Signia Pure 13 BT Expert Hearing Aid Review + Oticon Opn Comparison

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opn
hearing-aids
#1

Here’s another comprehensive hearing aid review, this time focusing on the Pure 13 BT, from Constantine Grantcharov: Signia Pure 13 BT Detailed Hearing Aid Review + Oticon Opn Comparison

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Otico OPN 1 vs signia Pure 7Nx
#2

It’s a good review, with the exception of some factual errors (OPN1 does have a TV Streamer, and always has; and the default position volume indicator on the BT13 is fixed in a recent firmware update).

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#3

Thanks … I found your comment on the article … using words like “mistakes” and saying “hard to understand how you missed that” seemed a little harsh. Constantine is a really nice and smart guy who is just trying to give back to the community…

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#4

Wasn’t meaning to be personally critical, but the author wrote entire paragraphs about those two failings and he was, um, mistaken about them. Moreover, the headline says it’s an “expert” review, so I assume the reviewer is up-to-date on obvious things like accessories.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable that an “expert” review would at least go through a quick fact-checking pass, especially regarding main points of criticism - it’s not entirely fair to consumers or the manufacturer. I’d recommend editing the article to fix these things.

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#5

He’s on the edits already. Again thanks for the feedback.

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#6

Reviewer said: "The ability to understand people when conversing in general listening environments is the singular, most critical quality that makes me pick the Opn 1 over the the Pure 13 BT as my hearing aid of choice, despite the shortfalls in the Opn 1’s feature set and bluetooth issues. If the Pure 13 BT’s sound works well for you, the additional features it supports would make it the winner in a head-to-head comparison with the Opn 1 from my point of view."

What shortfalls in the OPN 1’s feature set is the reviewer talking about? Beside his mistake that the OPN line doesn’t have a TV Streamer?

Also, regarding the Bluetooth issues the reviewer mentioned on the OPN 1, I don’t know when his OPN 1 review was done, but the Firmware 4.0 update available in July’17 plus the recently available iOS 11.0.3 has virtually resolved all of the BLE direct streaming issues between the OPN and the iPhone already.

I agree with Chatteremail that if one calls one’s review an “Expert” review then some basic fact checking should be done before making misinformed or outdated claims. The Firmware 4.0 update on the OPN line is not that recent either. It’s been out for 4 months already.

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#7

Quick update. We removed the word expert after receiving this helpful feedback from the community. Working with the author now to make some edits. Thanks guys!

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#8

Maybe tech-savvy would work instead of expert.

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#9

Changed to “Signia Pure 13 BT Detailed Hearing Aid Review”

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#10

The changes show up on the Hearing Tracker site, but not on the headings here. Just a fyi.

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#11

Agreed with the whole “Expert” comments - I am by no means an expert, but really just a power user whose worn hearing aids for a long time. I am first and foremost just a hearing aid consumer. A lot of what I learn about these products comes directly from questions I ask my clinician, questions I’ve asked company representatives/employees, and searches I’ve done on the Internet. So, like your average hearing aid user, the information I receive from all these sources is not always up-to-date or 100% accurate.

The lack of a TV Streamer on the Oticon Opn 1 was second hand information I received for my clinician, which was an honest mistake. I trusted it because I specifically asked about a TV streamer last time I was there and was told that it was not yet available for the Opn 1 but worked for prior models.

Shortfalls of the Opn 1:

  • No remote fitting support (TeleCare or TeleAudiology solution)
  • Bluetooth Quality is still not up-to-par with Pure 13 BT (I’ve been on firmware version 4.0 for almost 2 months + iOS 11.0.3). I still get clicking and have to reset the Bluetooth on my phone and turn my hearing aids on and off to fix it. So, no this has not yet been fixed as claimed above.
  • No data analytics and graphs showing usage, listening environment details, and etc … I detailed in the “Phone Apps” section
  • No built-in ratings systems with which I can provide my satisfaction level with the hearing aid to my clinician

The list above is by no means exhaustive, but if you’ve worn both hearing aids you do notice these things when you start looking. While those features may not be important to every person, they are none-the-less missing from the Opn 1.

Appreciate the feedback guys. Future reviews will only be better as a result.

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#12

Fixed this issue just now.

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#13

Appreciate your response and attitude about this Constantine. Also, I am partially blame for missing a couple of the factual errors in the original article. I proofed it, but was forgot myself about the TV streamer and was unaware of the firmware update. Next time we’ll make sure to have the manufacturer(s) involved proof for any errors of this type.

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#14

Thanks for your response here, Constantine, and thanks for writing up the review. It’s much appreciated.

  1. Yes, the Telecare is the first in the industry and real differentiation for the Pure 13. I hope other mfgs will follow suit on this and add this functionality to their HAs.

  2. It’s interesting that you still have BT issues on the OPN with FW 4 and iOS 11.0.3. Most OPN users on this forum have reported these issues resolved for the most part with this SW combination. I think you’re the first user I’m aware of who’s still reporting the clicking issue since the FW 4 update. I’m sure we would have heard from more OPN users if this continues to be an issue for them. So this is a bit puzzling to me. But I would consider your experience on this an outlier since most people on this forum no longer have this issue.

  3. The data analytics and usage information (usage length and volume control data for each of the 4 available programs) is available in Genie 2 but not available in the ON app. So the information is there and the clinician can relay it to the patient if the patient is interested. I think the real value of the data is mostly where you have multiple programs and want to know which portion of the time you use in each of the individual programs. For the OPN’s case, however, like in my example, although I have 4 programs for it, most of my time is in the default program P1 because there’s really no need to switch around to various different programs like with other hearing aids. So from this perspective, usage information is not really that interesting to show for the OPN because most patients will not learn much of anything except confirmation that they spend most of their times in program P1. Yeah, there’s usage data like how many hours per day the HA is used, but you don’t need the data to tell you that if you wear it all day -> it’d be when you wake up until when you go to sleep. The volume control data (on what volume you set at most of the times), I could care less about because mine is at default most of the times.

  4. I assume that this rating system you’re talking about is on the Signia phone app? I really don’t see any value in it worth mentioning. I can communicate my satisfaction of the HA to my hearing professional directly just fine when I see them. I think it’s too gimmicky to be worth mentioning.

The OPN has the IFTTT functionality that would be worth mentioning which the Signia Pure doesn’t have, if we’re really going to try to be exhaustive in the feature listing game just because “it’s there”. But at this point I don’t see it have much use until more smart connected devices become ubiquitous and cheap enough to be worth using. But when that time comes, patients will probably appreciate it more.

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#15

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it and hope you take the community’s thoughts not too harshly. We’re always pushing each other to learn more and better our knowledge and help others wherever possible. Looking forward to more of these reviews!

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#16

I appreciate all support in writing the article and comments. Constructive and healthy discussion is definitely something I enjoy being a part of.

Some additional answers regards to your last comment:

  1. If I’m an outlier, that is great news! I will go schedule an appointment with my HIS and see if we can debug this issue with the Bluetooth further! My hearing aids are connected to my car, my iPhone, my iPad, and God knows what else. The Bluetooth connection is also shared with a Pebble smartwatch, so I might have some really weird case of 2 or more devices sharing the stream. But I can reproduce the problem pretty consistently.

  2. Data Analytics on its own is not very impressive and neither is drawing graphs of it. But when you pair that data with a value-added service, it becomes much more impressive. Telecare wouldn’t work without data analytics. A more consumer-centric example is FitBit … it tracks your sleep, steps walked, heart rate, and etc … and people use these devices to become healthier. Why can’t the same be true for hearing aids? Gather the data, analyze it, and generate a value added service out of it. Imagine having an app ecosystem for hearing aids. Imagine machine learning algorithms that crunch that data and modify your hearing aids automatically in specific scenarios. All of that starts with being able to gather data, representing it in a meaningful way, and acting on it. What Signia has implemented is Step #1 in a much larger play.

  3. This very much related to point #1 and #3. If I can convey to my AuD/HIS how I feel about my listening experience currently, and they can do something about it … better customer satisfaction and less frustration with a new hearing aid. Especially, if I don’t have to physically go to an appointment. Also, pair this ratings system with data analytics and you have yourself a great bug reporting system that can gather logs from the hearing aid, capture raw sound, running state of the hearing aid, and etc … and send that all directly to the manufacturer. Makes it much easier report issues and have them fixed.

Is all this important to the end customer? Maybe not all of it, but in the end results in a better user experience.

Also, you are right IFTTT is a key differentiator for the Opn 1. But it’s a feature that I think the younger generation are likely to benefit from the most.

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#17

@ConZ27 27 In the review, you wrote: "However, the Noisy Environment and Reverberant Room programs I mentioned earlier performed better in those listening scenarios than what Opn 1 offered."

I wonder if you can elaborate on what criteria you use to determine how the Pure “Noisy Environment” and “Reverberant Room” programs are better than the OPN? Are you looking for less noise overall (noise suppression so you hear less noise), and are you looking for the reverb of a room being cut out somehow? Like maybe the tail end of a sound that has a reverberation ring on it being cut off?

The reason I ask is because within the context of the OPN’s “open” paradigm, you probably already know that while the OpenSound Navigator will help reduce the noise to clean up the speech, the OPN doesn’t really attemp to reduce the noise when there’s no speech. What you end up hearing is all the noise, but when speech is present, speech is clearer despite the presence of noise before and after the speech.

I would guess the same with the reverberation characteristic as well. I wouldn’t say that the OPN would attempt to reduce the reverberation characteristic of a room because the OPN would want to preserve the integrity of the sounds, and the only thing it would try to do is that it would try to improve the clarity of the speech.

So within the context of the OPN NOT trying to reduce overall noise or reverb, except only on a moment to moment basis around speech to improve the clarity of the speech, I don’t think it’d be an apple to apple comparison to say that the Pure does something better than the OPN when the OPN is not even trying to do it.

This may come across like I’m defending the OPN. But the only reason I’m bringing this up is because the review specifically makes a point to compare the Pure to the OPN, so when doing comparison, it should be apple to apple comparison and not comparison to something that the OPN doesn’t even attempt to offer to remove in the first place. There’s no “Noisy Environment” and there’s no “Reverberant Room” programs offered by the OPN.

After all, I’m OK with the room being noisy and having a lot of reverb as long as when there’s speech going on, the noise and the reverb in the room doesn’t affect my understanding of that speech.

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#18

I don’t think there can be an “apples to apples” comparison among hearing aids. The manufacturers make it very hard to compare features by giving them what one former forum member called “magical” names. I think the best a reviewer can do is give one’s impression of what he/she liked and didn’t like about the hearing aid: how it sounds and how it performs in different situations. It’s not meant to be an all inclusive description of all the features of a hearing aid.

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#19

I wear Opn 1s as my main hearing aid, so no need to defend hahaha! They are great indeed!

I think the answer to this comment is that an “apples-to-apples” comparison in this regard may not be entirely possible.

The two hearing aids were designed with different design philosophies behind how noise should be processed so different responses are probably to be expected. There is no right and wrong here.

In my specific case, with the Opn 1 I found that the background noise interfered more and hindered speech intelligibility / word discrimination when I was on the Noisy Environment program at the mall. With the Pure 13 BT, I found that speech ineligibility / word discrimination was better than with the Opn 1. I still heard the noise in the both cases roughly the same loudness, but in one case I understood the person speaking to me easier than in the other. To me, my Opn 1 Noisy Environment Program does not sound too different from my Universal Program. It could potentially be a settings thing, but that was the end result.

Similar story for the Reverberant Room. The stair case and cafeteria in my place of work are notorious for echo due to lack of carpets and being wide open spaces. Less ringing and echo when speaking to people in those environments with the Pure 13 BT.

It’s hard to quantify and support these claims with data that proves it so, but that was my experience. Hence the article’s disclaimer that results can vary and take it with a grain of salt. Someone with severe hearing loss may report similar results to me, while someone while mild or moderate may not be as affected and have a different experience.

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#20

You’re right that it’s really just a settings thing. The OPN’s built-in Speech-In-Noise program is simply with the High value for Transition help, 9dB attenuation for Complex environment and 3dB attenuation for Simple environment with Automatic Open for directionality setting. If your default P1 setting is already to these values, then it’s basically the same thing.

Even if say your P1 is set at only 5dB while the Speech-in-Noise program is set at 9dB, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll hear any difference if the particular complex listening environment you’re in only requires a 5dB attenuation or less. You may only be able to tell a difference if your complex listening environment is ALWAYS so noisy that a 9dB attenuation is consistently required.

And even then, if your brain hearing is astute enough that you can still understand the speech even at only 5dB attenuation, then a 9dB attenuation may be nicer to have but not required because it’s not going to make or break your speech understanding. So in that case, it may still not make a difference to you instead.

It is indeed a lot of different things at play here…

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