Oticon have, at time of writing (June 2016), what seems to be the most technically advanced hearing aid on the market.
Once you get past the parts with a TM (trademark) after them, you know those scientific sounding, slightly made-up words the manufacturers use to describe their products, you find underneath an advanced hearing aid offering impressive results. So ignore the “Velox™” “BrainHearing™” and “OpenSound Navigator™” and look at the stats;
30% increase in speech understanding
Compared to Oticon’s previous top hearing aids, the Alta2 Pro, the Opn make it 30% easier to understand what people are saying. This includes in noisy environments and it achieves this without deadening the background sounds.
20% less listening effort in noisy environments
Listening effort. That seems to be a tougher one to quantify. The Opn provides the brain with more accurate information about the environment you are in with less of the general background “mush” you can get with some hearing aids. It does this by scanning the environment over 100 times every second so all of the sounds you hear come through clearly and precisely and the sounds you are most likely to be interested in are made most prominent. This leads to;
20% more capacity to remember
This is connected to the reduced listening effort. The idea is that if aren’t being overwhelmed by the background noise in the restaurant you are eating in, you are more likely to be able to focus on what you want to say yourself rather than spending all of your time just trying to keep up with what others around you are talking about. It’s about joining in rather than being left out.