Oticon OPN S 1 BTE vs ITC Thoughts and Questions


I currently have OPNS1 Minerite T.

I keep going back to the statements from CVKemp where he is using ITC customs OPN1 and he has a lot less issues in nosy environments and even states that he feels as though he wished he had more ambient background noise (color me jealous…I would gladly give him some of mine!

When with the uudi this morning I asked a question which sort of made a light bulb go off…I asked whether you could get the same “power” from ITC’s and the answer was yes. I then asked what the drawbacks were and was told that the ITC only has one speaker (now I am getting excited), that it was much more directional and it uses the actual natural ear in lieu of the other speakers on the BTE to gather the sounds and that it doesn’t give as much of the 360 surround sound the BTE does.

Did I understand him correctly? Would I get the same speech benefit and loose the background sounds to an extent which has been my big issue with Oticon?

Something tells me it can’t be this simple because if it is this is exactly what I have been looking for.

Are there drawbacks that I am missing? Are they as powerful as the BTE minirites?



I wear ITC aids, and can report the same kind of advantages. I get less problems with background noise and I would say I pick up speech better with them.

The only issue you may have is with your right ear. I don’t know if Oticon do a 105 receiver, because that is a profound loss. I wear a Phonak ITC with a UP chip and it works for me, but my loss is only borderline profound in the high frequencies and I make use of soundrecover.

Just checked - they do a 100 receiver:

Think that is just outside your fitting range though for your right ear, looking at the datasheet data.

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I did see that for the OPN 1 platform but haven’t yet been able to find this for the new OPN S platform.

The 105 is actually a little too much for my right ear as when you try and boost as far as you should my ear or something crackles. I did badly wrip this eardrum 45 years ago when a stick went way up in my ear while I was out hunting so there is likely lots of scar tissue.

Is there still feedback issues with the ITC device as much as with an ITC aid?




ITE aids only came to the Oticon OPN platform this last November, I would not expect it in the OPN-S platform for at least a year maybe longer



I’m guessing that Oticon will not have a custom version of the OPN S for some time. This is based on the delay between the Oticon OPN RIC and the Oticon OPN Custom - which was at least 2 years. In the case of Phonak, there is a usually a wait of a year betwen releases to the 1st RIC and then the BTE/Superpower/Custom aids. You might not have long to wait, but who knows?

I do not honestly know for sure about feedback issues regarding ITC V RIC or BTE aids. I think the feedback issues for people with better lower frequency hearing and more high frequency severe losses present a bigger problem because of that type of loss configuration. I think with OPN S you would stand a better chance because of their new feedback technology - but I would let the experts comment there, I am just a hearing aid wearer.

One caveat I would say about ITC aids for our types of loss - i.e. moderate to severe/profound, is that the bass is not as good. That is only my subjective opinion though and based on Phonak. It could be better for Oticon OPN.



I get reasonable bass streaming, not so much without streaming.



Yeah. Don’t get me wrong. The bass is pretty good actually with my ITC aids. But it is better with a RIC/BTE. I’m guessing it’s down to the receiver size and maybe the configuration of the receiver i.e. less impedence of low frequency sounds due to a more open fit.



I just ordered Oticon OPN S BTE after I trialled these hearing aids and Phonak, but after reading these posts I wonder if I should get ITC. I appreciate any comments on it. Thanks.



I asked Oticon when it was going to be available and I have received no response. In addition my audiologist advises that given the loss in my right ear if I had an in the canal device it would fill my entire ear probably. He also said there’s no Bluetooth capability in the in the canal devices according to him. Don’t know that I believe that one.



This is my ITE aids
More than likely will not work for your right ear

This is the information about them



The only thing you can do is trial them. I can personally think of no major disadvantages with the ITC Oticon OPN model that has twin mics and the direct connectivity. For your loss, assuming from the audio-gram that it is a moderate loss with no complications, you should be able to wear them comfortably.

There have been recent posts which favour the OPN S for people with good low frequency hearing with a severe high frequency loss configuration, because feedback has been an issue. But you do not appear to have that type of loss.



Thank you for your input. When I trialled Oticon OPN S, I was listening to a lecture and noticed the speech was coming at different timing. When the speech was slow, I could understand it quite well, but the speaker increased the speed, it was difficult to understand him. I used to think the sound was echoey, but now it seems like speech is doubled in the different timing. ITC is better than BTE for this kind of situation?

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I honestly don’t know. All I can say is, in comparison with BTE and RIC, is that I pick up more speech first time in all situations, especially those like at a shop counter or if somebody is walking away from me. But that is only my personal experience based on the programming I have of these aids. I would be reluctant to make generalisations that this will be the case for everybody, as it would depend on the loss and achieving the optimal programming available for that aid.

My feeling for your situation is that you should not have difficulty understanding anybody in a lecture - and you do not need even a premium aid for this - any bottom of the range aids from any of the major manufacturers should do the job here (not that I am recommending one - just pointing out that it shouldn’t take a Ferrari just to get you from A to B). I was hearing well in lectures with more severe loss than you more than 30 years ago with analogue aids - it’s noise that presents problems. I would make sure you have a REM (Real Ear Measurement) and in general make sure your fitter is competent. That is not to slur fitters, but sometimes I’ve been in situations where I’ve had very bad first fit experiences.



I have no experience with the Oticons. The only time I have hear something like an echo with my KS8 RIC HA’s is when I use the XPhone feature. It sends sound from the phone receiver on one ear to both ears so you can hear better. It works, but it does have a bit of an echo to it.

In a lecture situation depending on the acoustics of the room there can be a real echo which may be exaggerated by the HA’s. The HA’s I have use a special Anti Reberb program to try to deal with it. I have not used it, so can’t comment. The Oticons may have that, but it may not be turned on as an optional program to use.



I for one even if I have to have to have a full shell in my ear I will prefer it to a BTE hearing aid. The sound to me is so much better, and the all in one hearing aids are so much more comfortable.



Thank you so much for your inputs, everyone. I will pick up the ones that I already ordered, which are BTE, but the audiologist told me that there would be 45 days for trial period. After really trying the BTE, I will decide what to do. ITE is attractive since I have hair over the ears and wear eyeglasses!



Given the the S version isn’t available ITC currently I will stick with the trial of the BTE version.

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