I just finished a trial of the OPN 1’s for 45 days. I was initially very happy with the “natural” hearing with the Oticons. Hearing sounded like I was in my 20’s again, with no “hollowness” or other sound conditioning artifacts… But my personal experience was that they failed me in noisy restaurant situations (and yes, I was using the custom program from Oticon for that situation), and there was no adjust-ability to help me resolve this. I feel the Oticon app is virtually useless, and you can do almost everything just using the native iphone mifi connectivity. In the end, I chose to go back to Costco Forte 8’s. I can do a lot of adjustment on my own using their far superior app, and they have proved to be much better in the noisy surrounding situations for me. In addition, they are less than half the price of the OPN 1’s.
Can you post your audiogram so we have an idea about your hearing loss?
The OPN relies heavily on the brain hearing cognitive function to do the filtering and tuning in and tuning out between sounds in noisy environments because it’s open to let you hear all the sounds.
Not everyone likes this approach and even for folks who want to give it a try, it takes them a while to rehone this cognitive function if they’re used to the traditional hearing strategy of directional noise reduction.
But it looks like you gave it a full 45 days of trial already, so if it still doesn’t work out for you, it’s probably not meant to be.
In terms of the lack of complexity of the OPN ON phone app, because the basic premise of the OPN is to rely on the brain cognitive function heavily for sound filtering instead of anything else, you can think of it like this: the level of complexity is not necessary to be in the app because it’s already built into the brain cognitive function. The brain hearing automatically does all the controlling that the complexity on an app would have done.
I find that to be really arrogant on Oticons part. I like the sound of them better. There is not a doubt in my mind that they could work better for quite a few of us if they gave us an app like Resounds and the control that comes with it.
Regarding the lack of having controls on the phone app? Then I think you’re missing the whole point of the Oticon “open” paradigm. The whole premise of this paradigm is open sounds like how a normal person would hear, and relying on the brain hearing cognitive function to process the sounds like how a normal person would do it.
It’s not about arrogance. It’s about taking a step back and saying “Look, let’s not over engineer the hearing aid from the standpoint of trying to control things up the ying yang with a machine.” Instead of trying to block out sounds left and right and equalize this and that, why not simply let all the sounds in and let the brain do the controlling?
It’s simply about going back to the basic and recognizing (and remembering) that the brain has an innate ability to process sounds WAY better than any machine can. So instead of babying (to the point of handicapping) the brain by over-controlling the sounds selection and only sending processed and limited information to the brain to consume, the open paradigm’s philosophy is that the more information the brain has to process, the better job it can do in using its cognitive skill to process the full and complete information from the soundscape, to be able to understand things better, especially speech in a competitive soundscape.
It may seem counter-intuitive because the instinct says “let’s do whatever it takes and process the hell out of things to get rid of the competing sounds so the brain only hears what it needs to hear. And since it’s impossible to guess how the user likes to control things, let’s give all the controls to the user via a phone app”.
But Oticon is saying “let’s present all the sounds to the brain and let it do its (superior) job of cognitive processing, and let’s focus all the energy instead on finding a different way to implement speech clairty behind the scene.” Because of this hands-off strategy of not trying to control and manipulate sounds, there’s no need or control to give to the user via a phone app.
So it’s not about arrogance in terms of saying “We got this, you folks don’t need to control anything because we’ll control everything for you, because you don’t know how to control anything”. It’s more like “We believe your brain has the superior cognitive power to process sounds, so we’re going to present all sounds to your brain in the OPN. and let it do its job. Therefore, there’s no need to control anything much.”
But that doesn’t mean that Oticon doesn’t do anything in the OPN. It does its own sound balancing and null-directional noise reduction and speech clarification in its own unique way, behind the scene without the need for any user control on the fly on an app, except long terms control on the Genie 2 program.
But this open paradigm doesn’t work for everyone. There are people who still like to control things before it gets fed to their brain. And they like to keep the processed soundscape simple for the brain to consume. There’s nothing wrong with this, either. Just different strokes for different folks.
Then just get analogs.
Make no mistake, the OPN platform is doing more processing than almost any other product on the market. They need that fastest and best cpu in the aid for something. You as much as said so in the one paragraph. It is processing in its own unique way. Resound is doing much of the same thing with the Linx 3D. OPN…3D… Oticon doesn’t want its users to play with it, Resound says…if this is what you want, have at it.
Not really. The OPN has a totally different processing STRATEGY than the Resound and all of the hearing aids using traditional directional noise reduction.
Of course if you use the word “processing” in the widest sense then all digital hearing aids process signals. It is the processing STRATEGY used by the OPN that is different and does not need much user intervention at all.
The Lynx 3D has the Resound version of Opening up the sound field. In their everyday main default program, they don’t let you alter things either. In their alternate programs, they let you play. My understanding is that the 3Ds were the Resound answer to the OPNs. I think the strategies are different in that I don’t think the OPNs ever narrow the sound field. The Resounds are designed to be 360 degree up to a point than narrow the sound field slowly as ambient noise increases.
Now you may be completely correct, but this is my understanding. On simple tone alone, I would choose the OPNs because they are damn fine sounding hearing aids. On speech discrimination, the Resounds seem to work better for me. I did use the OPNs for a month.
Yes…processing. I am waiting for the day when the hearing aids will be able to truly process in such a way that when we stream, we will truly have the finest set of ear buds on the planet. That day wil come…within 5 to 10 years it will come. At some point, hearing and vision issues will be correctable, probably even to the point of better than normal. At that time, many nervous system ailments will become either curable or far more treatable than now.
I am simply waiting for the day when logic trumps wishful thinking. Maybe we will both have to wait a while
Volusiano: I wanted to make sure what I wrote before about streaming is correct. I now find that adjusting the volume of the presets P1, P2 or P3 on the iPod ON app screen when streaming does affect what I hear. The sound gets louder when I increase the volume by sliding my finger on the screen. The limits show two level numbers as before for the right and left ear. I also found, contrary what my Audi said, that muting the preset also mutes the output to my ears. When two circles appear against a preset and I mute the blue one I get sound only in my right ear and similarly with the red circle. So, clearly these adjustments, supposed to be for the mics, are affecting streaming as well.
It looks there is some misunderstanding of how the ON app works. Although this app is supposedly only for the presets and the associated output to the mics, the volume adjustment here affects the streaming output. This coupled with the numbers I find on a different iPod screen under,“Hearing Device Mic Volume” (mentioned before) is quite confusing. If we (including the Audi) are not sure why volume adjustment of the presets will affect streaming output, then there is something inherently complicated in the Oticon system or perhaps a mistake has been made by the Audi.
I think it’s more than the Open philosophy. I think certain manufacturers (Oticon and Phonak included, although they take very different approaches to processing) like to stress that their aids are automatic. Just leave them be and they’ll do whatever you need. Resound and perhaps others (Signia and Widex?) offer a lot of user control. I think there’s room for both approaches.
I agree that there’s room for both approaches. I just encounter very often the notion that having a phone app with more controls implies that that approach is superior. Some people even base their hearing aid trial selection mainly on this. Which is OK if they like to be given more control. But it doesn’t mean that more is better. Sometimes, less is more.
To me, if I don’t have to tinker with anything at all except for volume change, and yet I’m still happy in all listening environments, then that’s the ultimate simplicity that I would rather have…
Akaybee, first of all let’s differentiate between streaming from the iPhone vs streaming from the TV Adapter.
Streaming from the iPhone and using the ON app:
In my experience on this (and I just verified it again on my iPhone 7), changing the volume in my ON app only affects the OPN mic volume and does NOT affect the iPhone streaming volume (I was playing music on my iPhone and one other time I was on a phone call).
When I mute any of the preset programs volume in the ON app, it only mutes the OPN mic, but it does not change the volume of the iPhone streaming volume at all.
I don’t really know why you find the ON app working differently from what I experience above on your iPod. Do you have an iPhone? If yes, does it behave similary on the iPhone as on your iPod?
I don’t have an iPod but I have an iPad. However, for some reason I cannot find and download the Oticon ON app from the Apple store. Maybe it’s only for iPhones and iPods?
Streaming from the TV Adapter and using the ON app:
In this situation, I see the TV Box preset on the ON app. If I change the volume for this TV Box in the ON app, it does affect the streaming volume and mic volume together. This is to be expected.
If you use the MFI slider controls when in the TV Adapter mode, there are 2 volume sliders, one for the OPN mic and one for the TV Box. The volume slider for the TV Box does not affect the OPN mic volume. Using the OPN mic volume slider does affect both the OPN mic volume and the TV box volume.
I don’t think there’s a misunderstanding here because my result is consistent with what your audi told you. I just don’t know why you’re seeing different outcomes that what I see on mine (and what your audi told you). The only variable I notice is that you mention you’re using an iPod, while I’m using an iPhone. Furthermore, I find it interesting that I can’t even find the ON app in the Apple Store for my iPad. I’m wondering if it wasn’t supposed to be released for the iPod (like the iPad), but it was released by mistake.
Another conjecture simply is that they wrote and verified the ON app for the iPhone, but when they ported the ON app over to the iPod, there’s a bug in there that makes it not work properly on the iPod as it should like on the iPhone.
I agree that it is confusing to have 2 places to control the volume, the MFI place from the iOS, and the ON app from Oticon. The way I see it, the reason for the ON app is primarily for Android users who want phone controls of their OPN. For iOS users, the ON app is not necessary for volume control because the MFI control from the iOS is already available and is superior because it shows the finer percentage values instead of just the integer numbers like in the ON app. You can also split or combine the volume sliders between the left and right hearing aid.
Because I’m using an iOS device, I simply don’t need to use the ON app at all. I change my programs by reaching to my OPN onboard buttons. And I control my volume either via the OPN onboard button or via my iOS MFI volume sliders. I almost never touch the ON app on my iPhone, except for when I want to experiment with things like in this case.
No I can’t. All I can say is that it is a different approach than Oticon’s. Very loosely, Oticon’s approach is to give you access to all sounds and when speech occurs to remove sounds that it determines to be noise. Phonak’s approach to noise seems to be use a narrow focus on the speech. Their similarity is that they both emphasize the automaticness of their hearing aids, whereas Resound emphasizes the ability to fine tune. I think both approaches have upsides (and they are not mutually exclusive) Phonak and Oticon do provide other programs and Resound does have a universal automatic program, but their marketing is distinctly different.
Interesting. My trial Phonaks do indeed emphasize speech all around me, but I don’t feel they give enough weight to the person talking right in front of me. They’re my first hearing aids so I can’t compare to anything quite yet.
Yeah, this is where the OPN is different. Although the OPN gives access to speech all around the user, it gives more weight to clarifying speech coming from the front. They do this by creating an instantaneous noise model of sounds from behind and on the sides, and they apply this noise model against the front speech to remove this noise from the front speechl to help improve speech clarity, but only when front speech is present. When there’s no front speech, you still hear all sounds around you and the noise model is not applied against anything.
If there’s speech coming from the side and the rear at the same time as there’s speech in the front, the OPN freezes the noise reduction applied to the front speech so that the speech from the rear and the side has a chance to be heard just the same, at the same time as the front speech.
One way to look at it is that the Phonak seems to give a static setting in selecting a 360 degree sound field. And if this sound field is adjusted to be narrower, it probably remains a static adjustment. In the OPN, there’s only one sound field, a 360 degree one. But the OPN constantly monitors the speech presences in this 360 sound field and DYNAMICALLY applies the noise reduction to the front speech when there’s no other competing speeches coming from around the 360 sound field. That’s where most of the processing power goes into on the OPN: a constantly dynamic evaluation of the soundscape and a constant dynamic adjustment of the processing for sound balancing and noise reduction.
Thank you Volusiano for the detailed reply.
First of all, I am not using the OPN with TV and I do not have an iPhone. Using the iPod I have now identified three situations while streaming:
(1) Streaming volume cannot be muted or adjusted by playing with any of the presets either on the ON screen on the iPod or by the ‘Hearing Device Mic Volume’ sliders on the iPod. This sends the best and fullest sound to the ears.
(2) Streaming volume can now be muted or adjusted for either ear separately or both at the same time. The sound quality is not as good as for (1).
(3) Streaming volume and quality unchanged, only the sound at the MIC is muted.
For the first outcome I made the following setting:
Setting->General->Accessibility->Hearing->MFI Hearing Devices->My Oticon->then setting these two items ON (‘Stream to right hearing …’ and ‘Stream to left hearing…’). I can change the presets here on the Devices screen or go back to the On screen and change there. No effect on streaming or the (total) sound I receive in my ears.
For the second situation I follow the steps as above but set the items, ‘Stream to right hearing…’ and ‘Stream to left hearing…’, OFF. Now I can slide my finger on the ON screen to see two ‘volume level’ circles we discussed before and mute them individually or together. The streamed audio item gets partially or totally muted.
I have not been able to recreate the situation when I can mute a preset MIC but the streaming volume and quality remain unaltered.
It seems to me that with situation (1) the streamed sound goes directly to the ears as it is meant to be but with (2) somehow the streamed (audio) goes via the MIC route.
I can ask the Audi how he got the MIC sound muted keeping the streamed (audio) sound in tact when I see him but would like to check that out myself before seeing him.
Volusiano, I have now found what you said is correct, that is, under the option (1) I can reduce the mic volume or mute it altogether without affecting the streaming volume.
I am still curious to understand why under option (2) I am able to hear streaming audio at all even if of a lower quality. With this option (that I inadvertently chose before) I made the observation of being able to affect (or mute) streaming volume by adjusting the volume sliders for mic.
Just to confirm, the option 2 you’re talking about here is with the TV Adaptor Box connected and streaming to the OPN. And yes, with this option, adjusting the TV Box volume slider does NOT affect the OPN mic volume. BUT, adjusting the OPN mic volume slider DOES affect the TV Box streaming volume.
If you ask me why they design it that way, I would venture to guess that it’s actually a bug. I just don’t see any benefit to doing it that way. The two volume sliders should be totally independent from each other.
It’s not an annoying bug to me because if I want to mute the OPN mic while streaming from the TV Box, I can simple long press on one of my OPN buttons and the mics will be muted while streaming volume is unaffected. A short press on either button would unmute the OPN mics. You can’t do a mute on the mic volume slider, however, because there’s no mute option on the iOS device. There’s only sliding the mic volume slider all the way to the left, which in effect does mute the mic, but in the process, will turn down the TV Box streaming volume as well.
Just to clarify the issue, I do not use OPN with TV - I use wireless RF headphones from Sony with an amplifier in between the TV audio output and the transmitter. I tried to use the headphone on the ears with the aids and don’t get any better result than w/o the aids, which is perhaps understandable.
In any case my question was academic as for streaming audio I will invariably use my option (1) and wont touch the iPod settings on the Hearing screen. I can adjust the volume by pressing the buttons on the side of the iPod or on the streaming screen showing the item being played etc. If I wish to mute or lower the mic input I will use the ON screen rather than press the aids themselves - just a matter of preference.