Oticon OPN-S wearers---any sound issues?

#1

I’m wearing OPN-S1R. To my dismay, I have had to return and replace these hearing aids more than once since they were introduced to the market in early 2019. The hearing aids “cut out” on me when my finger is put near the power/volume button or near the top microphone, or when any pressure is applied to the hearing aids in this area. The hearing aid literally stops working for a few seconds and then pops back in, as if it is super-sensitive to movement or touch. I am wondering if this is possibly due to the new feedback suppression system in OPN-S products, or if it is an electrical/design problem with the placement of the new on/off buttons or power lights on the OPN-S. I previously wore first-generation OPN1 and OPN2, and I never had this problem with them.

My audiologist was able to test it and hear the defect on mine, so I know I’m not crazy. :slight_smile: It is not a receiver problem, because we tried swapping out the receivers and the cut-out problem persisted. It does not seem to happen on both hearing aids at once. It’s been either just the right or just the left.

Oticon has replaced the hearing aids without issue (so far, there has been no explanation as to what they found in analyzing the returned ones), but the cut-out has happened on the replacements they have sent as well. I’m hoping that OPN-S isn’t a lemon, because I’m starting to sour on my purchase of them! Translation: These are supposedly “top of the line” hearing aids that weren’t cheap, and I expected better quality than what I’ve experienced so far. I otherwise like Oticon OPN products because they seem to be the best for me in terms of speech clarity.

I trialed Phonak Marvel before upgrading to OPN-S, and the “Phonak Autosense” feature caused momentary cut out of sound too, whenever Autosense was adjusting to the environment. I found it bothersome. As far as I know, Oticon OPN-S doesn’t have a feature similar to Phonak’s Autosense, so I’m not sure what is causing the sound cut-out with my OPN-S devices.

To current wearers of OPN-S products–have you had any similar issues with sound cut-out when you place a finger near the power buttons or near the top microphone? Or, can you test it out and see if it is also happening to you?

To the audiologists out there–Any suggestions as to what might be causing this? Is there something in the Genie settings that my audiologist and I are missing that might be solve the problem?

Thanks to all who may have something to add. Please note that I may not respond to everyone, but I will appreciate reading about any experiences with OPN-S that you might want to share. Cheers, everyone.

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#2

I think it’s likely a result of the OpenSound Optimizer (new feedback prevention technology) that’s causing the issue, specific to your hearing loss.

That’s just a guess, of course, but it’s consistent with the finger near the hearing aid likely causing the detection of the onset of feedback, triggering the feedback prevention technology going to work and inserting the “breaks” in the spectral area of the feedback frequencies, resulting in the cut out.

It should have been smoother without the cut out but it probably varies with different types of hearing loss and yours is probably bad enough to trigger the cut out while it may not happen to other people with different types of hearing loss.

Did you ask your audi to ask Oticon to see if there’s an option to disable the OpenSound Optimizer and just use the traditional feedback reduction option, simply to see if this suspicion can be confirmed or not? I know it may be the whole reason for your upgrade, so it may make no point to try to disable it. But it’s only for the sake of debugging the issue to see if it’s even the OpenSound Optimizer being the real culprit or not.

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#3

Thanks, @Volusiano. I think your theory is a possibility, and I am going to ask my AuD about it. I do think it has to be related to the new feedback system or the design change that includes up/down power buttons and charging lights in the area of the top mic. I appreciate your input on this.

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#4

This is not an Open Sound Optimiser… because OSO inserts series of short breaks but not pause for few seconds. Maybe you have defective hearing aid casing that breaks internal electrical contacts when pressure applied [quote=“richnfamus1, post:1, topic:45329”]
stops working for a few seconds
[/quote]

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#5

Yeah that would be the first inclination that there’s an issue with the hearing aids, but the hearing aids have already been replaced and the issue still persists. It’s hard to believe that a randomly defective issue would show up twice in 2 pairs of brand new hearing aids.

The other thing is that if it’s an issue with a defective hearing aid, I would think that it would have happened to one aid only and not both of them.

So there’s really not much else to debug and the most obvious thing is to try to turn off the OSO and see what happens. Yeah, in theory it shouldn’t be the OSO, but the series of breaks may results in something worse ending in a cut out, depending on the level of amplification needed, you never know.

It’s also possible that for certain hearing losses, the breaks are audible to the user, but for other types of loss, the breaks may not be audible to the user, hence sounding like a cut out. But then if the audi can hear the cutout, too, then it must not be a hearing loss dependent issue.

Anyway, it’s all a guess, but it’s the one thing that hasn’t been replaceable and/or disabled to get ruled out and really there’s nothing else obviously to try because both hearing aids and receivers had already been replaced.

It’s also the single biggest difference between the original OPN and the S.

The other significant thing I guess is the lithium ion batteries. But this is not something that can be turned off anyway. And if it’s the real cause, other folks would have reported the same problem instead of this being an isolated issue with the OP only.

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#6

Thanks, @lostdeaf and @Volusiano. It could be either of your suggestions. If Oticon knows or is becoming aware of a possible problem because of my issues with this, they are mum so far as to what might be the cause. Because this happens only when pressure is applied near the power button or top mic, I think it is something electrical in nature or perhaps an oversensitive feedback feature. If it was the hearing aid adjusting to changing sounds in the environment during wear, I’d be sensing the cut-out more frequently. Perhaps the OPN-S having two buttons (up/down) and the power light in the area of those buttons (just below the top mic) has something to do with it. First-gen OPN only has one button on each aid and no power light, and I didn’t have momentary cut-out issues with them.

If Oticon sends my AuD reports to tell us what they found on the pairs that were returned to them, maybe we’ll get a clue. I know it’s not me, because this has happened with three different hearing aids, on alternating ears. It does not seem (so far) to happen on both sides at once. My hearing loss is nothing out of the ordinary, it’s a standard ski-slope high frequency loss in the range of 60-70 db, but I do have feedback issues because of ear canal shape and size.

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#7

I have the OPN-S1 in trial now and this didn’t occur so I guess it’s not the OSO. In fact, I think this is more related to recharger model. It would be that when there is some pressure , the batteries are having no contact so no power!!

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#8

Thanks, @AshFan. Glad you’re not experiencing the cut-out issue. A relative of mine is wearing OPN-SR2 and isn’t having it either (yet).

Just to clarify–I am not putting enough pressure on the hearing aid button to turn it off. It just intermittently cuts out when I put any pressure or movement near the power buttons/power light and top mic. It’s almost like there is a intermittent and momentary “short” with any kind of pressure or movement near that mic. I am not blocking the mic either.

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#9

I just started 3 days ago a trial of the OPN S3 and the only experience of cutting out I had was driving along with the window open. It seems wind noise is being cut out due to loudness? Otherwise, I can completely cover my ears (cupping my hands) and no cuts, same when touching the mic or the button on the back.

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#10

I have been wearing OPN S1 for about a month. I haven’t had a problem that richnfamus1 has. I also put my hand over my hearing aids and the problem didn’t occur. I hope the issue will be solved for you!

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#11

Thanks, @BrianMB and @Tomo. I appreciate your input. It seems the cut-out issue is limited to me, so far.

@BrianMB, the windshielding feature is working well if it is kicking in when you have the car windows down.:slight_smile:

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#12

the windshielding feature is working well if it is kicking in when you have the car windows down

Kind of annoying, as I start to hear the wind build and then it cuts for a few seconds, wind build and then cuts for a few seconds again. But something I’ll get used to or just get used to driving with the windows up.

Something I noticed yesterday, both ears occasionally give a crackling sound. I found it happening mostly in the evening while reclining in the lazy boy. However I did just notice it now again this morning, sitting at the dining table. It sounds similar to cling wrap or a plastic water bottle being lightly crinkled.

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#13

On the original OPN, the wind noise management feature leaves much to be desired. But I’d rather have a mediocre or poor wind noise manager that doesn’t cut out than a smart one that cuts out like that.

I don’t recall seeing any claim of a better wind noise manager on the OPN S, so I really doubt that it has a different/better wind noise manager than the original OPN. I suspect it’s something else and does not happen because of the wind noise as a wind noise manager.

The only thing that used to cut out sound in the original OPN was the Transient Noise Management feature. If there’s a sharp sudden loud sound, it’s supposed to suppress the loud sound to a more tolerable sound level. However, its implementation was badly done in the beginning, causing cut out on sudden loud sounds, sometimes even a complete reboot, instead of just suppressed sound that should still be heard. In subsequent firmware updates, however, this issue was fixed and it now doesn’t cut out or reboot on loud sounds anymore.

I suspect this cut out is related to the new OpenSound Optimizer. It may not be the same cut out that the OP experienced when pushing in the area of the toggle switch, but I’m beginning to think that the OSO is still not mature enough and is initiating a cut out when it doesn’t know how to handle something properly. Maybe in due time, there’ll be new firmware updates that can address these issues. Of course this is all speculation on my part. But there has been no more or very little cut out reports from original OPN wearers anymore, but only newer cut out reports surfacing from OPN S users. And the main common denominator is the introduction of the OSO on the OPN S. So it’s only logical to speculate that the culprit is the OSO being not mature enough and needing more fine tuning over time to smooth out these new anomalies.

As for the crackling sound BrianMB experiences, that sounds like a receiver going bad, crackling when being driven harder than normal. The first (and easy) try would be to replace the receivers to see if the crackling went away or not. I’ve had bad receivers that crackle and the issue went away after I replaced the receivers.

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#14

I haven’t had any issues with wind noise with my OPN1 ITE hearing aids, and even at times they cut out my of the sounds than I would like

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#15

@BrianMB, I agree with Volusiano. Check your receivers to see if it helps the crinkle/crackle noise. You might need the next step up in receiver power if you are overstressing the current receivers in terms of their maximum. For instance, you might need to move from a 60 gain to an 85 receiver. Check with your audiologist. And I don’t think the windshield feature should be causing cut-outs. It is just supposed to lower the buffeting noise of wind. But maybe the buffeting wind noise with car windows down stresses the windshield feature beyond it’s capacity–I don’t know.

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#16

Interesting discussion, @Volusiano. I always enjoy reading your theories! :slight_smile:

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#17

Thank you for the detailed reply! Lots of learning for me yet with these, that’s for sure! I’m seeing my audi tomorrow and will be letting her know about what is all going on. Also will be doing REM tomorrow so looking forward to seeing where I’m currently tuned for.

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#18

My audi started the HA on 60 receivers and then with the initial programming found that they were maxing out. She said she changed them to 85s before even having me in the office and trying them on. Perhaps for the high frequency these receivers are maxing out as well and should be using 100s? Perhaps tomorrow I’ll find out at my appointment. I attempted to input my audiogram over the weekend, however I’m not sure if that is yet working to display. A quick summary for that is ski slope loss, right ear starting at 20 (250), 40 (2k) , 80 (6k->) and left ear starting at 40 (250-1.5k), 60 (2k), 85 (4k->).

edit: found that the audiogram has updated and is showing for my profile now.

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#19

@BrianMB, I guess anything’s possible. Did you have your audiologist check the receivers or swap them out for a more powerful pair?

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#20

That’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow at my appointment, asking about the crackling sound, getting a shorter receiver wire fitted, probably different domes for a better fit, etc. I’ll definitely update when the appointment is up and we’ve gone through everything.

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