I think the disappointment is due to the marketing hype that set up the expectation way too high and incorrectly, especially on the noise reduction which makes people compare its noise reduction against the old traditional way. But you're right that it still sounds better than many things out there.
Originally Posted by Gery_R
After having had it for about 6 weeks now, and after understanding how/where they apply noise reduction better now, based on reading up on their white paper and watching their seminar on audiologyonline.com, which does a great job of explaining how they apply noise reduction differently than the traditional way, I found my experience as follows:
1. I'm not overwhelmed in noisy environments anymore. I think this is just due to the gradual brain hearing adjustment of getting used to the noisy environments as I wear these HAs more often for longer. The ultimate goal here is not expecting the OPN to reduce noise for you. The ultimate goal is to let your brain learn to tune out the noise for you. The same is also true in less noisy environment but there's still a few nagging static noises, like fan noise or road noise. I initially was very annoyed by it but now my brain is also learning to tune it out.
2. Now that I'm not overwhelmed in noisy environments, and now that I understand better where and how the noise reduction is supposed to be applied, I no longer look for noise reduced ambience as the end result. Instead, I specifically only look for "clearly defined" speech as the end result I try to focus on. Even if it's very noisy around me, as long as I can still understand what's being said in between all the noise, I would consider that "clearly defined" speech as successful attainment of the ultimate goal that Oticon set out to do. I think where Oticon marketing went wrong is trying to oversell noise reduction. What they should really sell is clearly defined speech despite being in a noisy environment. That is the heart of their signal processing strategy. Noise reduction is not the end game. Noise reduction is only as a means to the end game, and the end game is clearly defined speech. Wrong marketing focus, Oticon!
3. Now that I understand that they use the rear half of the hearing plane as the noise estimate to filter and generate clearly defined speech for the front half, I have lower expectation of being able to hear speech coming from the rear as well. If it's loud spoken speech, I still expect to hear it because they have a Voice Activity Detector that's supposed to freeze the Balance and Noise Removal modules to preserve the speech information even in the rear half of the sound plane. But if it's soft spoken speech, I don't expect to hear it because it gets blended into the rear half of the sound plane and becomes part of the noise estimate. There's nothing I can do about it, but at least I understand enough now to lower my expectation in such situation. An example of this is like when you sit in the front row of a noisy car at freeway speed, and there's a soft spoken female voice in the back row. If the female voice in the back row is not soft spoken, I would expect to hear it OK, although I may have to turn up the volume a notch or two or three. But if it's soft spoken, I'd consider it lost to the noise.
Last edited by Volusiano; 12-22-2016 at 11:07 PM.
HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)
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