When you first want to buy a hearing aid, you’re confronted with unending choice. One of the modern hearing aid solutions you might hear of is the Oticon OPN hearing aid. These are like regular hearing aids, but with lots of extra added features.
But why should you choose these over any other brand or model? What makes them so special? Let’s find out.
Oticon OPN Hearing Aids vs. Normal Hearing Aids
The main difference between Oticon OPN hearing aids and regular hearing aids is how they take in sound. While this difference might sound unimportant, it’s anything but.
To understand this, you have to look at the very earliest hearing aids. Early hearing aids looked like big trumpets. You would point the ‘trumpet’ towards whatever you wanted to hear, so that you could hear it better. It’s like when you cup your ear with your hand, except even more effective.
When the first modern hearing aids were invented, they followed the same idea. As we lacked the technology to make them more efficient at picking up sound, the microphone in the hearing aid would pick up whatever was in front of it. This, more often than not, was what you wanted to hear.
The issue with this is that you miss out on other sounds. So, while you may pick up what’s in front of you, you don’t pick up what’s being said to the sides or behind you. If you’re at a party, for instance, this can be a major bug bear: you have to keep turning all the time to pick up what people are saying, and still missing much of it.
Why can’t these hearing aids pick up every noise and amplify it for you? Because if they did, your soundscape would be a confusing blur. The noise of a chair being moved behind you would be just as loud as the person talking in front of you. Filtering out these sounds is something your brain can do easily with normal noise, but not with sounds from a hearing aid.
What Are OPN Hearing Aids Like?
Oticon’s OPN hearing aids were developed to counter this problem. Rather than picking up what’s in front of you, they use technology to pick up everything you need to hear, and noise-cancel everything you don’t. Essentially, it makes it easier for your brain to process sound in the way it wants to.
It works by differentiating between random noises and speech. Through the power of technology, it can do so easily. It then automatically boosts the volume of the person talking that you’re trying to listen to, while simultaneously making nearby random noises quieter.
This lets you enjoy social events as you used to. No more missing what somebody said, no more fiddling with the volume on your hearing device!
What Can Oticon OPN Hearing Aids Help You Do?
OPN hearing aids offer a better hearing experience in several ways. You can only truly appreciate the difference if you try them and compare them to your regular hearing devices. Here are a couple of things they help with:
- Following conversations in noisy places. You won’t have to adjust your hearing aid or ask people to repeat themselves as much as usual.
- Listening to multiple conversations at once. With normal hearing aids, with all sorts of sounds and speech overlapping, it can be difficult to do so; but not with Oticon’s OPN range.
Besides that, they’re fitted out with the latest tech. They have Tinnitus SoundSupport technology, which can play soothing noises to help distract you from tinnitus. This feature comes built in, and can make all the difference to your day: no more hearing nothing but tinnitus when you’re out and about.
You can also connect your hearing aids to all sorts of other devices. You can connect them to your doorbell, for example, so that you can hear it ring no matter where you are in the house. Or, you can connect them to the TV or stereo so that you can hear it directly without any other competing noise.
Better yet, you can connect them to your phone. You can make hands-free calls any time, anywhere you like. With all these features, you’ll be able to hear things better than people without hearing loss!
Oticon OPN Hearing Aid Styles
Like all hearing aid brands, Oticon offer lots of different styles of hearing device. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and by choosing the right one for you, you can further improve your hearing experience. So, what kinds of Oticon OPN hearing aid are there?
- Mini RTE. The Mini RTE sits behind the ear, but is smaller than the average behind-the-ear hearing aid. The wire connecting the device to the speaker is thin, meaning minimum visibility.
- Plus Power. The Plus Power is a slim and powerful hearing aid that sits behind the ear. It has a robust style with the speaker well protected in the small casing that rests behind the ear. Also offers Telecoil functionality, for use in theaters, churches, etc.
- Invisible-in-the-ear. These hearing aids sit deep in the ear canal where people won’t be able to see them. They have small plastic removal strings that are accessible but not noticeable, to allow for discreet and easy removal.
- Completely-in-the-canal. These hearing aids are even smaller. You can even pick a color that matches your skin tone, so that they can’t be seen at all.
All hearing aid brands offer different sizes and kinds of hearing aid. But only Oticon offer them with the features described above. Before you commit to any brand, it’s important to do your research, though, and figure out what’s right for you.
To get some helpful advice, consult a hearing aid technician/audiologist. They can help you decide what’s most important to you, e.g. performance, discreetness or comfort. You can then pick whichever is best for you: according to your taste, your hearing loss, and your insurance.