Oticon OPN Reliability

I’m starting a new thread here to discuss Oticon OPN reliability. Feel free to chime in to share whether you’ve had any issue with your OPN, what it was, and what the resolution was (if you had to send in for repair).

Issue 1: frequent random reboots and bad iPhone streaming & connection issues

We already know that there had been a lot of reliability issues with the software connection to the iPhone that had been fixed via the firmware 4.0 update. I’ve had the FW 4.0 update for a week and a half now and so far I’ve only had a random reboot on my right HA once so far yesterday. This is a HUGE improvement from the previous FW 2.0. Usually I used to have up to several reboots a day easily before the FW 4.0 update. I also used to get very flaky connection with the iPhone, like ping pong effect between the HAs, clicking noises, failed connection frequently, etc. After the FW 4.0, my iPhone streaming and connection quality has been rock solid so far.

Resolution: FW 4.0 update.

Issue 2: flaky receiver after 8.5 months

I’ve recently had some issue with my left OPN receiver crapping out randomly, but more and more often. I could tell that it was the receiver because on a reboot, I could barely hear the reboot chime from the receiver, but very faint. So that meant that the HA was working OK, just the receiver flaking out. After 5 or 10 minutes of failure, the receiver started working again. I had about 4 of those episodes over the course of a week prior to my FW 4.0 update appointment. That was about 8.5 months into owing the OPN1s. VERY luckily, at the FW 4.0 update appointment, the receiver chose to fail as soon as my audi tried to verify the issue I complained about. You know how normally for inconsistent issue, things always work and never fail when you’re trying to demonstrate the issue at the audi’s, but they always fail only when you’re at home, right? But I guess I lucked out big time that my inconsistent issue with the receiver failed at the audi’s office on first try. Also lucked out that my audi happened to have a spare receiver with the correct wire length in stock. So she just replaced mine with the spare one and ordered a replacement under warranty for me to replace the stocked one she gave to me.

Resolution: receiver replacement under warranty.

Issue 3: warning beeps for mic service check

Last night I was playing tennis and sweated profusely due to the humid weather. As you know, the OPN has the IP68 rating, and while you’re not supposed to shower with it, they told us that it’s OK to wear it at workout while sweating. About an hour and a half into playing, my right HA started giving loud a series of loud beeps for 4 times in a row. But it still seemed to operate OK. I looked up the manual when I got home and it said that this means the mics may need a service check. The following morning, the HAs still worked fine so I thought that the warning beeps were due to excessive sweat flooding the mic before but things was good after the sweat dried out. But then I started noticing a faint but loud enough static white noise on my right HA (the one that beeped). Rebooting didn’t seem to help. So I booked an appointment for tomorrow to have it checked out. My audi said that she can try to vacuum the mic port, but if that didn’t help, she may have to send it in for repair. But now after I’d made the appointment, the noise seem to have gone away. I’m still keeping the appointment anyway in case the noise comes back. I’ll also be playing more tennis tonight so I’ll see if the sweating may cause it to beep again.

Edit: the noise seems to come and go randomly. I have received the warning beeps 3 times in 4 days now (to bring HA in for mic service check). A couple of times were under normal circumstance when I was not sweating at all. I brought it into my audi and she simply brushed and vacuumed the mic ports for both OPNs. She said that it was all she could do and if the beeps persist then she’d have to send the HA in for service. The day after my audi visit/brush/vacuum of the mic ports, I got my 3rd series of warning beeps. So obviously the cleaning she did on my OPNs didn’t do anything to fix the issue. I will have it sent in for service in about a month after I’m done with some travelling I’m about to do.

Resolution: unsolved yet.

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Just want to document here that after I posted the thread above, a forum member PM’ed and shared with me that he also has the same issue 3 with the warning beeps for mic service check since owning the OPN1 since Feb’17.

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I had an issue with the OPn 1 and the iPhone Oticon app. There would be a red 1 badge on the app icon which made me click to see what was up. The Left had somehow disconnected. So I’d restart the app and either both would connect uuntil later the left would drop again or the left would not be recognized at all. This went on for a few days and I emailed my audiologist with a screenshot. She worked me in and replaced the receiver on the left, that assembly also houses the Bluetooth antenna.
Well, then the software on her computer wouldn’t recognize the pair, they wouldn’t sync to my phone. She called Oticon and went through several setup programs, did a hard restart on my phone, manually plugged the hearing aids in - between her and the Oticon rep troubleshooting for an hour, it was determined the pair needed to go back in for a redo. I went home with a pair of Oticon OPn 1 Demo loaners.
A week later, my hearing aids came back and everything seems to be working well now. Both receivers had been replaced. I don’t know what the work order entailed, although I’m sure if I ask for the details I’d get them.

It it was nice to have the demos while mine were in the shop, but it felt a little like a hotel bathrobe- kind of icky.

On these hot humid summer days, it’s extra important to wipe down the hearing aids thoroughly with Audiowipes and the let them rest overnight in a dry jar. My dry jar is a couple of dessicant pouches and my Oticon hard case. :slight_smile:

I too have noticed an occasional reboot since I updated my firmware to version 4.0 but only about once a week or so - much less often than prior to the firmware update. The streaming connection to my iPhone 6 is mostly good but once in awhile (maybe once a week) one or the other aids doesn’t get any sound when I start streaming - I have found that turning bluetooth off and then on again on the phone seems to fix that problem. I don’t know if the problem is with the aids or the phone though.

I have also noticed that I still occasionally get the “ping pong” effect when streaming audio from my iPhone - the sounds moves back and forth from one side to the other for perhaps 15 seconds and then it works ok. This happens less often now than before the firmware update but it still does happen and it is only when I am walking with the phone in my pocket. I suppose that it could have something to do with the phone moving in my pocket as I walk???

Here’s the link on the Oticon FW4 update that Tony (abarsanti) posted in another thread on this. Oticon is basically saying that they’ve done their part to improve the connection and streaming with the iPhone, but Apple also will have to do their part to improve the rest and that we can expect to see the improvement done by Apple in their upcoming iOS 11. Hopefully by then all the improvements will have been completed.

With the introduction of Firmware 4 for Oticon Opn hearing aids (June 2017), newfeatures such as Tinnitus SoundSupport™ and Speech Rescue™ LX are added. In addition,improvements for wireless programming and instrument streaming are included with Firmware 4.These updates allow even more users to experience the benefits of Oticon Opn: listening with lesseffort, better recall, and better speech understanding.Please note that with the Firmware 4 update for Oticon Opn, the following streamingscenarios may still occur, pending further iOS updates:• Audio streaming and phone calls “bounce” between ears;• Momentary disconnect/reconnect with streamed audio/phone calls;• Intermittent ticking may be heard with Fitbit or Apple Watch Connections;• When using a map application (like Google Maps), the first part of the audio directions maybe missed;• When un-pairing hearing aids from iPhone, you must ensure that Bluetooth is enabled.As a reminder, after a hearing aid’s Firmware is updated:• Clear pairings on Remote Control 3.0 and in the Oticon ON App, then re-pair with the hearing aids afterthe firmware update has been completed.Oticon engineers work closely with Apple engineers to constantly improve hearing aid streaming usingthe iOS platform. Solutions to these scenarios above are expected with the release of iOS 11.

I encourage you all to write to Apple at accessibility@apple.com and tell them what you expect from their OS release. Subject line iPhone/Oticon connectivity. Give them your best description of what is going on.

I do believe the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and somewhere your concerns get logged into a user feedback database that will be addressed in time. Eventually someone will take care of it.

Do you think they monitor this forum?

I wonder why my old clunkers (KS6 the original MFi) don’t have any problem connecting to my iPhone? That’s been true with every iOS release.

I wonder that myself. But then I’ve also heard of very similar connection and streaming issues with other non-Oticon MFI HAs as well. Do you know if your KS6 streaming is mono or stereo? I wonder maybe that’s the difference that’s causing issues?

The fact that the Oticon FW4 has improved these issues a lot implies that at least a bulk of the issues were due to the previously less robust FW 1 and 2 on the Oticon end. But I guess it takes two to tango so hopefully Apple will do their part for iOS 11, too.

Thank you for sharing. Regarding Point #3, have you considered using Ear Gears? I use them daily and they are especially useful during workouts/tennis/strenuous activities when I am drenched in sweat. The Ear Gears are moisture wicking so they dry quickly and most importantly, they prevent most of the moisture from direct contact against the miniRITE case. They also absorb wind contact so wind noise is minimized as well.

Prior these, my hearing aids (Agil and Alta Pros) would often result in static and intermittent noises until they dried at room temperature or with the aid of a gentle warm air dryer.

Link for Ear Gears: https://www.gearforears.com/

Thanks, I’ve heard of Ear Gears before. The OPN 1 is supposed to have IP68 rating, the 6 is for dust and the 8 is for water. Although they don’t suggest that you swim or take a shower with the OPN, it’s supposed to be able to withstand heavy sweating and I’ve been told that I can wear it bare when working out and sweat would not be a problem. If you look at the mic ports in the OPN, you can see that they’re designed to keep the mics well inside and any sweat should drain down and away from the ports.

Because I’ve only had my OPN for 8 months and there’s a whole 3 year warranty on it, I’d like to use it as advertised without any protection like the Ear Gears to see if it can live up to snuff with the advertised capability or not. If not, then I’ll worry about protecting it later, when I’m near the end of the warranty period. But at least I’ll know what it can and cannot be subjected to while I’m still under warranty.

I predict that this IP68 certification is for fresh water and not salt water. Salt is corrosive and interferes with electronics.

That’s why when one drops a phone in the ocean, some have advised rinsing that same phone in fresh water to help wash out the salt, before immersing the phone in rice to air dry. Please note I am not recommending any of these tactics for the hearing aids as phones are very different and much cheaper than hearing aids. :slight_smile:

I just wrote to Apple like you suggested. For anyone who wants to do the same, below is what I wrote in case you want to cut and paste yourself to save time.

I’m an owner of an iPhone 7 Plus and the Oticon OPN hearing aid. I’m on the most recent Firmware 4.0 of the Oticon OPN that fixes a lot of the connectivity and direct audio streaming issue between the iPhone and the OPN hearing aid. However, my understanding is that the issues I’m encountering won’t be fixed completely until Apple also put fixes into their iOS 11 to address these issues. So I’m writing to Apple here to let you know that I hope the iOS 11 update will fix the following connectivity and direct audio streaming to the Oticon OPN for me:

• Audio streaming and phone calls “bounce” between ears;
• Momentary disconnect/reconnect with streamed audio/phone calls;
• Intermittent ticking may be heard with Fitbit or Apple Watch Connections;
• When using a map application (like Google Maps), the first part of the audio directions maybe missed;

Thank you for your consideration and for listening to your customers.

The other MFi brands don’t need 11 to work. That might tell us something. I doubt a letter will speed 11’s release.

What you’re stating is incorrect. No MFi brands need iOS11 to work, the Oticon OPN included. With the firmware 4.0, the Oticon OPN is already working pretty good without iOS 11. iOS 11 is just supposed to help make it better and rock solid. I personally haven’t had any of the issues mentioned in the letter myself since Firmware 4.0 and I’m still on iOS 10.3.3.

If you’re implying that all other MFi brands beside Oticon is already rock solid with the iPhone even with iOS 9 and up, then I think you’re just making an unsubstantiated generalization because I’ve heard of other forum members on other brands (than Oticon) complaining about the same connection issues with the iPhone here on this forum. You can speak for the KS6 because that’s what you’re wearing but unless you’ve worn all MFi brands and know for a fact that they’re rock solid with iOS 9, what you’re implying has no credibility.

Interesting. I am running iOS 11 on my iPhone. Streaming audio (not phone calls) gets me quite a bit of “ticking”, but I also have an Apple Watch and it’s interesting that that may be involved. Supposedly WatchOS 4 “improves” BTLE performance with various devices.

I’ve been part of the resound post and now I see all these posts. I was thinking of getting oticon but now will be careful. Isn’t it interesting tho, how a new way of programming your hearing aids has evolved, i.e., android, apple, and there seem to be more problems with them than successes. You would think that if someone is going to make an app to go with hearing aids, that they would make sure it works. People depend on having their aids work all the time. I think I’m going back to the buttons. I’m bummed because it would have been fun to be able to program your phone to hear.

Is that a beta copy of iOS 11 you’re using, Jonat? I think the production release of iOS 11 is not due until September, right?

You may not know this, but the Oticon ON app for the OPN is very simple program selection and volume control, unlike the other HA brands’ apps where they have a lot more programming control. But that’s because you really only need 1 default program in the OPN for all environments, so there’s really not much to tinker with at all inside this one program except to select it if you happen to have more than 1 program. I hardly ever use the Oticon ON app at all because I’m in program 1 all day long and it works just fine for me anywhere.

The issues we were talking about above is not issues with the Oticon ON app. The app is a non-issue because it’s VERY simple. The issues is with the made-for-iPhone connectivity and streaming reliability between the OPN and the Apple iOS.

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Yes, public beta 3.

As for the OPN itself, I love it. These are my first HAs and when I told my audi that things sounded “normal”, she remarked that it was very unusual to hear “hearing aids” and “normal” in the same sentence, but she had heard this from many of her OPN patients and that Oticon was on to something good. I love that phone calls from my iPhone play through the HAs automatically and sound just fine. (It’s just audio from navigation apps or music players that has been problematic, but those don’t matter to me (I’d rather have the nav app play through the phone speaker anyway.)

For the most part, my Opticon OPN hearing aids work well with my iPhone, although sometimes calls do not get through to the HAs, and I don’t know why. Does the caller have to be in your contacts?

I wrote to Apple asking about HA connectivity to Macs. I conduct coaching sessions of one hour several times a day using GoToMeeting or Skype and I have to remove my HAs and use earphones or earbuds to have these sessions. Same goes for watching videos on my computer. I understand that the current version of Bluetooth supports BLE, so not sure what the barrier is.

How can you tell what firmware your HAs are running?