Oticon has decided to go with a lithium-ion powered rechargeable hearing aid for the new Opn S platform. The specs look good and it means that finally, Oticon has joined many of the other big brands to back lithium-ion as a power source. It seems to make sense, there appear to be few problems if any with the systems. In the near future when power management systems get better and power density increases in battery packs, I half expect every hearing device to be rechargeable. Anyway, let's talk about the new Opn S miniRITE-R.
The devices themselves look very like the miniRITE-T and appear to be around the same size. They have the dual push button at the bottom of the spine but obviously no battery door. Overall, they appear no bigger than any of the rechargeable hearing aids from the other brands that I have seen so far.
They can use any of the typical receivers that Oticon offers so that means they should be suitable for hearing losses that range from mild all the way to severe to profound. We will know more about that next week.
Oticon seems to have taken a different tack when it comes to the charger than some of the brands. The charger is just that, a desktop charger, it isn't a carrying case nor does it offer extra power on the go. I think that is a mistake and I have said the same thing about another hearing aid brand. Having said that, most people won't mind and the charger itself is pretty as well as functional.
As with other systems, you simply place the hearing aids in the charger at night and it turns them off and begins charging. When you take the hearing aids out of the charger in the morning, it turns them on. Like every other brand they advise that if you take the hearing aids out of your ears, the best place for them is in the charger. However, if you take them out while you are out and about for some reason, you can turn them off by pressing the button on the back and holding it for a few seconds.
The hearing aids take just three hours to fully charge, and If you forget to charge them, a quick 30-minute charge will provide another six hours of use. Oticon says that they offer:
- Super fast three-hour charging time for a full day of power
- Quick recharge – 30 minutes for an additional five hours of power
- Contact-free and reliable, inductive charging
- Intuitive-to-use, stable and stylish charger
Oticon says that the new Opn S miniRITE-R will provide:
- 24 hours of battery life with no streaming
- 18 hours of battery life with five hours of streaming
Those figures are in line with most of the other brands with lithium-ion powered hearing aids. All in all, they look like pretty solid options if you are looking for a rechargeable hearing aid. When you combine the specs with the benefits in speech understanding that Oticon is quoting from their new system they look really good.
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