Oticon More Detailed Hearing Aid Review

Video transcript

Video transcript

In this video, I'm doing a detailed review of the new New Oticon More Hearing aid, coming up. Hi guys, Clifford Olson Doctor of Audiology and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona, and on this channel, I cover a bunch of hearing related information, help make you a better informed consumer. So if you're into that make sure you hit that subscribe button. And don't forget to click the bell to receive a notification every time I post a new video. The popular hearing aid manufacturer Oticon is kicking off 2021 on a high note with the release of their new Oticon More hearing aid. The More is on the completely new Polaris Platform which has more computational power and processing capacity than the Velox S platform used in the OPN S line of devices. Oticon's previous hearing aid versions the OPN and the OPN S, were very popular hearing aids because they utilize a completely different methodology of amplifying speech and background noise situations using Open Sound Navigator. Their strategy with Open Sound Navigator was to leave the listening landscape open so you didn't necessarily have to be facing whoever you wanted to hear in a noisy situation. The OPN and OPN S hearing aids could actually selectively pick out speech information no matter which direction it was coming from as long as it was considered to be an important sound. The More hearing aids use the same basic concept as OPN technology. They just take it to the next level by utilizing deep neural networks to perform deep learning. Now, what does that mean? I will get into that here in a little bit, but before I do let's go into some of the other features of the new Oticon More hearing aids. The More is initially being launched in early 2021 as a rechargeable minireceiver in the ear hearing aid. There is no disposable battery option at the launch but disposable battery options are expected to come later on in 2021. The lithium batteries used inside of the More hearing aids are virtually identical to the batteries used inside of the OPN hearing aids, and your hearing care professional can still change them out in their office, which is really convenient because most hearing aid manufacturers make the hearing care provider send those devices back to the manufacturer if they need to swap out batteries. And this just takes a lot of time. So it's a lot more convenient for you as an individual if you run into battery issues. These batteries still give you approximately 16 hours worth of battery life, with four hours of that time spent streaming all of this on a three-hour charge. You can still use all of the same accessories that you could with the OPN line of devices. So this includes the ConnectClip, the EduMic, the TV Adapter and the Remote Control.

The charger is also identical to the chargers use with the OPN line of devices and they use that magnetic induction and it has a little magnet that kind of pulls it into place. Which is really nice because it stays in there in case you were to fumble this around a little bit. If you have really poor finger dexterity or arthritis something like that, it's really easy to be able to insert this and actually remove it. There's nothing to kind of clip it into place that makes it difficult to remove. So that part of it's really nice. However, the thing I don't like about the charger is that they still have the cord that you have to plug into the wall. There is no option to have like a battery pack on this so you can take it and go on the run. The fitting ranges for the More are broad enough to treat anywhere from a mild hearing loss to a severe hearing loss depending on which receiver size you use ranging from a 60 dB receiver all the way up to 105 dB receiver. So if your hearing loss thresholds fit into the shaded regions on any one of these four graphs, then you are likely a good candidate for the More from an amplification perspective. The More hearing aids come in three different technology levels. You have More 1, which is the premium tier one technology. You have the More 2, which is the advanced tier two technology. And you have the More 3, which is the basic tier three technology. Like I tell everybody, the higher level of analogy that you go with the more features and customizations are available to your hearing care professional in order to optimize the performance of those devices. However, it is also important that you understand that even if you go from a tier one to a tier two, or a tier two to a tier three, it does not guarantee that you're going to be reducing your performance with hearing aids, especially if your hearing care professional follows best practices when fitting those hearing aids to your hearing loss.

Even more important, the Oticon More comes in a variety of different colors to match your hair or skin tone. And they include a new hot pink color that they call Hear Pink. Unfortunately though, they did get rid of the blue color, which was my personal favorite. As far as what the More looks like, it is very similar to the style and look of the Oticon open hearing aids. So basically if you look at any photos or pictures from the Oticon OPN line of devices, there are going to be nearly identical to what those look like. And as you can see, it's very in conspicuous as I wear it. I would probably go with the color that matches my hair color a little bit more, if I wanted to try to disguise it but it depends on what day of the week it is because some days I do feel like wearing hot pink. Now this is going to be a bummer for those of you out there who have single-sided deafness. But as of right now, there is no CROS transmitter that is compatible with the Oticon More hearing aid. Now, Oticon has told me that they are working towards this and at some point in the future we do expect there to be a CROS transmitter available with this hearing aid. Now, as an audiologist, one of my favorite improvements that Oticon has done with the More hearing AIDS, is increase the amount of adjustment handles that I have to match hearing loss prescriptive targets. The premium tier one version of the More hearing aid now has 24 adjustment handles. The advanced tier two now has 20 adjustment handles. And the basic tier three has a whopping 18 adjustment handles. This means that Oticon now has more adjustment handles and pretty much any manufacturer at every single level of technology. And again, the more adjustment handles that I have insight of a hearing aid, the more precisely I can match your prescriptive targets using Real Ear measurement, which means that we're going to be able to maximize your ability to hear with those hearing aids.

Of course, if you do not know what Real Ear measurement is I highly recommend that you also check out that video that I will link in the description. The More hearing aids still give you access to live remote care, which means that your hearing care professional can make programming adjustments on your hearing aids when you are in the comfort of your own home and they are inside of their clinic. This feature is great from a convenience perspective but it's also great for individuals who have mobility issues, who have difficulty physically making it in to see their hearing care professional. If you have tinnitus, the more hearing aids have tinnitus sound support to either give you broadband sounds or actually nature sounds like ocean waves to mask over your tinnitus. The new Oticon ON app version 2.3.0 is very similar to previous versions of the app. But in addition to being able to do things like toggle between different programs and accessories and changing volume, you now have access to a 3-band streaming equalizer which allows you to adjust the bass, mids, and treble of stream sound which is pretty cool. The app still gives you access to the hearing fitness tracker and the Internet of Things, both of which I will not cover in detail in this video but I have covered in previous videos. Now there are a couple of different things that are lacking here, though. You cannot make a custom program based on your ambient environment. The only thing you can do is increase and decrease volume. You can turn on the More sound booster, which kind of focuses more of the speech understanding in front of you. But other than that, there's really not a whole lot that you can do with the app. That being said, let's talk about the updates to the streaming capabilities of the More hearing aids. They are still made for iPhone Hearing aids. However, they now use the ASHA Bluetooth protocol which means that if you have an Android device, that has Android 10 Operating System or newer and Bluetooth version five, you'll be able to directly stream from that Android device. So you do not need to use the Oticon Connect Clip anymore to stream from an Android device. You can do that now directly. Of course, if you want to be able to be completely hands-free, you still need to use the Oticon Connect Clip because the microphone of your actual smart device is going to be your microphone when you're talking to the person on the other end of the line. Now, the other thing that we need to talk about with streaming, is this idea of sound quality when you're streaming music. Now, when you're just streaming like a podcast or a YouTube video like this, the audio quality is really good. As long as your hearing has been programmed well by your hearing care professional, you should be getting some pretty good audio quality there.

However, when it comes to music, music is flat. Unless you completely trap in those low frequency sounds inside of your ear with like a closed earmold or like a double power dome to just trap all amplification inside of your ears. All of the low frequencies just leak right back out of the open ventings, that most individuals have on the tips of their hearing aids. Now, this is not a knock on Oticon. This is a knock on every single hearing aid manufacturer out there. And it's not really their fault. Because we're working inside of the laws of acoustics here. Those long wavelengths just leak right outside of your ear canal, and they never actually vibrate your eardrum enough to give you the perception of bass tones. Now Oticon is attempting to make it to where you can have an open fitting but still be able to amplify low frequency bass tones with the development of their new OpenBass Domes. The style of dome you use on your hearing aids is very important, and will make or break your ability to hear better with hearing aids. And from my testing, what I can tell you is is that, they're basically like the double vented domes that they've always had. I can't find a significant difference in them one way or the other. If I use these versus using an open dome, I can't sense any more bass tones coming through the stream as I can when I'm just using the open dome. So, if you ask me, they relatively pointless in that sense. However, they do help me boost up high frequencies in the programming a little bit more, before getting feedback issues. But again, very similar to the single or double vented domes that they had previously. Okay, domes aside, one of the other exciting things about the Oticon More hearing aids, is that they will be future-proof. Meaning, they will be future compatible with LE Audio Bluetooth. Now, if you don't know what LE Audio is, I highly recommend that you check that out in my other video that I will link in the description as well. Okay, Oticon has promoted their brain hearing philosophy over the past several years, based on the way that they like to process sound versus other manufacturers. To help provide some context here, the way that most manufacturers approach complex listening environments, is to use directional microphones to prioritize sounds coming from in front of you, then utilize Noise Reduction to reduce non-speech sounds, followed by Compression to ensure audibility and comfort for soft and loud sounds. Oticon uses a different philosophy, where instead of isolating microphones in front of you, they leave the listening landscape open to preserve access to all sounds with distinct information. Even if they are not necessarily in front of you, using what they call More Sound Intelligence. Instead of enabling noise reduction for non-speech sounds, they instead focus on amplifying the important information using what they call More Sound Amplifier. And then they maximize the amount of amplification given to these sounds, using what they call More Sound Optimizer, which also helps to reduce the risk of feedback or whistling from your hearing aids.

Okay, all of these features, philosophies, and trademark names are great, but I promise you that I'd be talking about the deep neural network that Oticon is using inside of the More hearing aids. So here we go. Deep Learning is a subset of Machine Learning which is a subset of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is a technique that allows the machine to mimic human behavior. Machine Learning is a technique used to achieve Artificial Intelligence using algorithms trained with data. Deep Learning is a type of Machine Learning that utilizes artificial neural network that is inspired by the structure of the human brain. Imagine that you have two machines and those machines could differentiate between an apple and an orange. The first machine, we actually have to tell the machine what characteristics make an apple an apple and what characteristics make an orange an orange. The machine's ability to successfully differentiate the differences between these two fruits, depends on how well you are at actually training that machine to do so. But if the second machine uses Deep Learning, instead you set up an artificial neural network, and you let the machine make a determination on which characteristics are different about these two different types of fruit. So that machine is not limited in your ability to actually define what those characteristics are. There are two different types of neural networks. You have non-deep neural networks and deep neural networks. The Oticon More uses a deep neural network. This allows the engineers to feed different speech sounds and other sounds through the multiple hidden layers of the deep neural network. So the network can identify the specific characteristics of each. Oticon train their deep neural network using 12 million sounds recorded from real environments. So their system is really well-trained in being able to identify the characteristics of those sounds. So how does this actually help you hear better? Well, this deep neural network basically turns into the engine of the hearing aid, and because it's been trained with so many different sound samples and it's already learned which sounds are important sounds and which sounds are not important sounds, the hearing aid can better identify what things it wants to amplify for you. So the natural question becomes how would a deep neural network that has performed deep learning be any better than a group of engineers that basically just tells the hearing aid what sounds are important to amplify. Well, engineers are limited in their ability to define rules for all of these different sounds that a hearing aid may encounter. A deep neural network on the other hand is not confined to very specific rules that an engineer can write. You basically let the deep neural network learn all the different characteristics of how it would define speech information, noise information, sounds of bird sounds of whatever. So the hearing aid can actually determine which one of those sounds is important. Testing shows that using deep learning from the deep neural network, combined with Oticon brain hearing philosophy of sound processing, delivers 30% More sound to the brain and increases speech understanding by an additional 15% compared to Oticon OPN S hearing aids while also reducing overall listening effort at the same time. Now, I am just scratching the surface when it comes to deep learning inside of hearing aids.

So if you want to learn more about deep learning and deep neural networks, make sure that you are subscribed to my channel with notifications turned on, because I'm going to be creating more content surrounding this in the near future. At the end of the day, Oticon has a very impressive hearing aid on their hands right now. And anybody with hearing loss should be very excited to see all of the different possibilities that come out of using deep learning inside of their devices. Just remember, none of this amazing new technology matters unless you have a hearing care professional who can maximize the fit and programming of these particular devices. And that means having a hearing care professional that follows best practices. Now, if you don't know what best practices are, I highly recommend that you also check out my videos talking about best practices that I will link in the description. That's it for this video. If you have any questions leave them in the comment section below. If you liked the video, please share it, and if you want to see other videos just like this one go ahead and hit that subscribe button. Also, feel free to check out my website, DrCliffAuD.com.

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