New HA user, acoustician, testing Oticon Opn 1 vs Resound Quattro 9

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#1

This article is to share my current experience with some of the “latest” hearing aids, Oticon Opn 1 and Resound Quattro 9, both RIE and open dome for HF loss. I am looking for fellow feedback on the comparison of sound quality, particularly for music appreciation (in environment, not streamed), fidelity and naturalness of sound between the Opn system and the Quattro system.

I have to make a decision relatively soon, within the next week or so.

Is it within acceptable etiquette to request trying as many different ones as possible or is there a max? I’ve tried two so far and want to try another two. Is that typical??

I will be paying for these full price out of pocket without any third party help, and these will be the most expensive thing I’ll have ever purchased in my life (up front anyway), so I’ll really want to get the most suitable pair I can. Will really appreciate getting others’ experience, though fully understand that this will be a very subjective journey for each and every one of us.

Gadgets, apps, connectivity, etc. are of secondary interest - these are still very important but I am posting this primarily for feedback on sound fidelity and “naturalness” - again understand this is very subjective - but it’s still important to have your experience and input!

Short summary :

I was not entirely happy with Opn 1 despite its great marketing of having a “far faster” processor than competitors and the “Opn” concept. Being a tech-inclined person working in the field of acoustics, I was initially quite sold on Oticon’s marketing about its ability to process seemingly far more sounds faster than competitors (enlighten me - can they? or is this just the same for all the first tier HAs? i mean 64 channel processing versus what is the baseline? 32?). I am now trying Quattro 9 which I assume is not as new. I also have my eye on Opn S but my audi says it will not sound that different from Opn 1. I would still want to try it though.

Quick pros and cons:

Oticon Opn 1
Pros:

  • convincing marketing with the opn concept and powerful higher processing chip
  • Good contact noise suppression
  • FAR better looking, far lighter weight (less prone to damage this way i think) and less annoying of a fit with the 312 battery (thin profile)
  • after many tuning attempts its sound-fidelity seems to improve
  • makes me want to try Opn S

Cons:

  • strange machine noise floor sounding like a 500Hz buzz/spacey or sometimes an “s” hissy sound that is quite irritating - not sure if this is a unit defect. left unit particularly noticeable over right unit - Audi hasn’t addressed this issue other than trying to tune down loudness
  • even after multiple tuning, noise suppression is inadequate for loud conditions, noise or music
  • music program not really usable - there is noise, unnatural loudness and subjective distortion
  • hopes for improved speech intelligibility in challenging environment hasn’t improved, but worsened, primarily by introducing a lot of new environmental noise that floods out/masks desirable speech signals. i.e., previously i could hear people as I couldn’t hear much HVAC noise and interpreted the background as being quiet. Now I cannot hear people talk because of all this HVAC noise. It’s like suddenly everything else became louder EXCEPT for people’s voices, like we installed this noise masking system everywhere and now I can’t hear anyone. In SOME cases, SOME female speech will be louder, but still difficult to clearly/easily understand without effort - which is what I’m trying to get at by spending this money!

Resound Quattro 9

Pros:

  • No annoying machine noise floor - yay!
  • equal loudness in both ears
  • subjectively sounds “better” overall - not sure why I feel this way because it is still tinny and “robot”/“machine”-sounding perhaps even slightly more so than the Opn 1
  • not irkingly loud like the Opn 1 but this might be because we are adopting a better tuning strategy after trialing with Opn 1 which was too loud initially. It might also be because I am getting a bit more used to HA wear. But I can actually stand outside on the street with these without running for my life or putting on hearing protector ear muffs.
  • Subjectively better music fidelity - sounds quite natural in some cases, but haven’t tested more cases yet

Cons:

  • Music program doesn’t work for speech.
  • Poor contact noise suppression - i keep hearing my own hair shuffling at the back of my ears, and glasses shifting is highly irritating. Cannot lie down with these. Things have to be placed very gently or it will make jarring sounds
  • Poorer form factor and appearance - not as elegant and modern looking as Oticon Opn, including parts and accessories.
  • Uncomfortable fit - Larger, notably heavier, and worse fit behind my ears. Get a bit of a headache after extended use from the pressure against my head. Uncomfortable receiver tip even though it is smaller than the Opn open RIE.

Does anyone here have experience with both Opn 1 and Quattro 9? Or Otion versus Resound in general? Which one did you ultimately go with, and why?

Welcome your feedback and thanks for reading!!

Long version with lots of experiential details:

I am an acoustician and my work requires critical listening. I thought I had been coping very well up till now. In fact I’m debating whether I need such a high end device or if I should switch to Strategy B and go with the lowest prices HA I need as a barebone fallback tool, primarily for atypical speech in challenging environments. For now I am sticking with strategy A which is the path i’m on: going all out for the best and latest I can afford.

Part of this exercise is also determining how much real hearing benefit I would get with the various types of HA I am trying, and getting the best cost-effectiveness ratio. I also understand it is good for my brain to regain those signals again.

I am quite young to have my type of hearing loss based on the typical hearing loss stereotype. My brother also has hearing loss, though he suffers a completely different kind, but he gave me the courage, contextual info, and guidance to even try the HA and be an informed consumer, so a big thanks to him for getting my feet in the water!!

I have a deep plunge in the high frequencies (dive from normal level or zero dB loss starts about 2500Hz and goes steep down into severe loss beyond 7000 Hz).

I am also an amateur musician and have had subjectively “good ears” all my life (picky ears when it comes to music and sound in general, despite the high frequency hearing loss) thus it was difficult to come to terms with the reality of my hearing loss condition. I have been generally able to cope with it well and have relatively good ears considering the condition, until very recently when I have to work with VERY soft spoken, and highly accented speech on a regular basis.

I have had a lot of trouble with accented speech and speech in noisy environments. I would get annoyed or even angry thinking people were mumbling and purposely soft-spoken. I also notice that even in noisy environments, softer-spoken people would consistently speak at 3-6 dB below background noise level (where one’s voice would still be audible to a normal hearing ear, but not easily intelligible). Even when people raised their voices, this wouldn’t help as it would generally be just at or slightly above background noise level. I still could not understand them, and as they got louder they just got even more unclear. For me to understand them easily, they would need to be 5 to 10 dB above background and speak slower if they have a heavy accent. That requires significant effort all around and puts a huge strain on relationships. In other words, for HA to work for me, they have to not only augment the speech signal they need to really really reduce the bg noise. Or, I am just asking HAs to do what they aren’t really supposed to do, and the difficult situations I am perceiving are in reality, difficult for normal hearing as well. This is a possibility.

Another condition that irritated me before HA was when I cannot understand female presenters in a large conference room, thinking they were poor presenters. Perhaps they weren’t projecting their voices enough, but it probably was not THAT bad for people with normal hearing.

Do normal hearing people have difficulty with soft spoken folks and accented speech???

At a famous opera house in a famous city, I had once thought the architectural acoustics was poor because of very poor speech intelligibility of the performers. When I complained of it, a few other people who overheard me instantly complained of the same. Thinking back, I’m not sure if the opera house actually was difficult to understand speech in (due to architecture making the sound muddy), or if all of us who complained had some degree of hearing loss.

Anyway, finally realizing these issues were at least partially due to the HF loss was quite enlightening for me.

I started trying Oticon Opn 1 about 1.25 months ago with very high hopes, thinking I’ll instantly be able to understand every accented and soft-spoken colleague and no longer needing to sit in the front row for lectures. Because my hearing in all other bands is still very good and I have very good coping and speech comprehension mechanisms in general (100% speech comprehension unaided during hearing test + good at general guessing), the hearing aids’ initial tuning (which was already dialed down from my prescription to allow for beginner’s comfort) made things way too loud and subjectively really noisy for me, and thus worsened, rather than improved comprehension.

Upon putting on the aids, speech was quite tinny and robotic (machine-sounding) for me. Audi and I tried to tune it down a bit to mitigate this condition. The tinniness that tinges everything, particularly speech, improves sometimes with different tuning, but will resurface with some other tuning, and resurfaced again later when i switch to Resound.

Unfortunately for the first month at least, with Opn 1 my speech comprehension declined whenever there was any bit of background noise. I can hear a LOT more noise in the environment, so even our typically quiet office became noticeably noisy for me, while the speech signals mostly remained at the same level; in other words, speech got drowned out or “masked” with the new influx of noise. Urban traffic-filled streets and restaurant environments became jarringly loud and unbearable, and I find myself losing even more ability to comprehend speech. At noisy events, I went from sometimes being a little left out of the loop unaided at a party, to becoming totally immobilized and astounded from the intense cacophony at loud gatherings with the HAs on (though already volumed-down). My noise sensitivity worsened and I kept turning down the volume on my HA or muting it altogether, sometimes ending up catching myself having a great conversation while the HA is on mute, but unable to hear or concentrate when the HA is on. I met with my audi regularly over this time frame and we tuned it down about 4 times.

Throwing in a bit of the positives before i continue with critical feedback -

The best improvement I got was ability to naturally pick up bird chirps. That’s delightful. I could hear some bird chirps unaided but they weren’t so loud and prominent and thus I hadn’t noticed them. Now I notice them and am surprised at how active birds are around me. Also, whenever I was able to not get distracted by the negative aspects, I was able to begin appreciating that little “infill” the HA was doing for me where I could hear a fuller range of the sound from things. like the ringing/shrilly vibration sounds from metal or porcelain things touching. Door knobs. Clicky sounds, water running in old high pressure piping. The highest notes on my piano sounds louder and sharper with a gentle touch instead of just a dull knock needing much force. People’s typing in the office became much “louder” and prominent. I can hear high frequency reflections in a room when the room has hard reflective surfaces.

Back to the critical observations.

I still have difficulty with people’s speech especially soft-spoken male voices (since their voice range isn’t in my loss profile). So I don’t think my hearing comprehension improved.

Another frustrating observation with the Opn 1 was that the Opn 1 I was using (i think it was brand brand new!) had a strange machine noise floor, a buzzy electronic white noise “spacy” sound (particularly around 500Hz ish), especially noticeable whenever there is a traffic or HVAC/equipment noise source and the HAs are trying to amplify it. The left side sounded louder, at least 1.5db - 3dB louder than the left side with this weird machine noise. I’m not sure if this was a unit defect, it would be about 1-2 dB over “silent” conditions but is very annoying (a side note on dB - typically people in sound-related professions, including my own, say 3 dB is normal perceivable difference in sound level, but with trained ears, a quiet environment and specific sound signal types, people can hear 1 to 1.5 dB difference. So my ears are quite sensitive, from working in sound-critical environments, training to listen to different frequency sounds, and using calibrated sound measurement devices all the time).

Because of this weird machine noise floor, I would neurotically keep switching between mute versus “on” to try to compare the difference between on and off status of the HA, and trying to “quantify” the “benefits/improvements” I’m getting. Most of the time I end up noticing the machine noise floor and getting annoyed at it. Imagine turning the radio on with this white noise of electronics being “on”, but not amplifying any sound or music - that’s what it sounds like to me.

As mentioned I had 3 or 4 tunings at the Audi. She maxed out the noise suppression function, and tuned down the “normal” output level, while still trying to maintain adequate output where I need it most, in the higher frequencies 2000Hz+. After the last tuning, the normal volume was no longer as noisy and unbearable for typical working and home conditions. I do walk around on the streets a lot and use public transit, which is noisy. So, that is the most terrifying noise environment for me with HA. On the urban main streets I have to use ear muff hearing protectors to avoid uncomfortably loud conditions while I am wearing hearing aids (especially with trucks that have metal parts clanking and squealy wheels). This then causes me to have a lot of gadgets to have to wear and bring and manage (I typically wear a UV sun-visor, and wear glasses, and have very narrow behind-ears-space, so i have very limited ears and head real estate now with the hearing aids, glasses, sunhat, and the hearing protective ear muff – all a very ridiculous image.)

On a side note, I am also trying IQbuds Boost, at least for my commute. These are listening devices (like headphones/ear buds) with high sound fidelity and sound quality for listening from playback devices, AND have the option to either block out outside noise or to let in outside noise with augmented frequencies customized to your hearing profile intended for speech augmentation (it does a personal hearing scan for you). I was hoping maybe my level of hearing loss can be helped just by a hearing amplifier like this rather than a high end hearing aid. (Note that half a year before all of this I have tried “the bean”, an over the counter sound amplifier, and that did not work for me). Anyway hearing aids are far more sophisticated than the non-prescriptive hearing assist/amplifying devices. Price difference is 1:10+ ratio, $600 vs $7500 cdn.

I also took the Opn 1 out to a symphony concert. The dynamic range (meaning the softest versus the loudest sounds) of the music performance was really wide and moved between loud and soft extremely quickly; whenever it got loud quickly before I can adjust my HA, I would feel like I am going deaf from my HAs because it all got just so so unprecedentedly loud. And because the loudness would shock me, I wouldn’t be able to hear the soft parts immediately follow, and would try to turn on/unmute my HA again… It was a strange virgin concert with HAs (I am an avid classical concert goer and that was the first time I had HA in concert). I was frantically fumbling with my hearing aids through the concert, trying to lower volume or mute when I anticipated things were gonna get really loud, and then try to turn it back on when things got really soft, and also was trying to compare the no-HA vs HA conditions, and generally just being really busy with them. I felt like I could enjoy the music, but couldn’t avoid feeling it all sounded a bit “electronic.” Also the manual controls obviously were quite slow and laggy compared to real-time live music!! I asked the Audi afterwards she confirmed that for loud sounds the HA should technically not be amplifying any more. But sound occurs in very specific bands and so collectively there was still too much amplification even if some loudest bands weren’t getting amplified.

The main impression in my first few moments or days of each wear/ each tuning was that things sounded quite tinny. Audi would tune it so it was okay at her quiet office then when I leave her office it would get bad again. I would get surprising cat-call type whistles from merely blowing off dust on something, or get spooked off my feet when I flush the toilet or use anything metal, or wince from our old house’s squeaky taps. Under good conditions, after half a day to a few days, that intensity with the squeaks and tinniness (robot voice) would subside, not sure if it was my brain or the HA’s own magic inner workings since after all, the Opn is supposed to have the most powerful computer and advanced software.

After a few days from the 4th tuning, I think i began to like and get attached to the Opn 1. I think using the ear muffs on the streets or just not wearing HA in loud environments (and using hearing protection) really help too. I am still unconvinced I have any help in understanding heavily accented speech, and I still do poorly in loud restaurants with multiple speech circles going on. I feel subjectively that I actually do worse with the HA than being unaided in such conditions. Previously I would be able to at least hear people who were close to me. But with the HAs, I get so overwhelmed with the intensity of all the background noise that I wouldn’t understand ANYONE. My attention gets suckered into fighting the jarring, overwhelming cacophony and loudness of everything.

Because of this I am hesitant to have to drop 7000 ~ 8000 ($CDN) on them… yet.

I just swapped the Opn 1 for the Resound yesterday. While the Resound also has tinny and “artificial/electronic” sounding higher frequencies, it wasn’t as jarring to me as the Opn. And best of all it didn’t have the 500Hz machine noise floor white noise/'spacey" sound. I practiced playing classical piano with the Resound today on the music program (too bad didn’t get to do too much of that while I had the Opn1) I think I am able to adjust my piano-playing to avoid it becoming too “tinny” - I could play softer and have it sound great. Because of the absence of the machine noise that was present in the Opn which distracted me, with the Resound I am able to focus on relearning the sounds I hadn’t been able to hear before. Even if things sound slightly artificial, it didn’t frustrate me as much to use them. I can again hear the metallic shrill sounds of the piano and of brass instruments. When unaided, my piano had sounded to me more “wood-like,” a bit “duller,” smoother, more mellow, and more comforting, — not as brilliant, metallic, energizing, and dynamic as with the HAs on.

I will look for opportunities to take Resound to boisterous restaurants and events to see how they work there. Also will need to really test Resound with listening to people talk, like soft-speakers and accented speakers.

I am learning to appreciate HAs.

So far, I am quite torn - Opn 1 has much better form factor (it is far prettier and sleeker in every way than the Resound), is lighter and thus easier to maneuver, fits better behind my ear (tho both don’t fit that well and fight for space behind ears with my glasses - the Resound is worse), has far better contact noise suppression, a nicer phone clip, and more comfortable in-ear piece. The con is its strange machine noise and a bit unnatural high frequency interpretation at times. I would want to try the feedback suppression and contact noise suppression of the Opn S. I also hope perhaps there was a defect with that pair I tried on, or the weirdness, loudness and awkward sounds could be further helped by tuning.

The Resound doesn’t sound as obtrusive. The Audi tuned it to something similar to my last tuning with the Opn 1 - so I am assuming the tuning isn’t the issue here. The Resound doesn’t have that weird white machine noise. Amplified higher frequencies are noticeable and tad artificial but tolerable and slightly more natural than Opn1 to the point where I can more often forget it than I forget the Opn 1. With the Opn 1 I will forget I’m wearing them physically due to form factor and weight; Resound i can forget them because environments sound more natural but the form factor will irritate me. Resound has terrible contact noise also and i constantly hear my hair and my eyeglasses whenever I have the slightest movement. This also makes lying down very noisy so I cannot wear them when lying down.

I like the Resound app better in terms of program control.

Resound has a bit more lag than Opn when it comes to controls and connection. This takes getting used to. Overall both HA contols have some lag so it is not possible to time things to sync perfectly with real world. Best if it’s all done by internal processing and no manual work is necessary to circumvent the whole lag issue. and that’s what I had hoped to achieve with Opn’s faster processor but in this case I’m not sure if either are up to par.

I have written long enough and so if you have made it this far down, thanks for your time.

Look forward to reading and participating more here.

Thanks.

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#2

You should try Phonak Marvel and something of Widex, too.

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#3

You didn’t post your audiogram so we have no idea what kind of hearing loss you have.

What is contact noise suppression? I never heard anybody here use that terms before.

As for simple noise suppression, if you had understood the concept of the open paradigm, you will know that the OPN does not suppress noise by design. It only cleans up speech to make speech clearer, but it doesn’t want to make any noise go away for you. That’s on purpose by design. If you find noisy environments overwhelming, turn down the volume until you have time to get used to it. It takes a month or more to start getting used to the noise and learning to tune it out.

Strange machine noise floor is probably because your HCP set the Directionality setting to Full Directional. That’s the only time I would hear any white noise from my OPN 1.

Tinny sound may be from your fitting that’s maybe too open ( like with open domes). Again, you went through great lengths to describe everything in minute details but you don’t post the most critical information, your audiogram and how you’re being fitted.

Also, I don’t understand why you didn’t opt to try the OPN S but instead chose to try the original OPN.

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#4

They need to have a faster processing platform than their previous generation in order to do the kind of noise reduction in speech the way they implemented it.

But again, their kind of noise reduction is mainly to improve speech clarity. It’s not meant to eliminate what you think is noise. So you still hear everything around you, noise included.

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#5

Oh my gosh. Summarize!

The most important thing is speech recognition. Music is a nice-to-have. Naturalness is a much less important thing because your brain will adjust and whatever you hear all day, every day will start to sound natural after a few weeks.

It is not unusual that the second one you tried sounds better because your brain has already started to get used to the idea. Hearing aids are not like glasses (you put on glasses and instantly see perfectly). It takes time for your brain to adjust so it is likely any brand and model will work.

The pro who is making the adjustments is much more important than which current, state-of-the-art hearing aid you choose.

Tinny sound probably means you are hearing more high frequencies than before.

I would try to narrow it down to a couple of models just based on features and the pro’s recommendation and give them a longer test with multiple adjustments but, not adjustments based on comfort or natural sound. Adjust based on understanding speech and any issues like feedback. Things I would adjust are soft voices, feedback, /s/, /sh/ issues, speech in loud noise, phone use or streaming, and manual programs.

Things like difficulty with dishes clanking and even potato chip bags are normal and we all go through this. Your brain will learn to turn down those things internally.

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#6

Based on what you describe, excellent hearing out to 2500 and then a sharp plunge, you have a difficult hearing loss to aid. You are correct that high frequency hearing loss will first impact soft speakers, distant speakers, and accented speech.

If you are attending a loud concert, take the hearing aids out and put hearing protection in. (As an aside, I don’t know what kind of music culture you are a part of, and while I don’t want to stereotype, be aware that smoking increases your risk of noise-induced hearing injury.)

I wouldn’t worry about trying the Opn S if the Opn 1 didn’t work for you. The Opn is doing a lot of processing and in my experience it has a pretty high noise floor. Do not expect hearing aids to supress any noise with an open fit, rather the aim will be to boost the clarity of the person you are talking to enough that you can hear them more easily despite the noise. It may indeed be worthwhile trying a less expensive hearing aid, given your loss. You may not notice much difference. I find the Unitron Moxi 500 to be fairly quiet and Unitron tends to be good about maintaining features at lower levels, but there are probably other good low cost options with quiet processors.

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#7

I have trialed OPN1 (2X), Signia, Quattro and Phonak. What I discovered is that the right audiologist is as important as the brand of HA. I have ordered the Phonak Marvel 90 13T . My first audiologist was fitting me with two aids and the second audiologist told me that my right ear doesn’t need an aid at this time, thus saving about half of the cost. I feel that the first audiologist did a poor fitting for me on the OPN1 and the Signia aids so I can’t give you good feedback on those brands compared to the Resound and the Phonak. Both the Quattro and the Marvels were great aids providing great sounds. I picked the Phonak because of the Autosense 3.0 programming and the connectivity to the android phone. Yes, you can trial not only different brands of aids but also different audiologist. You will be surprised on the results when you do your research. It is a lot of money, so don’t feel bad if ask to trial different aids.

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#8

Thanks so much for responding @Volusiano and everyone!

Thanks for being patient with my newb-ness.

By contact noise suppression I mean to describe direct contact of the hearing aids (mic) particularly by hair, and glasses, things that are also there with it behind my ears. I didn’t get as much distraction from Opn as I did from Resound.

How do we post our Audiogram? Everyone talks of posting it. I’ve added links to my profile but is there a better way to post this?

[UPDATE - I have updated my audigram to my profile - thanks for help on this]

Also how do I get information from Audi on “how i’m getting fitted”? I am actually curious about getting this from audi - what do I tell her that I want from her? I’ve posted a phone stealth snapshot (linked above and on my profile) of my first or second tuning. can i ask for these printouts or tuning records from the Audi?

I didn’t try the Opn S initially because i didn’t know about it - clinic did not offer it as one of their options or have it in stock. I called Audi to ask her about it she was hesitant because she would have to order another set for me to try.

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#9

Ah, I take back what I said. Your hearing loss is pretty typical. I was imagining flat hearing at 0 dB out to 2500 Hz followed by a precipitous drop.

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#10

It simply means whether you are given a certain type of dome (open or closed or whatever in between) or have custom molds, what size receiver, etc.

My guess now that you showed your audiogram is that you have open domes. That for sure makes things sound tinny, especially when streaming audio. And like Neville said, open domes will not help you filter out the noise very well because the wide vents simply let everything in. And will also leak out all the lows from the streaming audio, making things sound tinny.

Members who have the headphones icon next to their icon have the audiogram shown in their profile. You may want to click on one to see what it looks like and do some search to figure out how to enter it. If you’re quite techy like you say you are, I’m sure you can figure it out. It’s better to put your audiogram there than to just post a link because then anyone can look at it any time they want. Otherwise, your link easily gets lost in a single post.

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#11

OK I get it now. As far as I know, there’s really no technology anywhere to help eliminate contact noise. You just have to find a hearing aid that is sleek enough to be minimally obtrusive to avoid rubbing on things on your head.

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#12

If you don’t have much issues with feedback, then trying out the original OPN is OK. But in the end if you decide to go with the OPN, I still would order the OPN S instead of the original OPN.

From reading your original post, it sounds like you felt overwhelmed with hearing many things you haven’t heard before, or hearing them more loudly now.

Although you’ve had over a month of trial on the OPN 1, it sounds like you still need more time to get adjusted to your new found hearing. It sounds like your brain is still needing more time to get used to the new hearing and be able to sort things out better but gradually. You’re expecting the hearing aids to be a miracle for you but they can only let you hear what you’re missing and your brain still had the heavy task of processing and handling the new found sound.

The OPN with its open paradigm may make it even more overwhelming for you because it doesn’t try to block out sounds. You may find other hearing aid brands and models more comforting because they do try to block out surrounding sounds more aggressively for you.

So it’s really up to you to decide which way you want to go. Stick with the OPN and let your brain do more heavy lifting with the adjustment over a longer period of time, or go for other hearing aids that block out sounds more aggressively to help you transition into wearing hearing aids more smoothly and comfortably. There’s no right or wrong way of doing it, only the way that will work out best for you.

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#13

Okay thanks for the clarification. I think for noise reduction, subjectively Resound sounds better so far. I understand we cannot block out or suppress noise due to the open dome receiver, but I was hoping it would at least not over-amplify noise or generate its own noise (noise floor) and artifacts, especially in already noisy environments. I do realize and keep reminding myself that I have to let my brain relearn how to process sounds… right now it’s having a real fit.

oops okay I just saw your reply just now, about letting brain do heavy lifting and giving it some more time. Yep agree!

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#14

Thanks so much! I understand this is old news for you all but it is reassuring for me as a newb to have these insights!

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#15

The OPN actually does try to do some noise reduction/balancing out well placed noise sources. Then it’d go to the next step and tries to reduce diffused noise, but only when speech is present.

But it would never try to over amplify noise. Any such perception you have is simply because your brain is not used to hearing the true level of the noise yet (which can be very loud and jarring).

Besides, we speak of noise in general as if the hearing aid can really read our mind to know what’s noise and what’s not. But it’s really a subjective thing. For example, restaurant music playing from behind you may be noise to you if you don’t want to hear it, but it may be desired sound to another if they like to hear it in the background.

As for the floor noise, i suspect that there’s something wrong with the demo hearing aids you have. I’ve owned the OPN for 2.5 years now and I never hear any floor noise, except only when I have the Directionality setting at to Full Directional, and only in a quiet environment do I hear this very faint noise. That is an inherently negative but well documented trade off most hearing aids have (not just the OPN) when being put in the full directional beam forming mode. My hearing loss is worse than yours so my amplification level is most likely higher than yours, yet I never notice any floor noise when my directionality setting is set to Open Automatic.

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