Oticon opn1 vs opn2 for female voices

I am a retired 65 year old male with what I believe is mild to perhaps moderate hearing loss with tinnitus. My major complaint is too-often not “hearing” what people are saying to me. I have enough failure of understanding that I am delighted to get hearing aids! My chosen retirement lifestyle is a “quiet” one (no meetings, little theater/cinema, not much going out). I simply don’t like populous, “busy” environments that are usually also “noisy”, and I seldom patronize them. However, I do enjoy home cinema, and therein lies my touchstone hearing issue: I have great difficulty making out (can’t “hear” them) what female actors are saying, especially if they have British or otherwise non-western-American English accents.
My audiologist has recommended the Oticon opn HAs for me. She recommends that I purchase the opn1 model, telling me they will best meet my needs. From my research, I am unable to establish for myself that it is obvious that the opn1 model will meet my seemingly modest needs better than the opn2 model. While willing to purchase opn1, I simply do not want to pay a 35% premium for features or power that I do not need. I am trying the opn2 models without any “special programs” and I am happy with the result except that I find much too-little improvement to my home cinema hearing issue. I have tried movies, streaming and dvd, with and without good-quality sound bar systems, and perceive little discernible difference between environments, that is to say I still have significant difficulty with female voices, regardless of volumes, using “standard” opn2 instruments. From this terrific website, I have read that soft sound perception setting adjustments might help me. However, I have had to press my audiologist to add any special programming (coming next week) to the opn2 to see if that can also meet my need using opn2 before I test out the opn1. (I paid (refundable upon purchase) for a trial to compare the two models).
I am troubled with what seems to be my audiologist not wanting to deal with seeing if the opn2 can work for me, and wanting me to simply purchase the opn1 models instead. While I have good understanding of computers (and perhaps why opn1 may be more than I need), I do not know about audiology, and I wonder if my audiologist is well-versed with my issue and knows from experience that the opn1 is obviously what I need and the opn2 simply will not do the job, thus seeing my testing the opn2 as a waste of time. Unfortunately, I noted that she was unable to upgrade the firmware on the opn2 model to allow for the special programming I requested (why that is coming next week), which also makes me wonder about her approach with me.
I appreciate inputs on my opn2 vs opn1 applicability issue, and perhaps also an audiologist issue, that I am struggling with.

Below are the OPN 1, 2, 3 feature comparison. Specific to the Soft Speech Booster LX feature, all 3 models have it.

In terms of speech understanding, as you can see in the top section, the OPN 2 lags the OPN 1 in terms of balancing power, max noise removal, Speech Guard and Spatial Sound. Speech Guard is the compression technology to help improve speech in noisy environment. Spatial Sound is for spatial awareness mainly. Max noise removal and balancing power is obvious. None of which is important enough if you’re rarely in a noisy environment.

I personally think the OPN 2 should be very sufficient for you if you seldom are in noisy environments, having worn the OPN 1 myself and personally tried out the OPN 3 extensively enough to write a review on it on this forum. Heck, I even think the OPN 3 is all you need, if it’s much cheaper than the OPN 2. Read my review of the OPN 3 on this forum to see if you find it helpful or not.

I suspect your audi is pushing the OPN 1 for maximum profit, and also it’s a no-brainer for them because if you complain of not finding something adequate, they can simply say “well, it’s the best Oticon’s got, so there’s not much more they can do.”

You should try out the Oticon TV Adapter 3.0 for direct streaming from your TV (or any audio source) to your OPN 2. You’ll find that direct-to-your-ear sound experience much better than any sound bar can give you, unless you’re looking for deep bass which no hearing aids can deliver to you. But you can do both, use the TV Adapter 3.0 in conjunction with the TV Adapter 3.0 if you want to get both the bass from the sound bar and the clarity from the TV Adapter. Or have your audi set the TV Adapter Power Bass setting to High as shown in the second pic below from the Genie 2 programming software to see if that’s enough bass for your taste already without the sound bar.

The Soft Sound Perception setting can be found inn the Fine Tuning -> Sound Control section of the Genie 2 software and just have your audi set it to the max level of Detail that you can get. Not sure how much it’ll help you but every little bit help. The 3rd pic below shows this section.

Based on your audiogram, I would also recommend have your audi turn on/enable the Speech Rescue and set it to the 2.4KHz (left most) configuration so that you can hear the “s” and “sh” and other fricatives/phonemes in the high frequency areas down to the 1.5-2.4KHz area where your hearing loss is not as severe there. It should help with female voices as well, including male voices and speech understanding in general. This feature (Speech Rescue) is available in all 3 models OPN 1, 2 and 3.


Make sure your audiologist is independent or affiliated w/Oticon if you want to stay with that brand. The inability to do the programming gives me a hint that is not the case since I encountered the same thing. After my audiologist that I loved (& was independent) moved away I booked an appointment at a place close to the house for a checkup on my Oticon’s. I didn’t do my research first; when she couldn’t answer questions or make adjustments (“umm, I don’t have that cable”) I checked online after the appointment & sure enough it was a Phonak-affiliated clinic. Nothing wrong w/Phonak; I just wasn’t going to pitch my fairly recent Oticon investment.

That said, even w/top of the line HAs I watch everything with closed captions.

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This is a very good point!

Having worked with both Oticon-affiliated Audi’s and ones who are not, the ability for the Audi to understand the software makes a huge difference.

I had one experience where I was telling the Audi what to do within Genie because she was so unfamiliar with it :confused:

I have found that the best solution for me was a quality pair of wireless head phones. Almost surround sound quality and the dialog is pretty understandable.

Thank you very much for your considered and detailed reply, Volusiano. This is extremely useful and helpful for me!

I very much appreciate your inputs for me, thank you, they are useful!

Thank you very much!

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with me: I shall look into them!

You are welcome @DavidRay. Don’t you think so @Volusiano? And @Kim_in_Florida, @MNWild46, @jtl too :rofl:

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Yes, this is a good bunch of people.

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Yes, I certainly do!! I thought I had thanked everyone, but perhaps I did not use the system correctly. In any event, I do wish to sincerely thank everyone for their generous responses and very useful help to me!


Question: I’m retired and almost 70 so i am rarely in loud situations, except for occasional restaurants and being in AA meetings where there’s often background noise in the form of air moving with AC or heating, and poor room acoustics. My ability to hear sounds has dropped in both ears over the past three years, moreso on the left. But my ability to discern words, particular with female voices, has dropped precipitously on the left.

I am considering opting for Opn 1 just as a hedge against restaurants and needing to knock down the maximum noise to hear a dinner partner, and to jack up my ability to discern words. Money’s not an issue. I am told my ability to discern words is at 60 percent on the left and 84 percent on the right, down from 78 and 92 respectively three years ago.

I’m also told I need voices to be 7 dB above backgrounds to understand them. I play in one band and work with another set of musicians. I can distinguish all the instruments and what they are dong, but if a member next to me wants to tell me something as we’re playing a song, I have no clue what’s being said.

I have to make a choice in a couple of days, at least of what to demo, so, the question: Opn 1 or 2. I’m sticking with Oticon as I’ve used them for 20 years.



I saw you mention that money is not an issue. So I’m not sure why you’re asking if you should pick the OPN 1 or OPN 2. If money is not an issue for me, I would pick the 2nd generation OPN S 1 with the lithium-ion rechargeable option.

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Please note that Oticon discovered an issue with OPN S and they are working to solve right now.
Some people, me too, are occasionally hearing voices / letters such as ´O’ to be warble talk or as if the person is speaking in front of a fan.
I am facing this when te speaker voice is somehow loud. To tell you the truth I don’t hknow why but my speech understanding was much better while testing OPN-1 than now with OPN-S


From where do you know about Oticon discovered this problem? I would read about this from first hands.

I presume the original poster bought his aids and is long gone. However, I think this is an example of being drawn down the rabbit hole of counting bells and whistles, when the real issue may be getting the correct type of fittings and the most appropriate prescription formula. For the most part lower end hearing aids and almost all top brands can do the same thing. However they have to be fitted properly to get the best results. In this example where the OP is missing higher frequency female voices I would think a less commonly used DSL v5 formula may give better results than the typical NAL-NL2. There is still some useable hearing at the higher frequencies and DSL tries harder to make use of it. Also using more closed fittings can help attenuate the low natural low frequencies where hearing is very good. These low frequencies can overwhelm the highs if not controlled.

Also, later I remember someone in the forum indicated that oticon mentioned this issue on Facebook !

Hmm… I’m awaiting the next superpower and ultrapower hearing aids based on Velox. I guess that feedback manager in these aids will be the same as in Opn S. Hope Oticon engineers will solve this problem :pray:

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Your printouts of several Genie 2 pages have been very useful indeed!
I was wondering whether you have a copy of the page relating to general streaming settings as well as a page on phone streaming and hearing in noise settings??
Best regards