New Oticon OPN 1 hearing aids sound different than the trial pair I was using

Short version:
Should my new Oticon OPN 1 hearing aids sound identical to the demo pair I had been using (same model OPN 1, same receivers 85db and same domes)? Is there a break-in period for new hearing aids or the receivers for them to sound right or similar to the used/demo hearing aids?

Long Version:
I have tried out a few different hearing aids over the last couple of months and finally decided I like the Oticon OPN 1 the best. I had a trial pair which I wore for about 6 weeks and just got the new pair yesterday that I would be purchasing if all goes well. As soon as I put them on I told my Audiologist that they sound different, more fuller/muddier/more bass tones than the demo set I had been using. She said that she was using the same settings that were in the demo set and that sometimes hearing aids will sound different than others even when they are the same make/model.

I thought maybe it’s just me or I have to adjust to the new ones but after wearing them around yesterday I am not happy with them. Basically they are missing some of the clarity that I had with the demo pair. I also have my own programmer and I tried a couple things to see if I could improve the sound and I also verified that the settings in the new hearing aids are identical to the demos. They just don’t sound as good/clear which affects my speech recognition. So my question is if anybody else has experienced a difference in sound with new hearing aids compared to a demo set and is there a break-in period for new hearing aids or the speakers/receivers for them to sound right?

When I upgrade firmware on OPN 1, I have experienced that gain have changed to softer settings. Maybe you got new one with other FW version?

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Thank you, good suggestion. I did verify the new hearing aids are running the latest firmware (5). The trial pair I had were originally running the version 4 firmware which I used for a couple weeks and then they were upgraded to the version 5 firmware. I did not notice any difference in sound after the firware was upgraded so I don’t think that is the problem with the new ones.

What about the “5 quesions” (I think its under personal preferences). Maybe it was done the first fitting and not the last…

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Yes those are all the same. I downloaded the same profile and session that was used in the trial pair myself so I know that all the software settings are identical. The only change made has been the hardware. I’m planning on returning these on Monday and asking for a replacement. It’s just strange though, I really would expect one set of OPN1’s to sound the same as any other as long as the settings are the same.

Sorry to chime in a little off topic, but is the fitting hardware and Genie 2 software available for purchase by end users?

Thank you,
Mike

Hear is the forum post about where to find the software and programming hardware. Lots of good information here.

Thank you for the link!

This reminded me of another forum member (whom I forgot her user name) who tried out the OPN 1 with an audi, then returned it and tried out a Costco brand (the KS7), but wasn’t as happy so decided to go back to the OPN 1 through a different route (this time through an online outfit to get it for cheaper). But then she complained that the new OPN 1 didn’t sound as good as the old OPN 1. But the difference here is that she’s not sure what the original audi did to make it sound better than the new online outfit. I think in the end she went back to the original audi and paid to have it reprogrammed or something like that, if I remember correctly.

I guess the question is "Are you absolutely sure the settings are the same between now and then? How did you verify it?

One other thing to check is whether the source of the audiogram has changed somehow?

One thing to try is to do an in-situ audiometry (since you have the programmer and you’re already on firmware 5) and re-prescribe the new pair based on the in-situ result instead of the original audiometry result to see if it helps?

Your audiogram seems pretty flat except for the left ear on the highs. One thing to check is to make sure the same fitting rationale is used like before.

Maybe hearing aids do break in but I’m not sure if they should sound THAT different if not broken in that you could tell the difference right away. Maybe there’s something else going on here.

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Thank you for the suggestions Volusiano. I verified the settings are the same in the new hearing aids in the following manner. Right before I took the demo pair of hearing aids back to pick up my new ones I backed them up to a new session in the Genie 2 software. When I picked up the new ones I wore them for several hours and when I got home I backed them up to a new session and then installed the original session I had saved from the trial pair. I also verified the difference of the program settings and a couple tweaks I had made in the demo pair that were now in the new pair so I know I am using my previous settings that were in the original demo pair. I also have a printed report of the settings from the previous sessions so I can visually compare the settings and make sure everything is exactly the same.

One thing I was confused about, you said to check whether the source of the audiogram has changed somehow? Maybe you could explain that a bit more.

I experimented a bit with the in-situ audiometry before with the demo set and it was interesting but my hearing seemed better with the original programming from the audiologist so I had kept mostly to her formula with some minor setting tweaks. Maybe I’ll try the in-situ again tomorrow and see if it helps any with my current problem. Like you said though, for the sound to be that different it seems like something else is going on.

When your audi created your profile into Genie 2 for the OPN, she entered in your audiogram as an input. If you later just downloaded the settings from your OPN into your own copy of your own Genie 2 database, your audiogram that these settings are prescribed to is already inherent/embedded in the settings. I’m not sure if you can see it as an input anymore in your own copied over database, although your audi can see it as an input in her original database.

So the way you did it was that you copied your demo OPN settings into your own Genie 2 database then load this back to the newly purchased OPN. In theory the embedded audiogram should not have changed. You can view it in the Audiogram menu in the Selection page and verify against your original audiogram furnished by the audi on paper to make sure that they match 100%.

It’d be worth trying the in-situ audiometry again in the new OPN even though you already tried the in-situ on the demo OPN and didn’t like it as much as the audi’s audiogram. The reason is this, if there’s truly any significant different in the new OPN, like for example, for some reason, the new receivers are not as powerful as the demo ones like they should be because they are out of specs (or maybe the demo ones were out of spec, whatever), the new in-situ results will be different than your original in-situ results for the demo one, and will prescribe the new OPN to compensate for the weaker receivers and deliver more amplification to meet your hearing loss if it’s under power due to being out of spec.

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Oh okay, now I understand. Yes I checked and the audiogram did carry over when I copied the settings from the trail set of Opn1 and it is correct. I’m going to try the in-situ audiometry today and see if that helps compensate for the variation in sound I’m hearing between the two sets of hearing aids.

I believe it was @Um_bongo who said that the default setting over amplify the bass end. That would seem to indicate that they need the audiologist to be aware of this. You have a flat loss in one and a reverse in the other. Those evidently aren’t well addressed by the software. That why you need a superior fitter familiar with the problem and not one dependent on the software.

I think he was happy with the outcome as programmed by his audi on the demo pair already. So that’s not really the issue anymore. The actual pair should have performed the same way as the demo pair but it didn’t.

Anyway, he still has the service of the audi to figure out why they don’t sound the same. He’s probably just asking for ideas online here as second opinions.

I did notice the bass end was much more pronounced in the new hearing aids but I didn’t have that problem in the demo pair. My hearing does not handle bass tones very well and it can quickly distort the other tones I’m trying to hear. It took a lot of work and fine tuning to try and filter that out and even then I am still having a hard time getting the clarity back that I feel I’m missing.

I spent several hours yesterday working with the new Opn1 hearing aids trying to adjust the settings to a satisfactory level. I could make the sound better but not to the level I was hoping for. I had the best results using the in-situ audiometry and raising the levels below 750 a notch or two to reduce the overall bass tones a bit. I was able to improve things but I’m still not satisfied with them.

So I took the new hearing aids back this morning. My audiologist was not in today but I have an appointment with her tomorrow. They did give me back the trial pair of opn1’s I was using before so I’m happy to be using them again, maybe they can just sell me those lol. I’m going to ask that they order a replacement set of Opn1’s and hopefully those will match up better to the sound I’m getting from the demo pair which I’m happy with.

On the plus side, I did get the ConnectClip from them also a few days ago and I’ve been very hapy with that. I use it to stream from the bluetooth transmitters I have hooked up to my television and computer and it works great.

An obvious thing to check that I don’t recall mentioned in previous posts on this thread is whether the demo pair is on the same firmware as the newly purchased pair or not.

If they’re different, that may explain for the difference you’re hearing. They might have modified the fitting rationale in the newer firmware to supposedly improve things, but maybe ending up not to your liking.

And I assume that the fitting rationale used is still the same? It should be if you copy the settings over, but just in case.

Oticon has, in several of their presentations/papers/podcasts talked about how they customize their fitting rationale to deal with reverse slope loss differently than conventional thinking. Conventional thinking is to provide boost where the loss is, hence boosting the low end on reverse ski slope loss. But Oticon has found that this does not improve clarity but muddy things up. They’ve found that boosting more of the mid range help improve speech clarity better for folks with the reverse slope loss because it focuses on enhancement where things count for speech, which is more in the mid and high ends.

Both sets of hearing aids have the latest firmware installed. The trial set came with version 4 which I used for a couple weeks and then they were updated to firmware version 5. I didn’t notice any difference in sound after the firmware was updated. The new set came with the latest firmware already installed. All the other fitting rationale is identical. I’ve checked every page and setting available. The good part of all this is I’m getting to know my way around that software lol.

I had read that before about Oticon having a good strategy with reverse ski slope loss and it was one of the main reasons I initially tried the Opn1. It certainly worked for me and I could really tell the difference in them over the other hearing aids I trialed.

I experienced the difference in my previous Oticon Alta2Pros. I loved the Demo’s which were marked Demo’s. The brand new pair sounded different. Same exact receivers and domes and programing. My Audi reminded me of this happening last week when I picked up the OPN1’s to trial. I wanted to Demo the exact pair I will buy. I have very severe hearing loss, and I am very sensitive to the differences. I hope they are able to sell you the pair you want. In my case, they could not because they were labelled demo.

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Thank you for sharing that Mago. It helps to know that I’m not the only one who has experienced this type of problem. My trial pair are also marked “DEMO” and so they cannot sell those to me. My Audi returned the set I’m having problems with and now I am waiting for the replacement set to arrive in a couple days. I really hope the new replacement set of Opn1’s will sound more like the demo set I’m using.

I have fitted a lot of Opn 1’s. I haven’t had anyone report this change in sound quality. I feel they should sound the same as the loaners.