Strange Chimes on Oticon OPN (8 x 4)

For the past two days I’ve randomly experienced an unusual chime on my right Opn. It will chime 8 times in a row, pause 2-3 seconds and chime 8 more times. It repeats for four sets of 8 chimes. The aid continues to work without any obvious issues, but the chimes keep coming back (I think it’s four times in two days).

To be clear up-front, I’ve worn Oticon aids for three years (first the Alta2 Pro and now the Opn), and I’m very familiar with the power-on chime, the battery beeps, the power-down chime, the program change chimes, etc. etc. This is none of those things.

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I could have sworn that I saw my OPN print version of the instruction manual has this, but I’m not seeing it on the electronic version I just checked, and I don’t have the printed version manual with me right now.

But I’ve experienced what you heard myself and that’s why I looked up my user manual and found it there, albeit on my printed version only, I guess.

What it is is a warning that your microphone needs servicing. The reason is unknown, but I noticed that it happened to me when the weather was really humid and I started sweating excessively when playing tennis outdoors. Mind you, it only happened on one of my 2 OPN 1s, but it’s exactly like what you said (4 sets of 8 sounding chimes), and that’s also exactly what I found in the manual. The manual said to return it to your hearing provider to send in for servicing.

Like what you said, it continues to work just fine after the chimes, but the chimes keep coming back randomly although often enough. And in my case, usually when I go outdoors in humid weather. I took it back to my audi and she tried cleaning the mic ports for me but it didn’t make any difference. She finally had to send it in and the problem didn’t go away until after they fixed it for me. Presumably just replaced the mics on that OPN. They might have replaced the mics on the other OPN as well, I’m not sure, but I sent in both of them to have the problem checked out because I have an old pair of hearing aids to wear for backup.

It was a good month or two after the chimes started before I could send the OPN in for servicing, and all that time, the chimes kept coming back from time to time.

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Thank you! I had looked in the version of the manual online and there was nothing there about it. I never thought to dig out the paper manual that came with them.

That it is a mic issue actually makes some sense. I’ve been experiencing a bit of degraded sound quality in that aid which I had attributed to wax but which did not improve with cleaning and wax guard replacement. I’m now noticing a bit of his in that ear, which is unusual.

Looking back, the times that I’ve experienced these chimes over the past few days have all been when I was working in hot and humid conditions and sweating. But I have worn both my Alta2’s and these OPN’s in such conditions before and have never experienced any issues other than a drowned battery or two, so I didn’t really make the connection.

In any case, I will call my audiologist and set up an appointment soon. Thankfully, I’ve got my Alta2’s to wear as backup if I have to send them out. It would actually be interesting to compare the two; I suspect that I’ll notice a significant difference.

I would suggest you send in both OPNs and have your audi ask Oticon to replace the mics on both even if only one of them makes the chimes. The rationale is that if one has problem it’s very likely that the other is liable to have the same problem soon as well because they’re both subjected to the same environment. So this is the opportunity to proactively fix the one not making the chimes as well while they’re at it.

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you need a mic service check if you have wax issues as well!

Got my right aid back from Oticon on Wednesday (I decided to send only the right one because I didn’t want to be without the left one if I could avoid it). They replaced the whole aid, which my audi says is not unusual. Everything’s black to normal, and I’m quite pleased with the service. Thanks, Volusiano, for the help identifying the code. It’s strange that it’s not in version of the manual you find online; I just checked my print manual and, as you said, it is definitely in there.

That’s what my audi said, too, that they replaced everything. I didn’t quite believe it because the serial numbers are still the same. But now that you also mentioned it, maybe that was true for me, too, and maybe they reused the shell but replace all internal components. Or they wrote down the same serial number on a new one. I doubt that they replaced the receivers, though.

I suspect that maybe the mics are built into the whole packaging assembly together with the chips so they really have no choice but to replace the whole thing. Besides, it probably would have cost more to take the time to disassemble and reassemble things.

Hmm. Mine has a new SN, too.

Then at the minimum, I assume that you have some paperwork from your audi with the new SN in it to ensure continued warranty coverage for this new SN.

I think this is important. When one of my Opns was replaced under warranty I asked for new S/N documentation. The audi logged on to MyOticon and pulled up the Instrument History for the new S/N. The record lists S/N, Device Type, Patient Name, Purchase Date, Warranty History (showing description and coverage end date), and Service History (Service Date, SO Number, Symptom/Resolution). She printed copies of the Instrument History for both aids for me. She also manually updated my original repair and loss coverage warranty documents with the new S/N and scanned these to the medical group’s patient database.

Evidently this is an ongoing issue as I have had both my Opn1 replacedin the last 6 months become of the same humidity / microphone issue. It was most noticeable after a trip to the Caribbean but even in a humid northern summer it’s been no better.

The mic would slowly die over about 20 minutes, beep then come back on full strength - but it was very unreliable when you expect your aids to just work.

And now it has stared again even on the replacement!

I love these aids but when they promote them for “active” lifestyle including cycling etc. you think they would have factored in the sweat and humidity better.

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I’ve now had my right aid replaced THREE times and just got my left aid back from its first replacement. My audi has started asking them to actually check what’s wrong rather than just sending back a replacement, and each time it’s the same: moisture damage to microphones.

This is obviously a design issue with the OPN aids. I wore the Alta2 Pro for three years without a single replacement. Sometimes my batteries would be drowned if I sweated heavily, but a quick battery swap always had me back in top form. Comparing the two, it looks like they’ve removed the mesh that covered the microphone ports in the Altas, leaving the microphones open to the environment. I imagine capillary action could pretty easily suck moisture into them. And although the whole thing is supposed to be nano-coated, that’s obviously not enough to protect the microphones. And once they get moisture in them, even a mechanical drier isn’t able to clear it.

It’s getting pretty frustrating, to be honest. I love these aids; they are infinitely better than my Alta2’s in every way except this. But they need to do something to protect their microphones.

It only happened to me once in one hearing aid so far. But then I live in a fairly dry environment.

Do you store your OPNs in a dryer at night? I wonder if this would help?

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I used to use a desiccant canister religiously. After a couple of replacements my audi recommended a mechanical dryer. I currently use a Dry & Store Global II. It has not performed noticeably better.

Again, I’ve been more careful with these aids than I ever was with my Alta2’s, but they’ve been significantly more susceptible to moisture damage despite precautions.

Sorry to just jump in here but I’ve got the same problem and am grateful that I now know what the cause is. Can anyone give me an idea as to how long it takes to have the aids shipped back to Oticon and then returned? I spent years denying the need for the aids and now wouldn’t be caught dead without them. If they weren’t so damned expensive, I’d have a backup pair, just as I have a backup remote control for them (Which also goes wherever I go.).
Thanks for listening.
JLOB

I think it depends on how fastidious your hearing care provider sends it back, along with how fast the turn around from the factory is. Last time mine were sent in for the exact same problem your have, it took about a week and a half to get them back.