Oticon expands its lead in the high-end segment setting new standards for speech intelligibility and natural sound

Kongebakken
17 augustus 2015
(Smørum, 15 January 2013) With its launch of Oticon Alta, the leading hearing aid manufacturer Oticon sets new standards for hearing aid users’ ability to understand speech in challenging listening situations. Oticon Alta is the result of many years’ intensive research and development focusing on one objective only, namely to give users the most natural hearing experience and thus the freedom to live a normal, extrovert and active life with maximum quality of life and freedom of action.

The secret behind Oticon Alta, which is based on Oticon’s third-generation wireless platform, is Oticon’s unique principle of natural sound. The ideal hearing solution should not just amplify sound, enabling the user to hear it, the knack is to amplify sound without distorting or corrupting it, retaining all the subtle nuances of sound and in particular the clarity of sound. The brain will thus get all the information it needs in order to easily and effortlessly understand speech, process messages and respond to such messages. This is where Oticon Alta stands out from other good hearing aids.

”Based on a unique principle of amplification of sound, we have succeeded in improving speech intelligibility substantially1. This means that you can hear more words in noise than you are able to, using our previous high-end hearing aid. The human brain is actually a very powerful sound processor, which is utilised best by giving it precise information about what goes on in a listening environment,” says Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon. ”And this is precisely what we do with our Oticon Alta family,” he adds.
The principle may be compared with your experience of a digital camera. Generally, the photos look pretty good on the tiny screen of the camera, but if you need to enlarge a photo to see more details, both the camera lens and its data processing are important to the number of details that can be reproduced. The same applies to a sound image that is ”enlarged” for a hearing-impaired person again to be able to hear faint sounds. Consequently, the gain must be turned up in an intelligent manner that maintains the balance and the subtle nuances for the brain to perceive the deeper meaning of what is being said.

Every person’s voice is as unique and personal as his fingerprints, and when we talk to other people and recognise them in a crowd solely from their voices, it is because a voice contains so much unique information in terms of tone, pitch and intensity. The brain uses all that information intuitively to separate one speaker from another and to follow a conversation over time. This is what Oticon calls natural sound because the user is able to use his hearing as was intended by nature.

Personal sound will improve satisfaction

All people perceive sound differently and every third user who stops using his hearing aid says it is because the sound quality does not live up to his expectations. Oticon Alta does something about this problem. As the first hearing aid ever, it can be fine-tuned to match the user’s subjective preferences or personal profile as a supplement to the hearing needs measured objectively. This means that the system not only suppresses noise or focuses on one speaker, but does so to a degree and at a speed that will match the needs and wishes expressed by the user.

New ConnectLine system

With the launch of an entirely new ConnectLine system, Oticon unfolds a wide variety of options for hearing aid users in terms of active communication and listening. Oticon ConnectLine gathers all the solutions in one integrated system, which in addition to being one of the market’s most sophisticated solutions is also the most user-friendly one. Much of today’s communication is made via electronic media, and Oticon ConnectLine enables wireless transmission of sound from televisions, phones, computers, music players etc. directly to the ears of the hearing aid user, thereby ensuring the user maximum benefit from his Oticon hearing aids. Also for people in active employment, there is good news with a solution designed for the office phone and the possibility of using internet telephony such as IP telephony. The new ConnectLine series will be compatible with both telecoil and FM, which are both widely popular transmission technologies.

We will release our new products for sale worldwide today and over the next few weeks.

Contact:

Søren Nielsen, President, Oticon A/S
Kongebakken 9, DK-2765 Smørum

1Oticon Alta was tested by an independent body, Hörzentrum Oldenburg, Germany, from October through December 2012 with focus on speech intelligibility in difficult listening situations.