Oticon announced the arrival of new adult and pediatric power hearing aids as well as a new CROS/BiCROS hearing solution in August. What's really interesting is that this will be the first time that the Oticon Velox S family of hearing solutions has traditional power solutions. It means that adults and children with severe-to-profound hearing loss will now have access to so-called open sound experience. They also announced the introduction of an Oticon CROS. They say “it is the world’s first CROS/BiCROS hearing solution with advanced technologies proven to support speech awareness in challenging listening situations and wireless streaming at the same time.”
More Power, More Access to Speech
The Oticon Xceed and Xceed Play are both built on the new Velox S platform that powers Opn S. They are the first power hearing aids from Oticon that offer their outstanding OpenSound Navigator (OSN), which they say offers more access to speech with less effort, and their new OpenSound Optimizer which helps to deliver more amplification without whistling. The company said:
“Oticon Xceed and Xceed Play provide a radical new approach to hearing care for power users. Unlike traditional technology in power solutions that close down sounds earlier in noise to improve signal-to-noise ratio, the innovative BrainHearing technology in Xceed delivers better access to speech with up to 11dB improvement in signal-to-noise ratio—even in complex listening situations where adults with severe-to-profound hearing loss are challenged most. Xceed Play allows hearing care professionals to fit children with up to 6dB more stable gain†† for better sound quality and consistent, more comfortable access to speech throughout the day.”
Donald Schum, PhD, Vice President of Audiology for Oticon, Inc.
With 146 dB SPL and 87 dB full-on gain, Xceed and Xceed Play are the world's most powerful hearing aids. The addition of the underlying OSN technology will give people with severe to profound hearing loss the opportunity to assess how it works for them. The OSN technology by Oticon is said to work “ultra-fast to constantly analyze, prioritize, and preserve speech from all directions while significantly reducing noise.”
Results from an independent study show that OSN technology in Xceed improves speech clarity by 10%, reduces listening effort by 10%, and increases short-term recall by 15% for patients with severe-to-profound hearing loss.1. Xceed Play with OSN provides up to 20% more speech cues for children with severe-to-profound hearing loss, without the high risk of feedback.2. When extra help is needed, patients can activate OpenSound Booster using the Oticon ON App.
Made For iPhone Power Hearing Aids
The Xceed and Xceed Play Power hearing aids join a very exclusive group of direct connection Made For iPhone power hearing aids. They will enable power users to connect directly to an iPhone® and connect to any modern smartphone via the ConnectClip to stream sound hands-free to both ears. With the Oticon ON App, patients can regulate volume, change programs, or simply turn off their hearing aids with complete discretion.
The Xceed range consists of two traditional Behind The Ear hearing aid models, a smaller Super Power device and a larger Ultra Power device. Both of them have telecoils onboard, IP68-certification for water and dust resistance, and push buttons for easy control.
The Xceed Play Power range all include a telecoil to ensure universal compatibility with the Oticon Amigo FM and other manufacturers’ transmitters. Oticon says that the Oticon Amigo R12G2 ear-level FM receiver makes it possible for students and teachers to connect and communicate via existing school FM systems.
The CROS/BiCROS Hearing Aid
The CROS is very interesting, again simply because it will be the first-ever CROS/BiCROS that uses that the OSN technology. They say it will “provide a full, more immersive 360° sound experience for people with single-sided deafness when listening to speech in noisy environments and at a distance”. I am fascinated to see how the system matches up against some of the well-established systems out there.
The use of their TwinLink™ dual streaming (NFMI for binaural communication and 2.4GHz Bluetooth low energy technology for streaming) makes it possible for users to connect to external audio streams while simultaneously enjoying sound transmission from the poorer ear to the better ear. That's something that is limited for other CROS/BiCROS systems. They can either listen to their music streaming or their CROS transmitter. With the new system from Oticon, they won't have to choose. We will take a look at it in a more in-depth manner later.
- Ng 2019, Oticon Whitepaper
- Ng & Rumley, Oticon Whitepaper