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Oticon Real 1 Review

Prices, Sound Recordings, Models
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A

Dr. Amy Sarow is a practicing clinical audiologist and serves as Audiology Lead for Soundly. Her expertise and experience span topics including tinnitus, cochlear implants, hearing aid technology, and hearing testing. She holds a doctoral degree in audiology from the University of Iowa. During her residency at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sarow was inspired by the three-tiered, patient-centered approach, incorporating clinical work, teaching and research.

Blake Cadwell
Blake Cadwell

Blake Cadwell is a hearing aid wearer and co-founder at Soundly. He regularly tests and reviews hearing technology to share his experience with Soundly’s readers. Blake's research and perspectives have been featured in the The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, AARP and FastCompany.

About Soundly

Soundly is an independently owned hearing health research tool. Our reviews are conducted by hearing aid wearers and audiologists. We physically review the leading hearing aids on the market for sound quality, comfort, durability, and more. Our review process starts with hands-on unboxing and days, weeks, or months of wear. We also record live sound demos using a calibrated binaural microphone (read more here). We experiment with backend fitting software for prescription products and use test box measures to measure prescriptive accuracy and flexibility. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Read more about our story here.

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Behind the Ear
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Newer Product Available

Oticon Real is not the latest model from the brand. We recommend that you research the newer 2024 release, Oticon Intent.

Oticon's "Open" Sound Philosophy

Oticon is the second most popular hearing aid brand (after Phonak). The brand has built a fanbase around its “open” sound philosophy. While Phonak hearing aids tend to quiet background noise and focus on voices, Oticon lets in a fuller soundscape.

To manage the more open soundscape without degrading speech clarity, Oticon captured a massive library of everyday sounds (over 12 million) and used those recordings to train its hearing aids.

The result is an onboard deep neural network that makes intelligent decisions about what sounds you should hear—pretty cool stuff. 

If you like hearing more birds, nature, and other life sounds, Oticon is a compelling option. 

New 2023 Upgrades

In February 2023, Oticon released a new flagship product called Oticon Real. The update replaces Oticon’s previous flagship Oticon More. 

Oticon Real improves on the previous generation (Oticon More) in three meaningful ways:

  1. Sudden Sound Stabilizer quickly reduces the sound of loud noises like doorbells, dogs barking, or dishes clanging. According to Oticon, these improvements reduce listening effort by 22% in challenging situations.
  2. Wind and Handling Stabilizer reduces wind noise and the sound of your hair or hand when it touches your hearing aids.  
  3. Like most leading brands, Oticon allows remote updates from your audiologist (after an initial in-person visit). Until now, wearers needed to download a separate app for remote appointments. Oticon has now combined this feature into its main app. Nice touch!

Oticon Real comes in three technology levels.

Real 1 has the most robust features for complex environments like restaurants and travel.
Real 2
has robust features but loses a few more sophisticated options for handling background noise.
Real 3 is Oticon's budget option which is best for those who live a quieter lifestyle or spend time in small groups.

Only Available in Styles Behind The Ear

Note that Oticon Real is only available in styles that sit behind the ear. If you choose to get a custom-molded hearing aid (which fits inside the canal instead of behind the ear), you'll want to look at Oticon’s Oticon Own.

Pros 👍
  • Very respected product with millions of happy wearers
  • More open sound quality than other top brands
  • Easy-to-use app
  • Better management of loud or intrusive sounds
  • Available in both rechargeable and non-rechargeable models
Cons 👎
  • Requires in-person care (no direct-to-consumer option)
  • More expensive compared to Telehealth and OTC options
  • The app is simple but offers less independent customization than other leading brands
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Soundly Scorecard
Hearing Loss Level 🔊
Mild - Severe
  • Oticon Real is a fully customizable, prescription hearing aid appropriate for mild-severe hearing loss
  • If you have severe hearing loss, your care provider may fit you with a custom earmold to reduce feedback
  • If you have profound hearing loss, you may be a better fit for Oticon Xceed
Care Type 🏥
  • Oticon Real is a prescription device fit and programmed by a professional
  • After an initial fitting, you can connect with your care provider remotely through the Oticon app
Sound Quality 🔊
Strong in Background Noise
  • Oticon Real comes with a brand new operating system (released in 2023). Real uses Oticon's deep neural network to sort background noise from speech. Many users describe Oticon's sound quality as "relaxed", "natural" and "comfortable."
Comfort 🦻
Very Comfortable For All-Day Wear
  • Oticon Real is a very comfortable product with a wide-variety of possible earmolds, domes and fits. Oticon Real sits behind your ear with a receiver (speaker) inside the ear

Style  💫
Behind The Ear
  • Oticon Real hearing aids sit behind the ear
  • Small RIC hearing aid with slightly rounded edges (not as boxy as Widex, less rounded than Phonak)
  • Real comes in 9 colors including chroma beige, silver grey, silver, terracotta, chestnut brown, steel grey, diamond black, olive green, and hear pink
Battery 🔋
Rechargeable Or Disposable
  • Real comes with rechargeable or disposable battery options
  • The rechargeable version of Oticon Real gets 24 hours of power on a single charge
  • The disposable version of Oticon Real uses a 312 battery which (lasts 7-10 days)
Connection 📡
Bluetooth Available
  • Oticon Real allows Bluetooth streaming, music listening, and phone calls across all models. iPhone users can take calls hands-free, while Android users must keep their phones close to pick up outbound audio.
  • Oticon Real uses Apple's MFI connection and Android's ASHA connection to stream content through Bluetooth
Dexterity Level 🤏
  • Oticon Real is reasonably easy to handle but does require the wearer to place the hearing aid behind their ear and insert the receiver into the ear (consistent across all behind-the-ear styles)
  • Push buttons available: double push-button
Waterproof Level 💦
  • Oticon Real is water resistant with an IP rating of 68
  • This hearing aid can withstand dust and water submersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes
App features 📱
Has An App, Telehealth Capable, Find My Hearing Aids
  • Remote care: included in the new Oticon Companion app
  • Customization: volume, program change, streaming sound quality (treble/bass), SpeechBooster
  • Tinnitus masking: your hearing care provider can create a tinnitus masking program
  • Find my hearing aid: available in the app
  • Health tracking: not available
Pricing and Process


The national average price for Oticon Real 1 hearing aids is around $8,000 per pair.

Our research indicates that the best pricing and care packages are currently available through ZipHearing. ZipHearing offers a pair of Oticon Real 1 hearing aids with one year of unlimited care for $4,798 per pair.


ZipHearing will match you with a local clinic near your zip code and pre-negotiate a lower price (typically 25% less than the national average).

Fill out the form on this page to get matched with a local clinic.

Our readers are consistently happy with ZipHearing's offering and give the company 97% 5-star ratings on Trustpilot.

How to Choose a Technology Level

Oticon Real comes in several technology levels. Each device looks identical from the outside, but on the inside, each technology jump offers more sophisticated sound processing and special features. In general, wearers opt for the top technology they can reasonably afford.

The key differences between Oticon Real 1, 2, and 3 mostly come down to background noise management.

Oticon Real 1

  • 10 dB of background noise suppression
  • 24 programming bands
  • 64 sound processing channels

Oticon Real 2

  • 6 dB of background noise suppression
  • 20 programming bands
  • 48 sound processing channels

Oticon Real 3

  • 6 dB of background noise suppression
  • 18 programming bands
  • 47 sound processing channels

Review Oticon's full feature matrix here.

Read our full guide to choosing a technology level here 👈


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Full Review

Blake Cadwell
Written by
Blake Cadwell

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.

Oticon Own vs Oticon More

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.

Let's start with what isn't changing.

Oticon Real hearing aid form factor

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?

Oticon Real Sudden Sound Stabalizer chart

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.

Man running in wind with Oticon hearing aids

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

Woman trying on Oticon Real hearing aids

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. 👇

Blake Cadwell
Written by
Blake Cadwell
Soundly Staff
Reviewed by
Soundly Staff

Soundly conducts in-depth research to guide prospective hearing aid wearers. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

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