NHS Oticon Synergy Sense mini BTE

#1

Hi All,

I recently upgraded to the Oticon Synergy Sense mini BTE. These were issued by the NHS.

They replaced the Oticon Synergy Spirit mini BTE.

They look exactly the same but are a newer generation. Does anyone have any information on them in terms of specification?

Would help when comparing them to models available privately.

Thanks.

The domes are Starkey 9mm closed domes with two tiny vents, not Oticon in case anyone is wondering…

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#2

It looks like it could be the Oticon OPN to me, but alternatively it could be the Oticon Siya. Certainly, it’s one of either as the talk from this document is of enhancements to speech in noise (if you look at the advert within - Synergy Sense on page 2):

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#3

They are NOT related to either OPN or Siya as those are based on the Velox platform (Oticon’s newest platform). They are new to NHS and are an upgrade/update on the commonly prescribed Synergy Spirit, but are based upon the newer Inium Sense platform.

The reason your aids look different is that your area has decided to prescribe the “mini” BTE hearing aids. I have noticed a growing trend appearing that more and more areas are moving slowly to these mini-BTE packaged aids despite the fact they cost a little more to run due to using smaller size 312 batteries. I hear this is because acceptance ratings are better.

As I understand things various Oticon favouring areas will probably be slowly moving towards the Synergy Sense aid over the next year or two. But not all can quickly do so as programming it is different and that means kit, spares, software, training etc.

For what its worth my experience of Synergy Sense has been good. However my prescription is a very unusual one and my aids, whilst part of that family, are also an unusual variant.

I have the spec sheets for all the variants somewhere but as I recall all have decent bandwidth, 16 channels, quite a lot of decent software features and are IP58 water-resistant.

Hope that helps

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#4

Crikey! Based on the newer platform.! That’s amazing news. Thank you.

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#5

I did read the same magazine article. If you Google the name it brings up a couple of Audiology conference type publications.

A spec. sheet would be good, if such a thing exists. As I mentioned, the question really was, if I buy privately, what level do I need to go for to better what I have.

Is the Synergy Sense considered entry level, mid-range or high end?

Thanks again for your comprehensive answer!

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#6

Actually, I got the wrong end of the stick here. The new inium sense platform takes us to 2015 - sorry, rereading- it’s an upgrade of that platform though. I thought that the new Velox platform was implied.

If that’s the case, this is still a good aid, but could it match the latest mid range aids in 2019. This is probably equivalent to an (upgraded) Oticon Alta. Maybe. I know that the Synergy is just as good as the Venture - because I have both.

But I’m guessing you could just buy an Oticon OPN 3, Oticon Siya, or Phonak Marvel 30 or 50 (even the lowest spec model) and that would better this aid. But then, it’s free - and you get unlimited NHS support and maybe REM testing - which is a bonus :slight_smile:

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#7

Not the newest platform - that is for the Siya’s and the OPN’s, but still it is a updated platform compared to the current common NHS aids. So they are “legacy” but the newest “legacy” available.

Normally NHS aids are probably what you would consider “mid-range”. But the Synergy Sense is a bit of a break from that. When I compared detailed specs I remember them coming out as “high-end”. To be completely fair I think Oticon had 2 entry level, 2 mid and 2 premium. Its nearest match was the lower of the two premium hearing aids.

Any of the top manufacturers newest high-end high street hearing aids should be a step up. But they are still good units. I think of them the same way I think of iPhones - the iPhone6S or iPhone7 range aren’t the best available, but they are still very capable and getting those for free would still be brilliant! :slight_smile:

All have 16channels, 10 fitting bands and up to 5 YouMatic profiles. Software features are as mentioned in those links above. The mini-BTE are “85dB” units and have a bandwidth of 100->8500Hz (Ear Simulator) and 100->7500Hk (2CC Coupler). THD is <2%. The full size BTE in its 85dB version has marginally wider/better bandwidth.

It does NOT have direct bluetooth, and none of that family do. Instead it continues with the older tech of linking to a ConnectLine unit which in turn uses bluetooth to connect to phones etc. Nor is there inbuilt capability to be rechargeable.

They are however very capable for lots of potential users.

Me? - I have a very unusual audiogram and I didn’t get on with things like the anti-feedback or most of the fancy compression based software features like SpeechguardE, but I never do… so its not a criticism at all. Once the fittings and settings were set up properly for me they have been really good.

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#8

I can’t actually fault the NHS Audiology services, they’re superb in my opinion. I’d gladly contribute to the cost if there was a way to do so.

I previous had the Oticon Synergy Spirit mini BTE. I tried the Starkey Kinnect W40 but couldn’t get the streaming to work, although feedback cancellation was better. I though the audio wasn’t as good on the Starkey. That’s how I came to have those domes. I also prefer the slimmer profile of the 312 battery vs the 13. I still get around 10 days of battery.

I am awaiting mini moulds to hopefully provide a better seal.

I understand the Older Synergy Spirit was based on the standard Inium platform.

All in all, I can’t complain. I was thinking of purchasing a backup pair or perhaps just one spare. Would make sense to match what I have as closely as possible.

Once again, great replies.

Many thanks.

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#9

Alta2 (not the Alta2pro though) was my conclusion when I looked it all up originally. Mine may actually be Alta2’s as they were/are test units “made” as a one off and a few months before the Siya’s were launched. The spec sheets I have had some things listed in a different order but had only minor changes apart from the name and the sheets being “preview”.

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#10

I probably shouldn’t have this paperwork - but what I know about the mini-BTE is attached (I hope).

EDIT EDIT EDIT - the three files merged into one so the board will allow it for a new user… It imposes a 3 post and single image limit so I can’t give you more than this.

I hope that helps you. As I said - I think it is based upon the Alta2. Remember mini-BTE doesn’t have T-coil. Also mini-BTE has limited power, whereas the BTE has higher power versions.

My view is it is not just more sophisticated but also has a wider bandwidth than the current mainstream NHS Oticon. Greater bandwidth is a nice bonus, particularly for those of us who are involved in music in one way or another.

Cheers!

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#11

Any spec sheet or paperwork would be appreciated!

I’ve had a look at the one for the Alta 2 mini BTE.

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#12

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#13

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#14

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#15

That’s great!

Thanks @glucas @hearingtracker2 and @Zebras

Nice to have some concrete information as to the capabilites of these devices.

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#16

Yep, it’s the previous platform. I keep a List#2 for this kind of info, which you can find by clicking my Avatar and then click the link within and the scroll down to find LIST#2 Recent Hearing Aid Platforms by the Big5:;

eta: I updated my list of recent hearing aid platforms to show the difference between Oticon’s Inium Sense and Inium platforms (mentioned in the next post, thanks).

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#17

Minor addition/change to the table above:

Inium Sense - 2015 - Alta2, Nera2, Ria2 (and Pro versions)
Inium - 2013/14 - Alta, Nera, Ria (and Pro versions)

NHS Oticon Spirit Synergy commonly prescribed here in the UK looks pretty much based on the Nera (Inium platform). It has “fitting bandwidth” of 8kHz, 8 fitting bands and 3 YouMatic personal profiles.

NHS Synergy Sense which is just at the very start of appearing here in the UK looks pretty much based on the Alta2 (Inium Sense platform). It has some processing/software enhancements, plus a wider bandwidth with “fitting bandwidth” of 10kHz, 10 fitting bands and 5 YouMatic-Premium personal profiles.

As this thread is based on these hearing aids in a mini-BTE format… The bandwidth of the older Inium based NHS Spirit Synergy units that were replaced looks to have been 100Hz->7200Hz (Ear Simulator measurement), 100Hz->6200Hz (2CC Coupler measurement). The new NHS Synergy Sense units supplied are based upon the Inium Sense platform. These are stated as having increased bandwidth to 100Hz->8500Hz and 100Hz->7500Hz using those measurement methodologies, as well as having the other enhancements mentioned.

I know this board is primarily USA based so the systems across the Atlantic Ocean in the UK must look rather odd and rather out of date. Certainly these units are behind the leading edge technology in common use in USA. Nevertheless they are still pretty good hearing aids for many UK users, especially as they are prescribed and maintained for free to anyone with hearing loss. Thats isn’t quite as good as it sounds though because whilst of working age we have compulsory “National Insurance” we pay as an extra tax. Once reaching pensioner age though those payments stop but the NHS services continue for life. A long time away for me but still it helps lots of retired folk.

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#18

That tallies with what I have been reading.

Hopefully the Synergy Sense will be an improvement on the Synergy Spirit.

They seem a decent size. I don’t think they are much bigger than some of the RITE devices.

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#19

I can say for certain:

1/. I definitely found the Synergy Sense to be an improvement on the Spirit Synergy;

2/. Those mini-BTE devices you have are exactly the same size as the SMALLEST of the RITE devices.

NHS as a policy states it (normally) only gives out BTE devices, with either thin-tube or earhook. Predominantly these are the larger BTE devices that use larger batteries so you were fortunate. Hopefully your audiogram is stable as it is pushing towards the limits of the mini-BTE package, even with the mini-Moulds you have arriving soon.

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#20

I tried the Microtech Kinnect W40 between the Synergy Spirit and the Synergy Sense. The biggest problem was that the app didn’t work on my phone. That was a 13 battery and a bit bulky.

Audiogram is stable. Damaged by measles in 1985 and has been the same since.

I could always buy something privately if it does change.

I trialled the Phonak Lyric but they caused irritation. They are pretty expensive tho, about £3K p.a.

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