Oticon recently announced a new flagship product line called Oticon Real. The product line replaces the very popular Oticon More family and builds on many of the same technologies.
Oticon Real is only available in styles that sit behind the ear. Oticon will continue to make all custom-molded products under the Oticon Own name brand and technology set.
The form factor in Oticon Real will stay exactly the same, meaning all of the Newness is happening under the hood.
In this article, we'll dig into what stays the same and what changes, + some of the pros and cons of the new Oticon Real family.
Oticon Real Hearing Aid Review - Everything We Know (So Far)
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Let's start with what isn't changing.
Form factor: The form factor of the hearing aid remains the same, and Oticon Real is available in various colors. One new addition to the color lineup is olive green, which is a nice touch.
Bluetooth: The hearing aid connects Bluetooth to Apple devices, allowing for hands-free calling. However, Android users must keep their phones close while talking to ensure clear audio transmission.
Sound Philosophy: Oticon Real builds on the same overall "open" soundscape that Oticon is known for. Users typically comment that Oticon sounds more natural and open than competitors like Phonak, which cut out more background noise and focus on voices. I'm personally a fan of this open sound style, and I'm glad to see that it's not going anywhere.
So what's changing?
Let's talk about what sets the Oticon Real apart from its predecessor.
One major update is the Sudden Sound Stabilizer, which is designed to reduce the impact of loud noises that occur unexpectedly in the wearer's environment. Anyone who wears hearing aids knows how distracting and even painful sudden loud noises (like dogs barking or car horns honking) can be. With this feature, Oticon has trained its hearing aid to recognize and reduce the volume of sudden sounds, like a glass being set down on a hard surface or a doorbell ringing, without affecting the overall gain of the conversation. This is a nice improvement in terms of maintaining comfort and focuses for hearing aid wearers.
Another major update is the reduction of wind and handling noise. The Oticon Real has been designed to reduce wind noise, which is welcome news for hikers, runners etc. The new product also reduces handling noise, meaning that the wearer will hear less feedback when touching the space behind their ear or when their hat, hair, or glasses brush against the hearing aid. This is a meaningful improvement over previous models and will be greatly appreciated by hearing aid wearers who have experienced that familiar crunching sound when hair or hands come into contact with the device.
Another less exciting but significant upgrade from Oticon is that their app now allows remote adjustments from your audiologist inside the same app instead of having a second app for telehealth appointments.
It's clear that Oticon likes a lot about their previous hearing aid platform. Instead of overhauling things like Starkey recently did, they are opting for a series of more minor, practical changes.
Oticon Real is undoubtedly an upgrade to the previous Oticon More, with several key improvements that will make a noticeable difference in the day-to-day lives of hearing aid wearers. The Sudden Sound Stabilizer and the reduced wind and handling noise are significant upgrades that improve the overall user experience.
Is this the most important hearing aid news we'll see this year? Probably not. But not every new generation has to reinvent the wheel.
Pros and Cons of Oticon Real
Oticon Real will likely land in the top three hearing aids on the market within a few months. Here are some pros and cons to consider.
- Oticon has an open sound that many users feel is more natural
- Oticon Real should be more comfortable in wind and background noise than previous models
- You can choose rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries (Phonak only offers rechargeable)
- Oticon offers less app customization than other competitors like ReSound and Phonak
- Oticon Real is only available through prescription channels (you'll need to purchase locally vs. OTC or Telehealth)
- Oticon Real doesn't have the longest battery life (Starkey does) or the strongest Bluetooth connection (Phonak does).
The way I see it, Oticon Real is an excellent all-around hearing aid with great sound quality. It doesn’t take home a lot of flashy firsts, but it will almost certainly continue to be one of the most popular hearing aids in the world.
Prefer to watch? Here’s my 5 minute breakdown. 👇