Hearing Care Blog

Oticon Opn™ hearing aid is music to musicians’ ears

Reading Time: 5 min.
02-10-18

The importance of addressing a trained hearing ability and how Oticon Opn patients, including Opera Singer, Janine Roebuck, can get the most enjoyment out of hearing music well.

Hearing loss has the potential to have a big impact on your patients’ lifestyle. Untreated, any level of hearing loss can affect your patients’ work and social life, relationships, even health, which is why it is so rewarding to provide them with hearing aids that really work.

We are pleased to share with you a new independent study into the effectiveness of the new digital signal processing in Oticon Opn hearing aids. The results provide a fantastic insight into how hearing aids can benefit our patients and help us all understand how hearing improvements can make a difference to patients’ lives.

Music and hearing aids

Up until recently, hearing aids have been limited to a sound input range which is only really sufficient for speech, with higher level, more energetic sound, such as music, often being noticeably distorted.

New research shows that Oticon Opn overcomes this shortcoming, improving the listening experience of hearing aid users so that they can hear more natural sound with more clarity. They can hear more individual instruments and better distinguish between sound levels in music, ultimately improving their enjoyment of music. This is in addition to lowered listening effort in noisy locations, an improved ability to hear speech in quiet, and overall, experiencing more pleasant sound.

The recent independent hearing aid study by Marshall Chasin, AuD which was published in Hearing Review, is titled: ‘Use of a novel technique to improve amplified sound quality for both music and speech’. It was designed to formally assess the effect of the advanced digital signal processing that the Velox™ platform in our Oticon Opn hearing aid, delivers.

Velox effectively increases the input limit of the Oticon Opn hearing aid and enables more accurate sound when listening to a variety of music, from quiet recorded music, to live music which often delivers sustained high levels.

The study included both musicians and non-musicians in an independent blind music and speech sound quality listening experiment, recording the effects of Oticon Opn for experienced hearing aid users.

The conclusion: musicians and non-musicians alike benefited from improved amplified sound quality for both music and speech when wearing Oticon Opn hearing aids*.

The Chasin experiment highlighted that musicians have a greater ability to hear intricate sound compared to non-musicians. Musicians have superior listening skills as a result of practice or natural ability, but it is interesting to see documentation for improved listening performance for musicians with hearing loss, using the Oticon Opn’s.

The musicians with hearing loss that took part in the Chasin study, proved even more attuned to the listening improvements from Oticon Opn than non-musicians, reporting more considerable results.

Professional musicians need professional technology

As we well know, musicians and entertainers are more susceptible to hearing damage than most. Thankfully, the advanced ability of Oticon Opn can increase the pleasure of your patients’ musical passions or profession and enable them to continue their career with more confidence.

We can now proudly communicate that even if a musician has tried a hearing aid previously but found that he or she still struggled in their occupation, it does not mean that a hearing aid will not benefit him or her.

You can advise your musical patients that their trained or gifted hearing ability requires a more capable hearing aid.

First hand: The emotion of a professional musician hearing music for the first time through Oticon Opn

Mezzo-soprano opera singer, Janine Roebuck, notoriously lives with incurable, progressive nerve deafness. Janine is able to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an opera singer thanks to the evolution of hearing aid technology and is a global star despite her severe hearing condition.

When Janine was fitted with Oticon Opn hearing aids, her audiologist conducted a music test using a rudimentary set of speakers. Janine describes the moment:

“When my audiologist tested me for music, I got terribly emotional because I had not heard the clarity of music that Oticon Opn allowed me to hear for years and years and years. It had just become a cacophony of sound, yet there I was hearing all the individual instruments again far more clearly than I had done for such a long time.”

You can hear Janine talking in full about her amazing personal experience with Oticon Opn here:

 

Relieve tinnitus with music

Despite tinnitus being an incurable condition, we all aim to help affected patients to manage their symptoms. As we know, one of the best treatments is sound therapy, and whether a person has an underlying hearing loss or not, hearing aids could help relieve their symptoms.

Working in high noise levels in their everyday occupation, tinnitus is also a common problem for professional DJs and musicians. DJ Mark Ronson has suffered with tinnitus for over 10 years and he has openly said that it affects him 24/7.

Ironically for musicians, listening to music could be extremely therapeutic. This is why we are so pleased to demonstrate that the advanced hearing support provided by our advanced digital signal processing in Oticon Opn improves the enjoyment of music. For musicians as well as non-musicians.

It means that if their tinnitus accompanies a hearing loss, they too may benefit from tinnitus relief with a hearing aid. This additional hearing benefit complements the Tinnitus SoundSupport ™ feature in Oticon Opn to offer further reprieve for tinnitus patients with the advanced hearing ability of musicians.

“I think music in itself is healing.” – Billy Joel

It is said that laughter is the best medicine, but with so much evidence demonstrating the impact music has on our lives and health, maybe music is actually the best medicine, and laughter should be downgraded to second place?

Listening to music has been linked with health benefits such as; restoring memory loss, pain management and reducing stress and depression. Giving a patient the ability to enjoy music is a gift that can change their life immeasurably.

With Oticon Opn, your patients, even those with musical roots, now have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits as much as anyone else.


* Comparing extended input range to standard input range.

 

References:
Chasin, M. A novel technique to improve amplified sound quality for both music and speech. Hearing Review. 2017;24(8):32-36.