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Ultimate Hearing Aid Guide.
Oticon is another leading Danish hearing aid manufacturer. Their specialty is slightly different to more generic companies such as Phonak or Starkey, as they have a more specialist medical focus. So expect to find high-end implantable hearing aids, and devices targeted at patients with particularly severe hearing loss issues. However, they also offer plenty of accessible technologies for everyday customers, which is why they are the second largest hearing aid maker in the world.
The company traces its roots back to 1904, when Danish engineer Hans Demant bought the rights to sell Acoustician hearing aids in Denmark. Demant was inspired to do so by the needs of his hearing-impaired wife, Camilla, so you could say that the company was a labor of love. In any case, his energy paid off, and the company expanded, and by the 1930s, Oticon were making hearing aids themselves.
However, the company still required input from American experts, and Oticon created a fruitful partnership with US manufacturer Charles Lehman, creating a Danish-American combination which grew quickly after World War Two. And they continued to innovate, creating their first ITE hearing aid in 1977, before launching an ambitious digital line of hearing aids with their DigiFocus in 1996. These days, Oticon is spearheading the wireless revolution in hearing aid design, but continues to apply a "People First" ethos to their business operations, so you can expect both advanced technology and responsive customer service when you choose their devices.
This technology is definitely among the most advanced available. For instance, their Opn hearing aids have directional microphones that are fast enough to recognize multiple sources of noise, instead of focusing on one or a couple of sources. So, you can actively participate in complex social occasions without becoming disoriented. They are also hooked up to the Internet of Things via a system called "If This Then That". So, they can inform users when their doorbell is ringing, and even turn on house lights when they power up their auditory equipment.
Another key aspect of Oticon's product range is that they specialize in bone-anchored hearing aids. These devices require a resonator to be implanted behind the user's ear, where it transmits vibrations into the inner ear - a completely different system to traditional ITE, BTE or RIC models. This type of hearing aid requires minor surgery, which may feel invasive to some patients, but it can also be the most effective solution for people who have suffered serious damage to their inner ear.
Bone-anchored hearing aids can sometimes suffer from lower sound quality, due to the need to transmit waves through solid bone. And the way that these vibrations are created can sometimes be uncomfortable for users, making them an inappropriate option. Then again, with the new generation of highly directed hearing aids, they can also offer clearer sound quality in noisy environments. That's because they bypass the inner ear, filtering out unnecessary noise.
Oticon have been aware of these technical limitations for decades, which is why they have developed the Ponto System to address them - resulting in the most advanced bone-anchored hearing aids available anywhere. Ponto incorporates streaming from mobile phones, as well as a physical system called OptiGrip, which anchors the hearing aid in a stable position and ensures efficient sound transmission. OptiFit technology ensures that the hearing aid will be physically adapted to the shape of the user's head, maximizing comfort and avoiding spaces where bacteria or dirt can collect, while powerful processors carry out complex sound manipulation processes, delivering an unprecedented degree of directional hearing. And, to round things off, Oticon only use titanium fixtures to embed their hearing aids, a material which merges perfectly with the bones of the skull, reducing the risk of complications.
Then again, whether Oticon's bone-anchored devices will work for you is a personal choice, and you may need to discuss it with an audiologist to make sure. Customers should also know that Oticon's high-end bone-anchored hearing aids tend to come with a slightly higher price tag than standard models. However, if you need an implant-style device, or want the latest in directional technology, the price for leading models like the Oticon Opn may well be worth paying.
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