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A Review of My Daily Experiences With Oticon More Hearing Aids
Oticon has focused on what they call Brain Hearing for many years now. They believe that for us to activate the brain's natural ability to process sound that we must present the most natural sound signal. Since the launch of the Opn, they have been striving to deliver the complete sound picture to the brain in the best way possible. Their original Opn strategy, forgive the pun, opened the world of sound to the user. It allowed more access to surrounding sound than any hearing aid had up to that point. Yet it still strived to deliver excellent levels of speech understanding. They have built on that foundation first with the Opn S, and now with the new More. They asked me to give the More a try and see what I thought. I have to say I liked them a lot.
The Aids are Nice
The initial More released, and the device I was wearing is the miniRITE-R. That's the rechargeable mini receiver in the ear device. The device is pretty discreet and sits well on my ear. The receiver wire is relatively rigid, between that and the shape of the aid, the devices were kept in place really well.
As you can see from the picture above, the aids have a rocker type pushbutton which offers multiple functions including volume control and programme changes. There is an led above the push button which allows you to know the charge state of the hearing aids while in the charger.
The Fit Was Good
As I said, the fit of the devices was really good, they felt quite secure without any pressure on the ear. I initially used bass dome tips, but quickly moved to proper open fit tips. I really can't handle occlusion, it drives me mad. As per usual, the right receiver stayed in fine, but the left-hand side kept making its way out. This happens with every brand of hearing aids I have ever worn. It is why I seriously need to get someone to take impressions of my ear, or even better a scan I can keep on file.
I am not a big fan of the Oticon charger, but to be fair, I am not a big fan of most of the chargers with the exceptions of ReSounds charger case and Signia's charger for their Styleytto. Listen, there is nothing wrong with the charger, it is a pretty attractive desk charger that is easy to use. I am just not fond of desk chargers, I like cases that I can throw in a pocket and charge my aids on the go.
Bluetooth Streaming for Phone-calls, Music and TV
The More hearing aids are both Made For iPhone and Made For Android hearing aids. So they will offer a direct connection to Apple products and some Android-powered devices. The list of Android phones isn't that long though, although it is growing with time. Technically, any device with Android 10 should be able to connect directly to the aids. However, in practice, just because they have Android 10, doesn't mean they have the necessary hardware.
Anyway, I used both an iPhone and a Pixel 3a to connect to the aids. My experience on both was pretty solid. The connection was stable, phone calls were clear, and audio streaming was pretty good. I listened to some music using both phones, I am by no means an audiophile, but I do like my music full, warm and clear. I found the experience very satisfactory with both phones.
I had an Oticon TV Adapter hanging around, and I connected it to the hearing aids. As I expected, the audio streaming from the TV was outstanding. I also used a connect clip with the hearing aids during the trial period.
The ConnectClip allows you to stream the sound from any modern smartphone, tablet or computer directly into your hearing aids. It offers low energy use, which means it does not hugely adversely affect your battery life. It also has a microphone for capturing your speech turning your hearing aids into a wireless headset, with all the benefits that come with the hands-free experience.
The ConnectClip also functions as a remote microphone, which means you can give it to someone who is speaking, and then hear their voice clearly and directly in your hearing aids. Ideal to help you hear better in more complex situations.
Finally, it also has remote control functionality as well. It offers volume control, programme changes, and you can turn the aids on and off remotely.
The Oticon On app used to be dreadful, way too simple, however, they have successfully upgraded it and it offers a pretty good experience. The app now offers remote control, a log of your wear time which they call "Hearing Fitness", a section called hearing aids which shows the connection state and offers the find my hearing aids tool, a hearing guide with basic information, a section called Internet of Things which allow you to connect to IoT devices like doorbells, lighting systems etc, and finally settings where you can customise some of the functions.
The remote allows you to customise the sound of streaming audio with a simple three input equaliser. However, it does not offer the same opportunity for the programme. It means you don't get to customise the amplification delivered. I don't know why that is, I like this ability and it is pretty widespread.
Anyway, you can use the remote app to turn on the more sound boost, change the volume, change the programme and customise any of the streaming audio from your phone, TV Adapter or Connect mic. The remote section is easy to use and pretty self-explanatory. Let's talk about how the aids performed.
More hearing aids deliver some of the best environmental awareness I have ever experienced. When I wear them I am very aware of my sound surroundings. For instance, I was in the kitchen one night watching something on the TV. My wife was in the sitting room and the doors were open.
I could hear her TV, but it didn't interfere with what I was watching, bizarrely though, if I concentrated on the TV in her room, gave it my focus, I could understand what was being said. I don't think I have ever experienced that before.
The More builds on their directional strategy first introduced in the Opn. It offers access to a whole lot of your surroundings but manages to make speech clear. It is an interesting strategy and very different to the more normal beamforming strategy used elsewhere.
You can tell a difference, Steve once said that the norm was the wall of sound, just noise with no nuance. The More offers great nuance, without overwhelming you. It seems that it also allows you to choose what to focus on and allow you to do it well.
The hearing aids performed exceptionally well in every sound environment I found myself in. I regularly noticed wider access to my surroundings during my wear time. As I said earlier, the background was there, well nuanced but not overwhelming.
There were a few times that I replicated the situation with the TVs, one in particular in a store where I could hear a conversation behind me quite clearly when I focused on it. More performed as well as I would have expected from a modern premium hearing aid.
Speech was clear, the overall sound quality was fantastic, and while I didn't get into very noisy situations, who does nowadays, they worked well in relatively noisy situations.
An Excellent Hearing Aid
In finishing, these are excellent hearing aids, they offer nuanced access to sound while delivering crisp and clear speech. They are easy to wear and use and offer great streaming of audio, whether it be phone calls or music. The ease of use when it comes to phone calls is outstanding and audio streaming is excellent.
Right now, there are a plethora of excellent hearing aids on offer from the big hearing aid manufacturers. Each one offering something different. More holds its own very well amongst the other offerings and offers a unique approach to the handling of sound.
As you would expect from a premium hearing aid from Oticon, More is amongst the best hearing aids on offer right now in the market. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to you. Steve should be able to do a second review soon, one from the perspective of a person with severe to profound hearing loss.
That review should be interesting, I think Steve will be even more aware of the changes in sound presentation and I would like to see how he gets on. Like us on Facebook by clicking the button below to keep up with our latest utterances.
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Posted by Geoff
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry since 2007. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him
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