Oticon OPN1 Programs

Hello. I’m new to both this industry and forum. I’ve had hearing loss for quite a while and I’m on track to pick up a pair of Oticon OPN 1 miniRITE as my first set of hearing aids next week. I wanted to ask if anyone was able to create or have more than the four programs (listening environments) that are set up on the OPN 1. I researched Starkey prior to choosing the Oticon and Starkey has 12 different programs to choose from (crowd, car, theater, worship, outdoors, etc).

My Audiologist said she would check with the Oticon rep but wanted to see if anyone had experience with this.
Thank you!!!

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No there’s only 4 programs available plus one for the TV Adapter. HOWEVER, the OPN is different than other hearing aids in the sense that just the default program alone is probably enough for more than 90% of your listening environments. So it’s really not necessary to have many programs available on the OPN.

I have 4 programs on my OPN (default, comfort, speech in noise, and music), and most of the times, I still just use the default program for everything, including music, or at noisy places for speech. I don’t really need to access the music program or the speech in noise program to hear in those environments because I can hear just as effectively in the default program as those programs, although there’s a very slight difference between them.

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I use the main program 99% of the time. There are four secondary programs on them but they are unneeded.

I regularly use my older Phonak V90’s and they change programs automatically. I now find it annoying. I now think of program changing as the old way of doing things.

I don’t know how tightly Oticon has their approach patented but I expect other manufacturers are working on their versions.

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My OPN 4 Programs are Default, Speech in Noise, Comfort, and Lecture + the TV Adapter. For me, each program sounds very different. Surprisingly, the Comfort program is very effective for speech in extremely noisy places like parties, or very loud restaurants. I am able to hear conversations when others cannot.
I have a very good Audi who tweaks each program for me. I do use
all the programs, but I’ve worn hearing aids for 20 years and knew what my listening goals were when I got the OPN1.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many programs in the beginning. Your brain has a lot to get used to.
Your Audi should know how many programs are available and the different fitting platforms. Your success is dependent on her knowledge of these Hearing Aids.

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Thank you very much! I’m in a demo pair now and I agree with you that the default has a very wide range.

Thank you for your insight!

Great info and advise, I really appreciate it. I sometimes do get ahead of myself and my wife agrees with you that I need to take my time and allow my brain to adapt. Thank you!

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I wonder if your audi has tweaked your programs further so they sound more different than their default settings without any tweaking.

Without further tweaking, I find the Comfort program has less gain than the default program, which makes sense since it’s basically not as loud and therefore more comfortable to hear.

Without further tweaking, I find the Speech in Noise program has more gain than the default program, which makes sense since you want a louder speech to hear better. This program also has max noise reduction settings which makes sense.

But in general, reducing the volume in the default program makes it sound more like the comfort program, while increasing the volume in the default program makes it sounds like the Speech in Noise program.

The Music program sounds even more open than the openness already in the default program due to minimal processing.

So yes, there are differences between the programs, there’s no denying. But using the default program along with varying the volume in the default program, one can probably achieve very close result than the other programs.

I’m not sure what the Lecture program does so I can’t really comment on it.

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What is comfort? What does the speech in noise do that the default doesn’t do?

Why do you need so many programs. You should only really need default, music and maybe streamer. The whole concept of Oticon is that the hearing aid detects the listening environment for you and adjusts accordingly. You should not need to be changing programs at all.

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Comfort mainly reduces the gain compared to the default program. If you reduce the default program volume by a click or two, you’ll basically have the equivalent of the Comfort program.

Speech in Noise increases the gain compared to the default program and set the noise reduction from default values to maximum values. If you set your default program to have max noise reduction values and increase the volume by a click or two, you’ll basically have the equivalent of Speech in Noise.

You don’t need all the programs. The OPN originally was released with just the default program only, and Oticon told people that it’s all they need. But people are used to the concept of having all kinds of different programs for everything, so they view the OPN as lacking programs and therefore inferior to other hearing aid brands that offer lots of programs. So in firmware 4, Oticon decided to appease the masses and released built in programs to make people happier and so that they don’t appear inferior to other brands /models. But the reality is that “less is more”, and the ability of the OPN to handle everything with just a single default program is actually a superior solution in my opinion.

Even though I have 4 programs in my OPN, that’s just for A/B comparison out of curiosity and to this day, I still use the default program almost exclusively in all listening environments, in conjunction with my volume buttons. One difference is that I set my default program to max noise reduction in both simple and complex listening environments right up front. There’s really no good reason to set these values to anything lower than max values because that’s why you pay the premium for the technology, to get max noise reduction.

There’s really no upside to use a lower level of noise reduction in my opinion because in simpler environments, if there’s no noise around you, there’s nothing to reduce. If you pay the premium for an OPN 1 and yet you set the max noise reduction in the complex listening environment to -6dB (the max for the OPN 2) while it could have been -9dB (the max for the OPN 1), then you might as well just pay less for the OPN 2 which can only go up to -6dB max anyway. By setting your OPN 1 to -6dB max noise reduction in complex listening environment instead of -9dB, you basically turn your OPN 1 into an OPN 2.

The use of extra programs in the OPN is probably more suited to compare how things sound with and without a certain feature. For example, have one program to include Speech Rescue and another program without it and toggle between the two to see how different they sound. Or one program with max noise reduction and one with min noise reduction. Or one with directionality and one without, etc.

Is the noise reduction the diagonal line that goes through the number? I’m assuming my default program is 0. So do I increase that to 2 and then touch the 2 to put a diagonal line through it? Thanks a lot.

It sounds like you’re speaking in terms of control via the ON app for Android phones. The diagonal line through the (volume) number simply implies that you just muted the OPN mics. You cannot control the level of noise reduction in the ON app. All you can do is control the program selection and the volume selection.

The noise reduction level is set inside of the Genie 2 programming software for your OPN by your provider, in the Open Sound Navigator menu.

I don’t entirely agree. I do feel that the music program should be present, because you do need to adjust the bass, increase the volume and make the frequencies more open to get music that sounds really good.

If the Oticon aid is able to detect that you are listening to music on your headphones and adjust to these settings accordingly, then yes you don’t need the music program. But it would have to be incredibly sophisticated programming to do that.

To me it would make sense to have a dedicated program preset for those very specific requirements and have a default program that works for everything else.

But I do agree with your main point. Far too many people make the mistake of thinking more features means better (in this case more programs equals better). Having used both Resound and Oticon I very much prefer the Oticon App over the Resound app as well as the Oticon’s abiltity to hear in a noisy environment on the default program.

Two points here, and not being disagreeable. First of all, I wear Phonak and Oticon (not OPN) hearing aids, and although I have a music program on both, in actual fact, music sounds good on both in the default, so I never switch to them. In fact, (2nd point), Phonak detects music automatically and switches to the music program when it does so - (so I don’t think it is incredibly sophisticated programming). I would imagine though that music still sounds great with the OPN on the default program.

I tend to agree with the overall view that you don’t need lots of programs as both Phonak, Oticon and other top line hearing aids are all automatic. The only situation where I need to switch is when sometimes I feel I need to go to a speech in noise or loud noise program manually, where I don’t think it’s made the right selection.

The other point, looking back at the thread, is that although a lot of these hearing aids have 4, 5 or 6 programs, the Phonak, and I would imagine others as well, do something they call blending, which is where they will combine 2 or 3 programs - say the comfort in noise and speech in noise together to suit a given situation. Phonak claim up to 200 different situations on their automatic setting. Of course this sounds like marketing spiel, but I think it does show that the 4, 5 or 6 etc program model could be seen as being a bit static in light of some of the changes that do go on.

First of all, we need to clarify between listening to music via streaming or via the OPN mics, since you mentioned “listening to music ON YOUR HEADPHONES”. Listening to music on your headphones is basically the same as listening to music through the OPN mics. Listening to music via streaming is not the same as listening to music through the OPN mics.

When streaming audio into the OPN and muting the mic, I believe that the processing for noise reduction and sound balancing and stuff like that does not apply to the streaming audio, because that’s not the real-time/real-life environmental sounds coming through the OPN mics that need to be processed. It’s just streaming audio coming from the TV or phone or Connect Clip, and the goal here is to just faithfully reproduce the audio input received without coloring it via further processing, especially since any processing mentioned above is relevant to the real-life/real-time environment only. In other words, the audio/music content streamed to the OPN has already been pre-processed at the studio and so the goal should be authentic reproduction of what the producer intended for you to hear.

There is an exception to this, which is the Speech Rescue technology. I can verify that if Speech Rescue is turned on, the streaming audio is processed through Speech Rescue and I’m able to hear the lowered frequency sounds like the “s” and “sh” and other fricatives from speech in the streaming audio.

Having said the above, it is implied that a Music program is not necessary when listening to streaming audio because no processing (other than Speech Rescue if enabled) is done to the streaming audio on purpose.

So now, let’s talk about whether the Music program is needed in the non-streaming scenario, when you listen to music through the OPN mics live (well, not necessarily “live” music, just music whichever way). If you look at the built-in Music program, you’ll notice that the Directionality Setting is set to “Pinna Omni”, and Noise Reduction is disabled. Now compare this to the default program, where the Directionality Setting is set to “Open Automatic” and Noise Reduction is Enabled.

How are they different? When there’s music, in the Default program where the Directionality Setting is set to “Open Automatic”, and there’s no clear speech detected by the Voice Activity Detetctor, and given that the OPN has an “open” paradigm in the first place, this “Open Automatic” will obviously choose “Pinna Omni” over “Full Directionality” anyway.

With regards to the Noise Reduction setting enabled in the Default Program, remember that the OPN only applies Noise Reduction to Speech and ONLY while Speech is going on, and it still lets all the other sounds through. So when the music is going on, it’s very UNLIKELY that Noise Reduction is activated anyway, since the Voice Activity Detector cannot detect any speech going on. Even if it detects Speech going on (for example, someone talks to you while the music is going on), the Noise Reduction is activated during that speech only (so you can what the person says to you), then immediately after that person stops speaking, Noise Reduction is deactivated.

Given the 2 parameters that are different between the built-in Music program and the Default program explained above, and how very likely that they will converge to be the same setting when music is going on (Pinna Omni and no Noise Reduction) most of the times, listening to music in either programs will sound very similar to you.

Now if you say that you want a distinct music program because you want more bass when listening to music and less bass when not listening to music, that’s fine and that’s why Oticon gives you up to 4 different programs to do just that. But that’s because you have significant low frequency hearing loss, so you want a different equalization for music. But I was speaking in the context of using the same equalization for all listening environments (because I happen to have little hearing loss in the low frequencies so I don’t care to boost up the bass for music). And in that context, I find the Default program already very adequate for music listening and I can discern very little difference when I listen to music using either the Default program and the Oticon built-in Music program.

I think this is probably the reason why I need a music program. There is a noticeable difference in bass between music and default program for me. Although he has increased the bass yesterday because I said I couldn’t hear lower frequencies words - it was too soft. So he has increased bass to provide more energy as you put it.

So perhaps it would be more accurate to state that for my hearing loss, a dedicated music program is more necessary. I do agree that music on the default program is quite good actually and I don’t really need to change, but I do find music sounds slightly better on the music program.

Oh for Christ’s sake. Why do you need xyz? We are the customer. We want it. Is that not enough? If you are happy with one program, fine. This is one of the problems in the world at large. One size fits all and no individuality. I am happy with one program, so you only need one. How often has it been said on this forum…hearing is a subjective personal thing. Otherwise, there needs to be a single hearing aid made and it is just peachy for everyone.

Roberto, have your one program. I will darn well have what I want.

Six months ago I would have concurred with you on this. However, I had REM testing, where they discovered that I was getting too little amplification in the bass tones from 125 Hz - 1000 Hz, and they were bumped up by 6DB. Since then, music has sounded stellar, and there is hardly any difference for me between the default and music programs. So I am not sure why there should be such a discrepancy in bass between the 2 programs.