Oticon Own 1 First Impressions

So, I’m an experienced wearer with very poor hearing and am trying these new aids with a new audiologist.

TLDR: My coworkers are begging me to go back to my old hearing aids.

Audiologist (new to me) set me up with the new aids and my first impression was LOUD, as it often is with a new prescription. He reduced the gain some and we tried to dial in something usable in his quiet office setting. No longer was I overwhelmed by the office HVAC sound even though it wasn’t really all that loud in the room. Things now seemed OK for the environment. Once outside, I experienced cacophony. I had 4 programs to choose from General, MyMusic, Lecture and Comfort. I figured I give those a go. After about a week: a definite “no” on all of them. The noise reduction sounded like an audio blender. Feedback suppression seems OK at least, though a bit reminiscent of the old Unitron “if it’s one or two pitches, squelch it out!” school of feedback reduction. So, if you have things that beep in your life, they will be quickly slaughtered out. Microwave? Gone. Alarm system? Gone. DTMF? Gone.

So, I started over myself, as I am prone to do. I went through the procedure that Oticon recommends in their Genie 2 tutorials and I also used in-situ audiometry which filled in more data points and was a bit different from the most recent office booth test. This Genie 2 recommended fit procedure differed a lot from my recent office fit experience. The results were better and I will give the fitting one more go, but even now, the noise in the background sounds like a multitude of audio channels (frequency bands) being sliced audibly and without concern for the adjacent channels. I can’t make out words as well as my old hearing aids and like in the first week In action I try to compensate with volume adjustments, program changes and cupping my ears. Coworkers are frustrated with me. I did employ the recommended “intelligence” that Genie 2 provides.

Other things I hated:

The audio indicators are laughable. I have never heard such a poor power-on jingle in my life. I turned it off. The program changes are indicated by a series of beeps. I’m used to a voice uttering the program number. I feel like I’ve gone back 10 to 15 years compared to the Starkey’s I have used recently. I figured a new flagship product from Oticon would be a big leap from a 6 year old Starkey Muse. Was I wrong.

The user controls on the faceplate have very limited programmability. If I wanted to use a button for VC, nope. I need a volume wheel for that (which I have even though I didn’t ask for, but glad it was added). I prefer to use one ear button for Vol+ and the other ear for Vol-. Long press on one for program change, long press on the other for mute. No can do. Each control has basically a fixed functionality that you can enable or not.

The NFMI wireless “ear-to-ear” is OK, but really slow. Changing the program on one often takes a long time before it happens on the other. This may a deliberate design decision for some technical reason, but the result is annoying. I haven’t even tried audio streaming yet, but Bluetooth control of volume and program from my Samsung S10 works OK, though I get disconnects to one ear or the other or incorrect battery warnings from time to time.

The impulse suppression is again like an old experience revisited. Turn on a light switch? It sounds like you flicked the switch on the wall 10 feet in front of you. I remember this from a decade ago. Initial sound cut out, but the early reflection comes in loud and clear. Changing the setting in Genie 2 helps but I can’t help but think the setting just alters the number of milliseconds the impulse (maybe everything) is muted. This is not how is should be. There should be fast acting compression that allows me to hear the initial click but at reduced volume. Heaven forbid I encounter a real loud impulse.

It seems like a moderately competent wireless technology was bolted on the side of an old hearing aid platform. Regarding the audible blending, I think that using a number of independent frequency bands for noise suppression is a mistake. Noise is typically pretty wide band and should be evaluated that way. Maybe I’ve missed something in the programming? Not sure.

A good audio example! This week I stumbled across a good speech-in-noise test. Here we have a female announcer and a quiet male voice amid cheers. This is a great test for seeing if you can hear it all, and what it sounds like. If you use Google Chrome with Live Caption and/or CC you can follow the dialog visually. There is also a low frequency rumble. This link is about 35+ seconds before the challenging part starts. The challenging part starts at T+00:02:38 and runs until about T+00:03:00

The phrase “and there you can see and heard it by the incredible excitement” is utterly scrambled by the aids and the male voice is buried during his 3rd and 4th call-outs (right before and after the above phrase “M VAC engine chill” is the first one I think).

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As a More1 hearing aid user, and someone that has worn Oticon aids for over 12 years I would be interested in your audigram. I love my More1 aids and only use the default program. I have no need for anything else. I am hoping to get a set of OWN1 aids with full connectivity later this year. I have talked to my audiologist and the Oticon VA rep and Oticon audiologist that supports the VA here and have been told that my More1 programming can be copied to the OWN1 aids. To be honest I haven’t found any issues with background noise, road noise, wind noise and have no feedback at all. My More1 aids have acrylic full skeleton ear molds with a small vent.
I haven’t had anything better in aids for speech understanding.

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@grantb5: My More1 aids COMPLETELY missed the challenging part. All I could make out were a man and a woman talking perfectly intelligible English!


@grantb5 Thanks for this review. I also have 6 year old starkys (IIC) that I was thinking of replacing with Oticon Owns, however on the advice of my audi I decided to trial the More’s first. I am at the end of my 30 day trial and am finding the Mores so great that I have decided to stick with these, but this makes me even happier that I tried these vs. the Owns. I am surprised though, because I was told that the Mores and Owns used the same technology, and I am finding the Mores a huge improvement with speach in noise over my starkeys. I also have several programs with my starkeys, but my audi told me that wasn’t always required with the Mores so I decided to try them without programs and have her add later if required, and so far I haven’t had any need for a different program. It’s always interesting to hear of others experience.


Interesting. I’m willing to believe that these Own’s are not set up ideally, plus our losses might be different. I’m curious what controls you have available on the More’s (on the faceplate), if you use them and/or if you use any remote controls (phone or accessories)?

Are the More’s the same with regard to the startup jingle and beeps for changing tones? I wonder if they are the same except for changes to the wireless, or if the Own’s are truly different. Oticon might have literature that tells this.

I need to spend more time with the fitting, but with only limited opportunities to make changes I think that the 60 day trial period will zoom by pretty fast.

I will add my audiogram. I haven’t fixed that since this forum moved to the new platform I have ITC or ITE, so not the biggest, with a 0.8mm vent. One thing I like is the black faceplates. More trendy. :wink:

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I will say this the open paradigm of Oticon aids isn’t for everyone. I love being able to hear all around me. I live out in the forest and love hearing all that I can of nature. I guess I have gotten use to a lot of sounds others can’t stand. But honestly I don’t have any issues in restaurants that my wife and I go to. My wife will complain it is noisy, she has extremely good hearing for our age. I love the fact that I can hear people talk all around me even if I don’t full understand what is being said.


@grantb5 I’m not sure if your questions are directed at me, but I just realized that my previous response was confusing. The Mores are RITE, not CIC or IIC, so they don’t really have a faceplate. I had never tried RITE or BTE before, when I got the starkeys I wanted in the ear because I thought they were less noticeable (which I don’t care about all that much anymore) and because my loss is relatively flat my previous audi thought they might be better. I don’t have my audiogram on me, but my loss is pretty mild - it is basically flat, straddling the mild/moderate ‘line’. As I said I don’t have any programs, so I basically put the mores in in the morning and take them out when I go to bed - I don’t really do anything with them throughout the day. They do have a ‘rocker’ type button that you can use to adjust volume or power them on or off (and I think change programs if you need to). I also have the app on my phone that can change the volume (and presumably program). Since I don’t have programs I don’t know if it would say the number (like starkey) or just beep.

@grantb5 On the Own’s the start up jingles and changing tones can be lowered or even eliminated at Setup. The push button can be even setup to change volume (short push) and change program (longer push) and Mute (even longer push). Hope this helps.

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@grantb5: It’s a long shot, but - is there any chance these are cheesy, off-shore knockoffs rather than the real Swedish deal? (It’s the jingle that’s got my antennas jangling).


Unlikely: I’ve not heard of anyone knocking out pretend ITE.


My Philips Hearlink aids have a startup “jingle” too. It’s not just a series of 10 beeps like all ReSound aids I’ve had.

Unlikely that they are not the real deal. The chain of custody is pretty solid. The jingle is just so awful though. One bass or root note and a horrible melody on top of it. So utterly bad compared to the Starkey jingle of 6+ years ago. I did turn it off. I would have killed myself by now if I had to hear that every day.

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I turned the jingle (cough, spit) off. I did not see any way to reassign the controls. Only checkboxes to enable and disable them. I will look again though. The software is on another PC so I might have to do screen caps and mail them to myself in order to post here. Because they were built with volume controls, I wonder if that affects the options available to me. I would love to use just the buttons and disable the VC pots.

I would say my best hope would be to find someone other then myself or my audiologist to program them. My audiologist has not done much Oticon and I less (but at least I know what I’m hearing). I’ve heard scenarios where the Oticon rep will personally assist so that’s an outside possibility.

@Um_bongo: I would have thought that, with the advent of OTC and the plethora of ITC models available, that a brand name ITC would be a perfect target for counterfeiting.

I’m happy to be wrong on this one, though!

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@grantb5 The setting are on the END FITTING page of Genie 2. Look for “Buttons and Indicators” on the left hand column.

Hope this helps

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Thanks, yes that is exactly what I see, but none of the elements in the top half of the window are adjustable. It seems to be only informational. The bottom half where you see the checkboxes, I can enable and disable those features. Happy to be wrong though! Maybe there is a certain order of operation to those software things?

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@grantb5 I can’t stress enough the importance of REM!!! Just yesterday I fitted a client with Oticon MORE 3 devices. The initial programming was so horribly off the mark. There was a giant peak centered at 2 kHz that was well above her prescriptive target, and there was significant under-amplification under 1 kHz. Manufacturer’s often get their estimated targets severely wrong because they have no way of accounting for the unique shape and size of each user’s ear canals, and how that effects the frequency response of sounds that resonate through that space. If I had let her walk out the door with the default settings I’m positive she would have told me that the aids sound like dog sh*t! It’s very plausible that your dissappointing experience thus far is caused by very poor estimation of your prescription/targets.


@louie in a case like that, if REM is not an option would IN-SITU adjustments available in GENIE 2 be a viable option?