1. And his hearing loss according to his audiogram seems pretty heavy. Yet he was able to tell the difference. You may want to PM him to get more inputs if interested.

I think while you’re trialing the Opn3, you should owe it to yourself to try the Opn1 as well. I wouldn’t try the Opn2, I’d try the 1 against the 3 instead, just to help make the distinction easier and more obvious for yourself. I don’t think you should just take your audi’s word for it, nor the Oticon support people’s words for it. You should really try it and decide for yourself. I’ve had an Oticon rep sitting in a couple of fitting sessions with me, in addition to my audi, and I was not impressed by his level of knowledge of the product. Yeah, he sure could recite the party lines very quickly, but he was just parroting what the marketing materials trained him to say, without demonstrating real in-depth knowledge on the OPN in trying to solve the issue I was having with noise reduction at the moment. I know he was just reciting the Oticon OPN marketing materials because I’d read it and memorizing it inside out and upside down, so the minute he spat out his “expert knowledge”, I knew exactly where he got it from. The fact of the matter is that after 2 fitting sessions with this Oticon rep and my audi, he walked away still unable to explain or resolve my issue on noise reduction. It took me a lot more in-depth research, reviewing actual recordings of Opn seminars at the audiology convention in summer of '16, and reading through a couple of OPN white papers, before I could understand and explain the root cause of my issue.

I can tell you that out of the 4 functionalities where the Opn1 through Opn3 differ, I would agree that the “automatic settings based on personalized preferences” one is just a nice-to-have and not crucial to being able to detect the quality difference between the models. But I think the other 3 areas, rapid noise reduction, sound localization, and speech clarity are crucial qualities that determine the effectiveness of the OPN in its new “open” paradigm. In the new “open” paradigm, the OPN lets you hear everything around you, noise included. The hallmark that differentiates the OPN against traditional HAs is that only because of its newly and vast processing power through the new Velox platform, it can execute rapid noise reduction to clean up clearly defined speech to enhance speech clarity, and do this 100 times per second. So while the OPN lets you hear everything around you, it relies on your brain to recognize, separate, and focus on the speech sound you want to hear, and tune out the noise. Where the OPN comes in to help is not really to remove the noise per se, because after you’re done listening to somebody’s sentence, the noise will come back for you to hear in an instant (you’re supposed to hear everything now, remember?). But while that person is speaking, in those few seconds that that person is completing his/her sentence, the OPN has the ability to go into that speech and clean up the noise around the speech VERY quickly (100 times per second) to make that speech clearer for you to understand. This is where the value of the OPN comes in, in this new “open” paradigm, in terms of noise reduction.

So tell me, after you’ve read my explanation above, what are the 2 recurring things you keep hearing? “Rapid noise reduction”, and “speech clarity”. These are 2 of the 4 functionalities that Oticon dumbed down on the Opn3 already. So they’re reducing the performance of 2 of the few corner stone features that is the HALLMARK of the OPN in its new “open” paradigm. The thing is if you never tried the Opn1 vs the Opn3 extensively in very noisy restaurant environments trying to understand speech, you may not know that there’s a difference. Ignorance is bliss, right? Sure, you may be perfectly happy with the Opn3. But maybe if you try out the Opn1, maybe you’ll find that you can be even more happy. Or maybe not, right? It may vary between individuals, but you won’t know for sure until you try out both for yourself. There’s already a report that TPChapman could tell the difference between the Opn1 and Opn2 himself.

What about the “sound localization” functionality? Will it make a difference between the 3 models? Well, I look again at the new “open” paradigm. In this new paradigm, the OPN will let you hear everything around you. Before, in the traditional directional paradigm, you reduce noise all around you, focus up front for speech, so localization of sounds was not important because you only hear sounds from the front of you anyway. On top of that, there is probably much less limited sounds in the front, usually probably just the person whom you’re focusing on to listen to. But with the new open paradigm, if you’re going to hear ALL kinds of sounds from ALL around you. So suddenly the ability to localize all these sounds around you becomes critical in my opinion. Otherwise your brain can be confused if it can’t tell where all these sounds are coming from. If you look at the 4 brain hearing components that Oticon outlines in their marketing brochure, it’s orient, recognize, separate and focus. Sound localization is instrumental in allowing your brain to “orient” the sound properly. It’s the first crucial step your brain does before it does the rest of the processing and tuning in and out. So by reducing the effectiveness of sound localization on the Opn3 compared to the Opn1, Oticon takes away some of the effectiveness in your ability to embrace their “open” paradigm fully.

So if you ask me, I think Oticon knew exactly which buttons to push in order to make a differentiation in the sound quality between the 3 OPN levels. The users may not understand why Oticon do what they did, but Oticon sure kneww what they were doing. It’s not just mere marketing gimmicks and users won’t be able to tell any difference. I think discerning users who carefully try out the different models in appropriate complex environments extensively enough will probably be able to tell the difference. But it doesn’t mean that the Opn3 is no good at all. For users who only try out the Opn3 and never try the 2 or 1, they’ll never know better and will probably still be happy enough with the 3. The 3 is still very cool and fundamentally different and probably significant enough compared to traditional HAs. But the 3 is not “the same” as the 1 or 2 just because it’s all marketing fictions.

If you’re budget conscious and only want to try out the 3 for its lower price and are happy enough with it, then it’s all good. But decide that for yourself, don’t believe in everything your audi says. Your audi sold his own mother the Opn3 probably because he decides that it’s good enough for her. Not necessarily because he wants what’s best for her. Or maybe because he doesn’t think she’s a discernable enough user who can tell the difference. Don’t let your audi decide what’s good enough for you.

Thank you for the post and I will try OPN 1 however, I still see quantified data and depth to results supporting the results. One or two opinions is too small of a sample size to make heads or tails of the results. Also I can’t believe or understand why Oticon would dumb down the capabilities of their devices where it would effect the quality of the hearing instruments and their core purpose to help someone hear clearly. If they left off features between levels ok I get it but make their device perform below its highest level would be very disappointing and reason to walk away all together…

I agree that one or two opinions is too small a sample size to help you make any decision. But I think it’s enough to take heed that your audi’s opinion (that there are no differences between the models) may be flawed and that you should try both out. After all, you have very little to lose (except the time and effort), but much to gain from knowing you took the time and effort to make the right decision for yourself. And even if there’s already a much larger sample size, you still need to ultimately try it out and decide for yourself, because your personal finding may be different from even a very large sample size.

I myself also find it distasteful for Oticon to basically “cripple” a perfectly good HA just for the sake of more sales. But then I understand why they do it for business reasons, and it’s not just them but practically all HA mfgs do this to some degree or other so they can gain market share by making their products more affordable to the masses. If just for this reason alone that you would choose to walk away altogether from an HA mfg, then you’d be walking away from most mfgs and won’t have much choices left to buy from. And it’s not just the HA industry that do this. Practically most electronic industries do this to some degree by controlling features and performance via firmware as well.

If you end up trying out both the 1 and 3, I would love to hear you report back to share with us what you find. It can only help more people in the future the more data points we can get from users on this forum.

It seems like Oticon has uploaded more detailed information between the 3 levels on their website https://www.oticon.com/support/downloads/. There’s no in-depth quantified data or supporting results, but at least there’s more breakdown details of the differences between the 3 models other than just the high level 3 dots vs 2 dots vs 1 dots for the 4 areas. Make sure you download everything and review them all. Most of the files, even the technical data for the different receiver sizes, list out the differences between the 3 models.

Thank you.

For folks who don’t care to spend time browsing through the OPN materials, I can summarize what I find below on the differences:

Speech understanding:
Balancing power effect: Opn1: 100%, Opn2 and 3: 50%
Max noise removal: Opn1: 9db, Opn2: 5 db, Opn3: 3db
Spatial Sound LX (sound localization): Opn1: 4 estimators, Opn2 and 3: 2 estimators

Sound quality:
Clear Dynamics (expands the dynamic input range, processing sounds up to 113dB SPL, to preserve sound quality even at loud input levels -> provide better sound quality without distortion and artifact at loud input levels, while still keeping the sound quality of soft input levels intact): Opn1 and 2: yes, Opn3: no
Binaural noise management (optimizes listening in asymmetrical noisy situations): Opn1 and 2: yes, Opn3: no
Fitting bandwidth: Opn1: 10 KHz, Opn2 and 3: 8 KHz
Processing channels: Opn1: 64, Opn2 and 3: 48

Listening comfort:
Transient Noise Management (Protects against sudden loud sounds with fast recovery to preserve audibility): Opn1: 4 configurations, Opn2 and 3: On/Off

Personalization and Optimized Fitting:
YouMatic LX (Accommodates personal listening preferences and sound perceptions in the prescription of gain and automatics): Opn1: 3 configurations, Opn2: 2 configurations, Opn3: 1 configuration.
Fitting bands (for a precise fit and more fine-tuning options for client fittings): Opn1: 16, Opn2: 14, Opn3: 12

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