Tracy James – Hearing Aid Series

As Tracy James Hearing has no affiliation to any particular hearing aid company, this means we can treat everyone as an individual when choosing a hearing aid for clients. Considerations include your hearing levels, your work/social life, your dexterity, your hearing difficulties, your style preference and your need to connect to various electronic technologies.

In our blog articles we will be looking at a range of hearing aids from different manufacturers to find out what they do and the benefit of each. These articles are designed to help you understand the world of hearing aids.

One of my clients came to me recently and asked for a hearing aid that ‘wasn’t so clever’. He was tired of listening to his hearing aids do the work in a noisy environment; turning down the background noise so he could only hear the speaker in front of him. He wanted to hear what was going on around him with the environment and other conversations, as well as hear speech. OPN S came to mind for my first blog to investigate their ethos of providing as natural a sound as possible, and to let your ‘brain hear’. Remember, hearing sound and speech is very complex, which is why our brain is involved just as much in how we hear, as our ears.

OPN S by Oticon

Oticon is a Danish company who have been manufacturing hearing aids for decades now. Opn S is their newest generation of hearing aid.

Oticon has focused much of their research on brain hearing. Their ethos is for the listener to develop skills in your brain to discriminate and focus on the sound you want, as well as receiving benefit from your hearing aid. OPN S technology is designed to ensure you hear sounds from all around you, even when it is noisy or when there is more than one speaker.  OPN Sound Navigator scans the environment to determine the characteristics, importance, position, level and frequency of sound and then isolates speech no matter where its coming from, rather than from just front of you (as a typical hearing aid with a directional microphone does). The aim is for a more natural sound, while still amplifying speech.  This in turn allows the brain to organise sound and improve your attention to speech.

‘Oticon strive to give your brain access to the full sound scene – to support your brain in working more effectively’ – Oticon Consumer Guide

The OPN app has lots of tricks up its sleeves! It can trigger your lights, home alarm or smart thermostat when you turn your hearing aids on or off. It can tell your hearing aids to notify you when your battery is low, the laundry is finished, or someone’s at the door. Your hearing aid can even notify you in your ear that you have received an email!! . No more being in the middle of an interview on the BBC and finding that you hearing aid battery has died!

You can also access the HearingFitness programme on your OPN app. The HearingFitness app tracks how you use your hearing aid, and what environments you come across in your daily life.