Oticon: Company Overview
Founded in 1904, Oticon is one of the world’s oldest manufacturers. Based in Denmark, Oticon is driven by their “people first” mission. Following WWII, Oticon became inspired by the scientific dimension surrounding hearing loss and lead the way to groundbreaking hearing technology, which continues today with their BrainHearing Technology. Currently, Oticon collaborates with the Ericksholm Research Institute to develop hearing aids packed with cutting edge technology that continues to push the envelope for hearing aid design.
Velox Processing Platform
Velox is Oticon’s newest sound processing platform, powered by a tiny processing chip that runs at a high speed and offers sound precision. With a 64-band frequency resolution, sound is processed 50 times faster than previous Oticon platforms and provides wearers with a clear quality to assist the brain’s hearing process. Velox has been proven to give wearers a comfortable listening experience, requiring less effort to hear. Wearers have reported 20% reduction in listening effort in noisy environments and 20% more capacity to remember in challenging noise situations (because the brain is freed up from struggling to make sense of audio signals). Additionally, Velox provides wearers with 30% better speech understanding and clarity in noise, compared to previous models of Oticon hearing aids.
Introducing the new Oticon Opn
Opn (pronounced “open”) is Oticon’s newest hearing aid, powered by the Velox processing platform. With a more sophisticated listening experience that requires less effort, Opn builds upon Oticon’s successes with BrainHearing technology. Opn wearers experience a fuller spectrum of sound in their environment, allowing the brain to select the sounds it prefers to hear. This provides a more natural listening experience, helping to situate wearers in their environment.
Opn offers a series of exciting features, such as the OpenSound Navigator Environmental Analyzer which scans the full 360 degrees of the wearer’s current listening environment 100 times a second. Velox uses algorithms to take in and balance every sound. With TwinLink technology, Opn offers wearers two wireless communication systems: near-field magnetic communication (NFMI) simulates natural binaural hearing with ear-to-ear communication between the two hearing aids; and Bluetooth accessibility that allows wearers to stream phone calls, music, and other media directly from their smartphones to their hearing aids.
Perhaps the most exciting feature offered by Opn is Internet connectivity. Opn is the first hearing aid in the world to connect to the Internet, through the web service If This Then That (IFTTT.com). Opn wearers are now able to experience with more clarity the sounds of everyday life, such as security systems, doorbells, home appliances, baby monitors, and gaming systems. With excellent accessibility and listening comfort, Opn is available in a discreet mini receiver-in-the-ear style.
BrainHearing Technology, powered by the Inium platform, is one of Oticon’s finest innovations. Research and development on this technology is rooted in our natural auditory process, in which our brains register and recognize sounds. BrainHearing Technology supports the brain in the auditory process, by providing clarity and flexibility, to improve our hearing. When we experience hearing loss, our brains attempt to fill in the gaps. BrainHearing Technology supports our brains with four main features: Speech Guard E, Spatial Sound, Free Focus, and YouMatic.
Speech Guard E addresses the difficulties of speech recognition with hearing loss by protecting speech clarity, even in challenging noise situations. Spatial Sound assists the brain in locating the sources of sound, to improve wearer ability to situate themselves in any environment. Free Focus is a feature of flexibility, allowing wearers to focus and zoom in on the sounds they want to hear and to shift between environments and conversations with ease. In line with their mission “People first,” the YouMatic feature allows wearers to personalize their Oticon hearing aids to meet specific hearing needs.
BrainHearing technology is available in Oticon’s Alta, Nera, and Ria hearing aids, which are worn completely-in-canal (CIC) or invisible-in-canal (IIC). Oticon hearing aids also offer tinnitus therapy solutions in select models, as well as a line of pediatric hearing aids for kids and teens.