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HLAA 2016 Convention – Part 1

I attended the HLAA Convention last month and learned about so many new devices and new technologies, I don’t know where to begin!  I’ll break it up into 3 or 4 posts, as I have so much to share!  I’ll start with some amazing new hearing aids.

Oticon Opn Hearing Aid  (www.oticon.com/solutions/opn/)

Oticon Opn 2

Oticon’s newest hearing aid is the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid!  It is really amazing what they can do with the internet using the Oticon On app and a program called “If This Then That” (IFTTT),  part of the “Internet of Things”(IoT). The concept of  “If This Then  That” and “Internet of Things” are new to me, so I’ll let Oticon explain it.  Here are some quotes from the Oticon website.

“The Velox™ platform’s TwinLink™ technologies enable advanced connections to a whole world of wireless devices and solutions. Stream your TV’s audio directly to your hearing aids, or adjust the volume discreetly with a tiny Remote Control. With the Oticon ON app, you can control your new Oticon Opn™ hearing aids right from your mobile phone and interact with other internet-connected devices and services.”

“The Oticon ON app unlocks the power of the internet of things. IFTTT (If This Then That) is an ever expanding internet-based service, which enables you to integrate your hearing solution with a vast range of online products and solutions such as your home lighting, doorbell, alarm system, and mobile phone.

Get help finding your hearing aids if they go missing. Trigger your lights, home alarm system, or smart thermostat when you turn your hearing aids on or off. Have your hearing aids send a notification when the battery is low or someone’s at the door. With Oticon ON, it’s all up to you.”

To learn more about IFTTT see Oticon Support and IFTTT


Other new features of the Oticon Opn hearing aid:

  • 50 times faster than the latest Oticon platform for quicker, more accurate sound processing;
  • 64 frequency channels ensure clear, precise sound reproduction for better speech understanding;
  • Scans the environment more than 100 times per second, analyzing and balancing sounds for richer, more realistic 360° sound picture;
  • Bluetooth is built into the hearing aid – no neckloop is needed to connect with your cell phone, music player, TV, and more.

That’s the good news!  The bad news is that the Oticon Opn hearing aid has no t-coil!  Bummer!  I was told that the next model, which should come out in 2017, will have a t-coil.

The other bad news is that the older Oticon Connectline accessories will not work with the new Oticon Opn.  So if you have Oticon hearing aids now (that would be me!) and you have purchased their accessories (that would be me!)  your Connectline TV adapter, Connectline telephone adapter, Connectline Microphone, and the Streamer Pro cannot be used.  Another Bummer!

However…..it is  GREAT that you can now talk on your cell phone with no neckloop and have the sound streamed directly into your hearing aids!!  I’ve been waiting for that!  BUT…… I use my streamer for so many things such as plugging into my Pocketalker, plugging into the headphone jack at the gym to hear the TV on the treadmill, plugging into an FM receiver, etc.  And although you can hear your iPhone, there is no steamer to talk into, so you have to hold the phone near your mouth to talk.  Not exactly hands free.  Not sure how these functions will be replaced. Hopefully they will come up with something.

More good news:  You can use your iPhone as a remote microphone!  This means you can use the Oticon On app and your iPhone microphone to work like an assisted listening device.

The reviews I have read about the Opn have been very positive about the sound quality, hearing better, and hearing better in noise.  That’s what we all want, right?  But, personally, I’ll wait for the next model with a t-coil. If any of you have tried the Oticon Opn, we would love to hear what you think about them.  Please leave a comment.  Thanks!