‘What? Sorry, what did you say again?’
How many times have you said that lately? Come on, you can fess up, you’re amongst friends here! I too spent an awful lot of time in my misspent youth up at the front of Bailter Space gigs; dancing too close to the speakers at Drum & Bass concerts; or even just jackhammering concrete without wearing earmuffs. The trouble is; all that ‘well-hard’ or ‘craaazyyy!’ behaviour back in the day has come back to haunt me now, leaving me a little short in the hearing department. Nothing too bad – but enough to have me sometimes switch the English subtitles on when watching action movies and rely on my lipreading skills in noisy pubs far more than I’d like to admit.
So I’ve decided to bite the bullet and check out the hearing aid option. Relax, these are not the massive ear trumpets they used to be, my brother-in-law has a hearing aid now but it took me ages to realise he actually has something in his ear. In fact, it is so subtle it was only when it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t having to repeat myself to him every five minutes that I realised that something had changed.
A new attitude to hearing
Something has changed in the hearing aid world too – and it’s not just a size thing either. Hearing aid company Oticon weren’t happy with the old ‘less is more’ philosophy of basically blocking out any background sound in order to let the wearer focus purely on hearing just what’s in front of them.
Thinking on this, Oticon went back to the drawing board and looked at decades of clinical research to see if they could find a better way to make hearing aids. What they discovered was that the brain – which is the organ that ultimately makes sense of what your ears hear – functions better when it has more to pick through, not less. So, in a sense, the more sound information the brain receives, the more it can understand what the heck is going on around it.
So Oticon ditched the old selective ‘focus-in’ philosophy for hearing aids and went with a unique all-inclusive new brain-friendly technology that delivers detailed, clear and complete soundscapes from real life, they call this philosophy BrainHearing™. This next level in the evolution of hearing aid technology then became the basis for a new range of Oticon More hearing aids. These focus on delivering as many sounds as possible to your brain instead of just zooming in on one. To achieve this task Oticon More™ makes use of a Deep Neural Network, an advanced technology built into the hearing aid which has been trained with 12 million real-life sound scenes.
In addition, Oticon is also addressing the hearing challenges associated with listening to music. Their new MyMusic feature, exclusive to Oticon More was co-created with music lovers who have different types of hearing loss and is designed to help users enjoy the music they love with all its nuance and complexity.
So if you suspect your hearing isn’t as good as what it used to be and you’ve started skipping going to restaurants or pubs because you’re finding it harder to hear what people are saying – don’t just give up. Get your ears checked and if you do need a hearing aid, give Oticon a whirl – it could make a real difference to your life and you might be surprised at what more you could hear!
Not sure how good – or bad – your own hearing is? You can test it out here, although please don’t regard this as any sort of a definitive result. Only a full hearing assessment by a hearing care professional can provide you with accurate results.