I’m an OPN1 user and have been trying the OPN S 1 MiniRite’s for 10 days now. Here are some first impressions.
The form factor is unchanged from the OPNs. I’m still using the 85 receivers, which provides good results for my loss on speech even though I have severe-profound loss on the high end. I’m still able to handle normal conversations as well as use the phone.
I was happy that my audiogram hadn’t changed much at all in the last 3 years since the last test. That sort of gives me one less variable when comparing the two HA’s since the programming is the same.
My job requires me to be on the phone most of the time and I’m happy to report that the MIFI integration with my iPhone X running IOS 12.2 is as good as it was with the OPN’s. No annoying clicking reported, as it was often the case with earlier versions of IOS. IOS still cant’s handoff control from the iPhone to the iPad as Apple advertises but that is another story.
With respect to sound quality, my first impression is that there was a subtle but noticeable quality to the sound on the OPN S’s that made them feel sharper… almost better defined speech sound. Only time will tell if this is just placebo-effect or if that will help me understand speech better over the long haul.
I did visit two noisy restaurants over the weekend and tried out the Open Sound Booster. At the beginning I didn’t understand how it’s supposed to work and couldn’t work out what is supposed to do, as I didn’t notice any significant improvement. After seeing one of the videos posted here and now realize that they mute out sounds in the sides and back and help focus on what is in front so the use-case is specific to having a conversation with someone in front. I tried that on the second restaurant and it still wasn’t a material improvement but there seemed to be something there. Will need more time to make up my mind (after trying the OPNs in the same situation).
With respect to feedback issues, I use vented solid micro molds and under normal use, feedback wasn’t a big issue unless I tried to put something next to my ears. I am, however, very conscious and avoid hugging or getting to close to people in any way. I am happy to report that there is a significant improvement in this area. Feedback is all gone and I can actually cup my ears with my hand and any initial brief feedback disappears completely. In fact, I can put on my regular noise-cancelling headset over my ears (which I use on the train to work in order to quiet the ride) without having to mute the hearing aids first. Not sure I would normally do this but it is a good indication in my mind that there is significant improvement here.
I should say that there is nothing wrong with my OPN’s. I am just fortunate that my insurance covers approx. 2/3 of the cost for these every two years so my rationale is to take advantage while I can. My audi also advised that the price was likely to go up and that drove the decision to try them out.
One side benefit here is that the new OPN S have corrected the issues I had with the volume up/down functionality using the HA buttons. My Audi said they had tracked this down on the OPN’s to the Genie software they were using to roll out firmware 6. The OPN S are programmed with the newer release of Genie and whether that fixed it or if it was fixed with V7 of the firmware which the OPN S run is anyone’s guess. The fact is I can now control the volume again using the HA buttons.
I suspect that Oticon is going to release additional features if, in fact, they increased the amount of memory on the device and that might be needed for the upcoming Kaizn features. I’m only speculating here.
In summary, I hear a significant improvement on feedback management. I also hear a subtle improvement on speech recognition but much less so (10% as advertised might be right but not sure yet)
I normally don’t post reviews but given how much value I’ve gotten out of this forum, figured i try to contribute.