Speed, power and connectivity open up the world for the end-user

Smørum, Denmark
21 May 2016

With Oticon’s launch of Oticon OpnTM, the technology and features of hearing aids have taken a giant leap forward in favour of the end-user.

Technological limitations of current hearing aids have led to the use of tunnel directionality: Speech coming from the front is clear, whereas the rest of the sound environment is suppressed. This results in a limited, narrowed and artificial listening experience. With new, groundbreaking technology, Oticon OpnTM is fast and precise enough to analyse and follow the soundscape and differentiate between sounds. Even in complex listening environments, this allows Oticon OpnTM to constantly open up and balance individual sounds to deliver a rich and meaningful soundscape, empowering the brain to choose on which sounds to focus. Directionality as we know it has become a thing of the past.

“This is a major step forward in technology and end-user benefits. With Oticon Opn, we have created a paradigm shift by overcoming a challenge that even the most advanced solutions of today haven’t been able to solve, namely the ability to handle noisy environments with multiple people speaking. In our commitment to People First, we have created the world’s best hearing aid, which every hearing impaired person should have to be able to interact actively in even the noisiest sound environments. This launch confirms Oticon’s position as the innovative industry leader in hearing care technology and audiology,” says Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon.

Ultra-fast and powerful sound processing platform
Designed specifically for hearing aids, the VeloxTM platform is a technological quantum leap forward – extremely fast and powerful. Fast enough to follow rapidly changing conversations with multiple speakers in a noisy sound environment by analysing and processing sound data 50 times faster than Oticon’s previous premium hearing aid. Market-leading 64-band frequency resolution enables a more precise sound analysis and better sound quality to support the brain’s ability to make sense of sound.

The new OpenSound Experience is delivered by OpenSound Navigator™ combined with Spatial Sound™ LX. The new OpenSound Navigator™ scans, analyses and reacts to the sound environment more than 100 times per second, balances the speech sources and removes noise – even between words. Users can now follow the sounds they want to hear and shift their attention when desired. New 200% faster binaural processing allows Spatial Sound™ LX to help people locate more precisely where sounds are coming from, a well-known problem for people with hearing loss.

Significantly better speech understanding of multiple speakers in noise
With this new hearing aid, Oticon takes a fundamental step forward in improving speech understanding in complex environments while, at the same time, preserving the user’s mental energy. Preliminary data show that Oticon Opn™ provides a significant leap forward in improving speech understanding in situations with several competing speakers and background noise compared to Oticon’s previous premium hearing aid. This is evidence to the strength of the new OpenSound paradigm: The possibility to both provide full access to sounds in the environment and at the same time improve understanding. Even when deploying aggressive directionality and noise reduction algorithms, current competing technologies cannot achieve both access and understanding.

In tests, Oticon Opn reduces the load on the brain and improves the ability to remember conversations. Using pupillometry, a recognised objective measure of how loaded the brain is, Oticon Opn™ users had – in testing – 20% less listening effort when trying to understand speech. Additional studies show that because Oticon Opn™ users have freed up brain capacity, they remember 20% more.

First dual-radio technology
Oticon Opn™ introduces the world’s first dual-wireless communication system in one hearing aid, an innovative first in the industry, enabling the best possible audiological performance. This new technology called TwinLink™ provides the benefit of streamer-free connectivity while ensuring high performing, binaural communication and related audiology as well as ultra-low battery consumption.

The new Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) system in Oticon Opn™ is 200% faster than the previous Oticon premium hearing aid, allowing much faster binaural processing – a key user benefit. The direct streaming technology uses 2.4 GHz Bluetooth Smart direct streaming for wireless streamer-free communication, with the highest level of sound quality and wireless programming. Developed specifically for hearing aids, this variant of Bluetooth Smart uses significantly less battery power when streaming to smartphones and other external devices. The free, downloadable Oticon ON App allows users to connect to smartphones and other external devices without a streamer.

Internet-connected hearing aid
Confirming Oticon’s innovative edge, Oticon Opn™ is the world’s first hearing aid that connects to the internet via the If This Then That service (IFTTT.com). Users can connect to a wide range of IFTTT-enabled devices used in everyday life, such as door bells, domestic lighting systems and a variety of home appliances. Oticon Opn™ provides users with a solution that will enable them to use their hearing aids with a growing number of IFTTT-compatible products and services, as they become available.

“With TwinLink, Oticon Opn is the world’s first hearing aid combining the best of two worlds – a completely new Near Field system allowing much faster binaural processing and the best possible audiological performance combined with directly streaming 2.4 GHz technology. This makes Oticon Opn the leading hearing aid offering – second to none. Together with the If This Then That service, Oticon Opn enables users to connect to a world of endless opportunities,” says Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon.

The new Oticon Opn™ premium hearing solution will be available in the popular discreet miniRITE™ style covering the widest variety of end-user needs. Products will be available in shops from the end of the second quarter 2016.

Katrine Hertz Østergaard, email: khos@oticon.com, phone: +45 20952530