Newest Science in Hearing Shows Brain Needs Access to Full Sound Landscape

This is an interesting read. And after wearing OPN and OPNS aids now for almost two years, I have to say my hearing experience has greatly improved, but it has taken a lot of adjustments over a period of a year to get them to the point that they are. All I can say it has been well worth the time investment.

I’m always impressed by Oticon’s ability to sound very cool while saying pretty much nothing.


At least for me the truth is in how much better I hear and how much less stress I have when in an environment where I am really needing to understand what is being said. Even when it gets noisy. Oh and my less stress has even been noted by my doctor every time he reads my blood pressure charts


I was part of a “clinical trial” for OPN S1 devices (a ploy by the local chain to get people in the door to try out HA) for a week last summer. I’ve been wearing the most basic Starkeys for about four years now, and I was expecting to be blown away by the technology in top-shelf aids, at least judging from advertising and testimonials.

I ended up having to return the aids a week into the two week “study” because I couldn’t discern any real benefit to these $6k devices over what I had already, even in a noisy restaurant setting, with the sole exception that wind noise reduction was better in the OPNs. The fitter conducting the “study” deemed it pointless for me to continue walking around out there with their expensive devices.

I continue to have Oticons on my short list only because of compatibility with wireless stethoscope use, not because of any significant improvement in my ability to hear.

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Oticon; ‘The Fonz’ of the Hearing Aid Industry…


Let me say this I was not impressed at first with the OPN1 aids, and I did take a number of adjustments and even a number of resets and starting over to get them right for my hearing loss issues, but the end results is what is the most important thing. And when it came to getting the OPNS1 aids the transistion was very easy and sweet, all my Audi had to do was transfer what we already had done with the OPN1 aids to the OPNS1 aids and make some fine adjustments to take in to account the differences in recievers, and ear molds. And I could not be happier.
Anything worth having takes dedication, and hard work to find what works. A week with the aids, and nothing but the first adjustments is so very wrong.

you say what you want I will always take Oticon over the others, the sound for me cannot be beaten. But it takes an Audi that has his heart in to really wanting to make the aids work correctly. A patient or and Audi that doesn’t want to work at getting them right is usless in my book.

It’s just another data point. No need to get so defensive. And I did say the OPN S1s were better (wind noise reduction). Just not $5000 better, and that is just my opinion, which is worth exactly what you paid for it. So relax.

I also don’t know how you jumped to the apparent conclusion that I was disparaging your favourite brand. I could also be saying that basic hearing aids these days are already amazingly good.


Sorry I get very upset with so many that think that the first fitting with the hearing aids, is all that they ever need. I have even had a couple of Audis that felt that way. I do not care what hearing aids anyone wears, it isn’t about the hearing aids as much as it is about the fit and adjustments. And not even all Audis understand that. I work with Veterans at the local clinic, or at least I did before this virus. I gave them information and I guess you could say a lecture about hearing aids, and what it really took to get use to them, and to get them set up correctly. Just thinks that I had to learn the hard way. I was so surprised at the number that bluntly said if they do not work the first time then they did not want them. People are brain washed to believe aids are just like glasses, and I have seen that repeated by a couple of Audis I had in the beginning.
I was not able to be fitted with basic hearing aids when I first got hearing aids. I had a cookie bite hearing loss from hell was my first Audis own words. I had perfect hearing in the low and high frequencies, and moderately sever in the mid range frequencies. I could not understand speech very well, but most other sounds ran me nuts. And my tinnitus, sounded like a white noise generator was running 24/7 in my head. Well it is getting some what easier to fit my needs now that I am starting to lose my high freqencies and some of my lows.
Again I am sorry and I really do not care what aids anyone wears as long as they get them set correctly for their hearing needs.

I totally get that, but I’m not a first time hearing aid user. This fitter gave me a new audiogram and looked at the settings of my aids, and kept insisting that the S1s would be so much better. I went back for two adjustments and was asked to hand the S1s back over at the end of the second one.

Again: I’m not saying the S1s were terrible; they were fine. I wasn’t having any trouble with my cheapies, but I saw the ad in the paper for a two-week study and figured, well, nothing to lose but some time. Oh, and one more nice thing about the S1s that I liked: the ability to stream GPS directions to my ear while driving, thereby appearing to be an absolute human map to my passengers.

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I also get that but at least for me my audiogram and the REM test is only a minor starting point. For every Audi that says that all you need is a setting to your prescription and a REM test to verify it a just laugh. Yes it may work for some but it has never worked for me. And to be honest a REM setting for my hearing makes everything sound like Donald Duck.

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I’m not decrying their product: superb if it works for you. I just wanted to be clear that their ‘associated marketing’ is sometimes more style than substance: per the good Dr above.

The S1 is an excellent product, we sell them; however I’m not entirely sure that Oticon aren’t trying to compensate bit for both Resound and Phonak dropping new platforms with paradigm change mooted in both cases.

Their marketing is no different from anyone else, and at least me as a consumer can get tech data sheet information, and I cannot seem to do that with any of the other hearing aid companies.

Yeah but no but.

They push a different marketing strategy. They’re not reinventing the wheel.

Like I said above, I’m wondering if they are pushing the marketing angle due to the relative lack of hardware this autumn.

Personally, the S1 with the full 9dB SNR Improvement is still the best product out there, however if one of the other platforms is able to eclipse this, I reserve the right to be whelmed.

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At least for my hearing issues they are going to have to come up with a miracle to be better than what I already have. And I really don’t care about anything behind hearing the best I can. It seems to me the others have lost interest in truly make them better for hearing and trying to make earbuds. I don’t need earbuds I need to understand speech. I do very little streaming other than from the TV and phone calls.

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Let me also clarify that I like Oticon. They make excellent hearing aids, they have neat ideas, they are dedicated to research on how to make things better.

It’s just. . . I guess, “We continue to use stuff that researchers have already known for a long time about how the auditory system works to support the future directions of our hearing aids” doesn’t sound as good to the lay public. Even though it’s a good approach.


I have tried all but Starkey aids, they are all no better or no worse than the one that fits them, where it comes to being able to understand speech. But after being able to hear all around again I have a hard time being stuck with directional hearing. It is to me like having blinders on.

CVemp, I don’t know if I totally understand what you are saying regarding understanding speech. Do you understand speech now with your Oticons or do you still not understand speech?

I think it was explained a while back the reason for not understanding speech. I don’t know that it made any sense to me, for the reason we hear birds, dishwashers, ACs, and a multitude of other sounds. So why can’t we understand speech?

If this post does not get enough viewers I think I will ask that same question under a title of understanding speech.

With my OPNS1 aids I am for the first time in a very long time understanding speech. While still not 100% it is very close. And I don’t have to work near as hard to understand speech. Background noise isn’t an issue either. Also my stress level is much less and my blood pressure is back to almost the normal even without medication. I haven’t felt this good in a very long time. And to top it off I only have the default program plus t-coils and tinnitus. I have the TV adapter but only use it when I want watch TV and not disturb my wife.

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My educated guess is because speech is mix of frequencies and gains that change fast.

If someone would speak letter by letter, and producing each letter long enough and loud enough, I think we’d understand that.

Like, dishwasher makes same repeatable sounds an the brain has time to process it and figure out what you hear.

Problem is that bunch of letters you simply cannot produce continuously for a long time. Like a, e, i, o, u and maybe some other you can, some you can a bit longer like c (ts in english), sh, s, r, but not long as vowels, and then you have p, b, k, g, and others which are really short.

When they come in a word, they’re a bit easier but also complicated. First, they have tempo, so they come faster than time we need to hear them one by one. They also connect and change, so we need additional processing power to understand what we hear exactly.
However that connection can also be the reason to hear them in the first place.

And each doesn’t sound the same if it’s first, last or some middle letter.

For example, in my WRS test despite my best efforts I just can’t hear b in baum (tree in German) spoken by man (recorded and calibrated).
One word I couldn’t hear any sound, forgot to ask which it was.

Others I either hear all sounds or one is missing. I hear something but no clue if it’s m or n for example or some a, er (at the end of the word they sound similar), and sometimes I even can’t say who are candidates.

But ama in mama or ana in nana I’ll hear that second m/n no problem, probably also first. Since it’s surrounded with open a, and it gives different energy than for example distinguishing leim and lein. No clue there for me which is. End of the word where energy goes down, after e which is more closed than a, lost case :rofl:

But then in sentences they could be understood depending on what follows.

That’s why you probably have problem with first letter/first word, then you figure out the middle and then last word skips, because people exhale and have less energy than at the beginning.

Diswasher, ac, even birds are much more constant, repetitive and simpler.

I somewhere did the test where they say ama, aka, aga, asha, ama etc, every comes between two as. Unfortunately it didn’t test whole alphabet but it was illustrative how easier is to hear something when it’s sandwiched by two a.

One example is check wiki page for IPA International phonetic alphabet, they use a ka not aka but you’ll get the feeling what I’m talking about :slight_smile: