OPN S – BrainHearing made easy
How we receive, listen and interpret sounds is a complex process. Oticon’s new Opn S hearing aid, with its latest Velox S platform, aims to empower its users with optimal hearing of speech in difficult listening environments, comparable to how a person with normal hearing would cope in these situations. This is good news for people with hearing loss who have struggled to cope with amplified speech when in noisy background conditions.
When we are listening, our brain ultimately ‘hears’ the sound. BrainHearing, in a normal hearing person, means being able to orient to multiple conversations, with our brain separating the conversations and using its innate cognitive ability to focus on the conversation that interests us most. The technology in the new Opn S aims to provide this skill for the person with reduced hearing acuity. The Oticon OpenSound Navigator supports the brain to carry out this function. It does this by analysing the speech, noise, level, position and frequency of the sound source in a 360° radius. This analysis is then fed into the Balance system of the OpenSound navigator, ensuring other sounds are accessible, but not disturbing to the wearer. Finally, a noise removal function cleans up the speech signal, taking noise out of the space between words, over 100 times per second.
The Opn S, with all its functions, is said to be ‘breaking the laws of physics’ and it does it on a number of levels. In addition to the improvement of speech sound in noisy environments, the Opn S has an OpenSound Optimiser which allows your Hearing Healthcare Professional to provide you with the right amount of power, without having to worry about annoying whistling or ‘feedback’ sounds. Identification and prevention of feedback occurs in less than 60 milliseconds – before the whistle can eventuate! This breaker-signal technology means your hearing aid can be fitted with more options – additional power and more choices for your earmould.
The new Opn S also comes with a rechargeable battery option. The miniRITE Opn S has a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. This provides an easy, reliable and quick charging facility. The miniRITEs are easy to insert into the charger with an automatic on/off process. When you put them in the charger they automatically turn off. When you remove the hearing aids to wear, they will automatically turn on. You can do a full charge in three hours or a 30 minute quick charge for six hours of power. The charger itself is sleek and modern looking.
The Opn S comes in three tiers of technology: Opn 1, Opn 2, Opn 3 and is available in the miniRITE and BTE styles. The miniRITE T comes fitted with a Telecoil and has all the advantages of Bluetooth streaming to iPhones, or to Android phones with the ConnectClip accessory. The Opn S improvements, from the original Opn hearing aid, look promising with improved BrainHearing for better speech understanding in noise, feedback elimination and a reduction in listening effort for the wearer.