Setting The Standard For Better Hearing.
March 7, 2015

Hearing Aids with Beauty and Brains: Oticon Dual

Here’s the thing. In the past, hearing aid designers and engineers had to make choices and that meant making compromises. Couldn’t amp up some units because the casing was too small so, the result was less boost and much less in the way of automated convenience, e.g., auto feedback suppression or automated volume adjustments to changing listening environments.

Hearing aid manufacturers often had to choose between brains – a big, behind-the-ear (BTE) device with a casing large enough to handle more juice and more smart circuitry and brains, a smaller, more discreet hearing aid that was low-profile and even fashionable in some cases; however, these eye-catchers lost out on smarts and boost. Sure, they looked great, helped a little but, ultimately, these little beauties didn’t deliver a satisfying listening experience.

This left consumers with a difficult choice. Purchase something that might cause ear fatigue after a few hours, or buy the sleek, slim, lightweight model and still miss most of your manager’s pep talk.

Hello Octicon

If you know hearing aids, you know Oticon and the company’s reputation for both innovation and quality. And, if you’re just starting to conduct your consumer research, file this in your memory bank: Oticon = quality hearing aids. That wasn’t hard.

The company, headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, recently introduced the ideal melding of beauty and smarts with the launch of Oticon’s Dual. Dual was designed top-down with no compromise between attractive good looks and the convenience of automated hearing, delivering the most natural hearing experience you’ve had since you were a kid.

With Dual, the world sounds like it always has. Oticon Dual Hearing Aid During an interview with an AudiologyOnline, Oticon’s President, Peer Lauritsen, had this to say about his company’s blending of style and substance.

“Dual is unmatched in the desirable small design [consumer] segment. Now, people no longer have to choose between small scale ‘beauty’ and big performance ‘brains’ when seeking a hearing device,” Lauritsen stated. “Dual offers users the performance they need and the stylish, modern design they want in a range of choices, all based on Oticon’s advanced ultra fast RISE platform that delivers more bandwidth, significantly higher levels of processing power and wireless connectivity.”

Sounds good, right? Sounds even better when you’re wearing Oticon’s Duals for organic, binaural (two-eared) hearing – the way nature intended us to hear. And after years of living in denial about increasing hearing loss, adults reluctant to embrace hearing aids are now willing to at least listen – well, as much as they can.

Let's Look Under The Hood

Okay, first let’s look at bandwidth – the range of sound delivered by Dual. This hearing aid delivers 10kHZ of bandwidth – more than 20% higher than similarly priced models.

So, you hear the higher highs and lower lows – effortlessly.

Next, consider Dual’s binaural synchronization. Each unit in each ear synchs up to deliver acoustic cues required to localize sound (where did that sound come from) and to distinguish subtle sounds within noisy environments. More?

Okay, Dual’s guts equip users to talk on the phone without howling feedback and to hear the TV without blowing everyone else out of hearing range. Binaural hearing is the key, according to Oticon’s chief. “The resulting spatial awareness enables users to easily prioritize and ‘zoom in’ on a particular signal of interest - even when competing sound is louder than that signal. This greatly enhances everyday listening by making it easier and faster for Dual users to orientate themselves, especially in challenging acoustic environments,” Peer Lauritsen explained during his interview with AudiologyOnline.

And if that is not convincing enough, take it from Dual’s newest fan, rock legend Huey Lewis. Previously Lewis wore Oticon Delta hearing aids but has recently made the switch to Dual hearing aids and has been amazed by them. In a recent Oticon press release, Lewis said this about his Duals: “I was mad about my Deltas. But then I was introduced to the new Oticon Duals. I was told they were even better than Delta and I couldn’t imagine how that could be. But they are.”

Lewis went on to note, “I am able to focus on the sounds I’m really trying to listen to. In other words, if you’re speaking, I am more able to focus on you even though I might hear peripheral noises,” he explains. ”I can hear both the close sounds and the faraway sounds. Before I had trouble determining where sound was coming from. My new Duals really help me zero in on what I want to hear.”