That’s my feeling originally, 1Bluejay, in the first month of wearing my OPN. The noise was overwhelming in noisy environments and it was hard to focus on anything else and I really disliked having to put up with all the noises. But at the end of the second month now, it’s working out better for me. The noise is still there, but not overwhelming to me anymore. And as it bothers me less, I’m learning to focus more on what I want to hear, and I can hear what I want to hear better over time.
So I think the BrainHearing part is the other half of the equation that Oticon expects YOU as the patient to bring to the table to complement the other half that Oticon delivers, which is the OPN HA. They’re making a bet that everybody has that inert ability in their brain to process the sounds in order to hear them effectively. They group these abilities as the ability to recognize, orient, separate and focus. So they designed the OPN around this reliance on BrainHearing, and while you can still use the OPN without the BrainHearing part on your end, the OPN will become much more effective, especially in noisy environments, when you’ve had a chance and time to sharpen your BrainHearing proficiency over time.
Don’t worry about your brain being slow and dumb when it comes to BrainHearing, because they’re not. They’ve been able to do it before when you still had normal hearing, and they can do it again. They might have gotten more used to the old lazy way of listening through the old HAs all these years, where noise is removed and you get to hear a single sound source out in front without interference. So now your brain will just need to get retrained and back in shape to become accustomed to the “normal” way of hearing things again.
The speed of readjustment may be different for everyone, depending on their age. But if you keep a positive attitude and embrace the fact that your can now hear EVERYTHING again, instead of being unhappy that you HAVE to hear EVERYTHING again, I think this acceptance of the noise, instead of being bothered by the noise, will go a long way in retraining the brain to tune out the noise eventually.
Don’t expect the OPN to “remove” the noise altogether for you like with the traditional HAs because it doesn’t. What it actually does is “clean up” the noise from the speech to make the speech more clear. But your brain will need to do the work to tune out the noise, separate multiple sounds apart, and focus on the speech. And when your brain does this, the OPN will help deliver a “cleaner” speech for you. That’s why many people say the OPN gives them clearer speech. I think this is why TPChapman could tell that the Opn2 has a somewhat more muffled sound compared to the Opn1. Apparently his BrainHearing is already in good enough shape to recognize this difference!