As you get older, you may gradually notice a diminished ability to hear. Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, usually comes on gradually, so much so that you might not notice it at first, and typically affects both ears equally. The cause is not entirely known but could stem from changes to the auditory nerve and inner ear, and there could also be a genetic component.
The idea of a device to counteract a loss of hearing is not new. It dates back to the 1600s, when people used cone-shaped ear trumpets to amplify sound. The invention of the telephone in 1876 led to the development of the hearing aid as we know it today. Modern hearing aids were available at the beginning of the 20th century, but only for the very wealthy. After seeing a hearing aid for the first time at Queen Alexandra's coronation in 1902, a Danish man named Hans Demant set out to develop a more affordable device to help his wife and others like her. The Oticon hearing aid was first manufactured around the beginning of World War I in 1914. To this day, Oticon remains a family-owned company still based in Denmark.
Oticon has been a pioneer in hearing-aid technology ever since. Innovations that Oticon has made in recent history include one of the first in-the-ear hearing aids in 1977 and the first fully digital hearing aid in 1995.
Products and Equipment
Oticon currently offers five broad model categories of hearing aids. Sensei and Opn Play are lines of pediatric hearing aids, but the Dynamo, Siya, Opn and Opn S lines comprise hearing aids for adults. Different styles of hearing aids are available to suit your medical needs, hearing profile, budget, and personal preference.
The style of a hearing aid refers to where and how it is worn: in the ear canal, behind the ear, etc. With the exception of Dynamo, which only comes in a behind-the-ear style, each of Oticon's models of hearing aids for adults include several different styles.
Siya, Opn, and Opn S hearing aids are available for adults in the following styles:
- Invisible in the canal
- Completely in the canal
- In the canal
- In the ear
- Mini receiver in the ear
- Behind the ear
The smallest style of hearing aid is the invisible in the canal, so called because it is not observable by the casual observer when worn. The largest type of hearing aid is the behind-the-ear style. Like behind-the-ear hearing aids, receiver-in-the-ear styles also have a component that sits outside the ear.
While each model of Oticon hearing aids have features that set it apart from the others, standard features available with each include a wide array of colors to choose from, customization to your hearing-loss configuration with digital programmability, and the ability to turn your hearing aids into wireless headphones by connecting them to phones, televisions, computers, or other external devices.
Some public spaces, such as places of worship or theaters, use audio induction loops to create an electromagnetic field that is detectable by a device included in some hearing aids called a telecoil. Together, the audio induction loop and the telecoil serve to filter out background noise and help you to understand speakers and singers appearing on stage or in front of a crowd. Not all Oticon hearing aids can accommodate a telecoil, but each model has at least one style that can.
Sometimes hearing loss is associated with ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. Siya and Opn models of hearing aids include a branded feature called Tinnitus Sound Support. This is a therapy feature that allows you to relieve ringing in your ears with adjustable white-noise options including sounds of the ocean.
Opn and Siya models of Oticon hearing aids are built on the Velox Processing Platform. This advanced technology features fast processing speed, 64-band frequency resolution, and a collection of algorithms that assists your brain in interpreting sounds and focusing on what it wants to listen to. When your brain doesn't have to work so hard just to hear and understand what is being said, it has the potential to encode memories more effectively and improve retention.
Select Oticon devices also include the following features:
- TriState Noise Management: Allows you to focus on what you want to hear by diminishing background noise
- Front Focus: Allows you to identify whether different sounds are coming from in front of you or behind you
- My Voice: Eliminates the echoing effect of your own voice common in older hearing aids by adjusting the way it processes sound based on whether the you are speaking or listening
- Wind Noise Reduction: Provides you with enhanced sound outdoors by automatically reducing wind noise
- Binaural Dynamic Feedback Cancellation: Makes phone conversations easier by canceling any feedback automatically before you even become aware of it
- Binaural Processing and Binaural Synchronization: Links your two hearing aids together for better, more natural functioning
- 360-Degree Soundscape: Available on Opn models of Oticon hearing aids and differentiates between speech and background noise to quickly process sound
These features may only be available at higher price points or with the most advanced technology.
Each model of Oticon hearing aids for adults has several different varieties, which are priced differently. Generally speaking, the price range for an Oticon hearing aid is between $1,000 and $2,500. The following tables contain pricing for individual varieties of different models:
Oticon Dynamo Hearing Aids
Oticon Siya Hearing Aids
The Opn model is the most advanced of Oticon's lines of hearing aids, and it comes in many different styles and varieties. Comprehensive pricing details of Opn hearing aids are not available. What follows is a partial list to give you a general idea of what Opn model hearing aids have to offer:
|Opn 1 BTE13||$1,999|
|Opn 2 BTE13||$1,799|
|Opn 3 BTE13||$1,599|
|Opn 1 miniRITE||$1,999|
|Opn 2 miniRITE||$1,799|
|Opn 3 miniRITE||$1,599|
|Opn 1 miniRITE-T||$1,999|
|Opn 2 miniRITE-T||$1,799|
|Opn 3 miniRITE-T||$1,599|
Finding information on hearing-aid pricing can be very difficult because hearing-aid manufacturers do not sell their products directly through their websites. Rather, you must usually obtain hearing aids from an audiology clinic, which may have its own pricing, promotions, guarantees, warranties, etc. The information regarding manufacturer's warranty for Oticon hearing aids available online is vague and contradictory. It may be a good idea to contact the manufacturer directly for specific information.
You Are Not Alone
If you suffer from hearing loss, you are in good company. The number of people reporting some degree of hearing loss in the United States is approximately 48 million. Learn more about this prevalent condition and what you can do about it. You can also stop by our Oticon hearing aid review if you are considering them as a hearing solution.