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Oticon's Own Deep Neural Network Technology - Discreet hearing aids powered by artificial intelligence

Paul Harrison Hearing Aid UK Founder & Audiologist
Written By:
Paul Harrison

Audiology Expert & Founder

Updated: 18th July 2023
Oticon's Own Deep Neural Network Technology

Oticon's Own Deep Neural Network Technology

Discreet hearing aids powered by artificial intelligence

 

How can DNN help your hearing? Understanding the technology

First, there was Oticon's BrainHearing technology, which was a philosophy focused on how technology can support how the brain naturally works.  Ultimately, giving you more access to your full soundscape and therefore a complete perspective. 

However, in this article, I will be going through Oticon Own's other innovative technology, DNN, which is included in both their Oticon Own and Oticon More hearing aid ranges.

 

Deep Neural Network definition

Overall, this technology supports a better listening experience.  But how does it do this?  How does it help support hearing loss?  Like with most new technology, it sounds rather complex at first - but here I hope to break down this technology, so you gain a better understanding of this feature and how it can genuinely help your hearing.

Oticon Owns DNN technology

Machine learning at its best

What are the advantages of the Deep Neural Network (DNN)?  Oticon's Deep Neural Network technology is basically a form of machine learning (a form of AI technology) that mirrors the way your brain works, evolves and learns. 

This hearing aid technology has had various roles in many industries and some of these roles you might know and understand.  Tasks like language translation for example.  But, Oticon has introduced this concept to the audiology industry, first with their Oticon More hearing aid range and now the Own.

 

Deep Neural Network algorithms

So, how is it used within a hearing aid?  DNN evolves and learns with repetitive actions, similar to how your brain learns.  We all know that practice makes perfect and we learn from our mistakes.  Oticon has trained its DNN with millions of recorded real-life sounds.   Sounds we all hear and walk amongst every day.  Environments like restaurants, train stations, or all the sounds you hear while walking down your street.

 

Tap into the most important sounds

The Deep Neural Network, whilst absorbing all these sounds, learns to recognise and bring balance to each sound.  Meaning you gain greater access to sounds that are most important to you.  Once this technology was developed it was then designed and incorporated to power Oticon's latest hearing aid ranges.

The result is an intelligent hearing aid that balances, organises and prioritises the most important sounds that are unique to you, as well as supporting your own brain's cognitive health.

 

What are the benefits of Oticon's Deep Neural Network technology in everday life?

To explain the benefits of having DNN within a hearing aid it is probably easier to give you an everyday scenario:

You are in your favourite busy restaurant catching up with your friends. Your friend in front of you is chatting, as you get up to leave. Hearing aids of the past are programmed to focus on the speech that is in front of you whilst reducing background noise, in challenging environments. This means you might not hear the member of staff behind you with a tray of food.

This is why DNN is different. With this deep neural network application, your brain can tap into your full soundscape, so you are able to hear the member of staff behind you and therefore avoid a potential collision. Your sound is truly balanced and amplified in such a way that it brings more realism to your hearing.

This is all down to how the Deep Neural Network gives your brain more meaningful and important sound data.  Providing you with clear sound and speech - a deep neural network has the ability to always follow the conversation and understand sound. 

 

How DNN technology can help hearing

The Deep Neural Network Architecture

Breaking down the DNN technology

 

  • A sound is introduced to a computer,  it cannot recognise the sound, unlike us.
  • The computer stores this sound and processes it through its DNN.  Recognising the parts of the sound and organising the type of pitch it has - for example, high or low pitch.
  • When it has completed this processing it then labels the sound as what it is.  For example, is it a car horn or not.
  • The computer is storing this feedback as a yes or no.  Ensuring better decisions and sound recognition in the future.
  • This form of DNN processing is repeated with lots of varied sounds so that eventually the computer learns and through this learning, it can then successfully recognise what sound it is - instantly.  Exactly like our brain.

 

Discover the Oticon Own hearing aid range with DNN technology:

►Oticon Own 1 Hearing Aids

►Oticon Own 2 Hearing Aids  

►Oticon Own 3 Hearing Aids  

►Oticon Own 4 Hearing Aids

►Oticon Own 5 Hearing Aids

 

Why not try Oticon hearing aids for yourself and challenge the technology?

Oticon hearing aids have always been a popular choice with our patients.  They simply seem to love the sound the devices give them.  The feedback we have received from our patients who have already invested in Oticon Own has been thoroughly positive. 

This hearing aid range has led them to rediscover forgotten and lost sounds, as well as gain confidence in challenging listening experiences - and all in a discreet device.  Therefore, in summary, Oticon's Deep Neural Network technology has given them a more enriched sound and enhanced their life significantly.

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Paul Harrison
Hearing Aid Advisor
Unlike most national retailers we are not owned by any manufacturer, this means we can offer the full choice of all makes and models of hearing aids

Want to know more about Oticon Own hearing aids and the AI technology inside?

If you would like to speak to one of your audiologists about the Oticon Own digital hearing aid range please call us free on 0800 567 7621

 

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This article was written by Kimberley Bradshaw

Meet Kimberley Bradshaw , Head of Customer Content Experience

By working closely with the Hearing Aid UK audiologists, experts and advisers, she develops the online content, so that the customer's experience is the best it can be. 

Kimberley's medical representation has allowed her to focus on the importance of hearing healthcare and explore the many ways in which hearing loss and its awareness can be improved.

She has collaborated and written about hearing healthcare for several online publications.

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Common FAQs about hearing aids and hearing loss

Is this the best model for me?

If you are looking at this page then it is likely that an audiologist has suggested that you purchase this particular hearing aid, so is this the best model for you?

In general, any audiologist will always be recommending to you the model that best suits your needs. Here is a useful check list to make sure that is the case.

  • Audiologist level of knowledge. The audiologist you have seen will hopefully have a wide knowledge of all available hearing aids, however some will only be familiar with a small number of brands and therefore may not really be in a position to know which model is the best for you. It is OK to challenge their recommendation and ask them to justify why this particular brand is the one for you.
  • Do research. Read about the hearing aid that was recommended. Does it seem like it will suit your lifestyle? Does it have more or less features than you need? 
  • Be aware of sales targets. Many high street retailers have specific tie-ins to a particular manufacturer/brand. The hearing aid they have suggested may still be the correct one for you, but do your research so that you know why they might have recommended it.

If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

If you have a significant hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Here are the audiological reasons why:

Localisation. The brain decodes information from both ears and compares and contrasts them. By analysing the miniscule time delays as well as the difference in loudness of each sound reaching the ears, the person is able to accurately locate a sound source. Simply put, if you have better hearing on one side than the other, you can't accurately tell what direction sounds are coming from.

Less amplification required. A phenomena known as “binaural summation” means that the hearing aids can be set at a lower and more natural volume setting than than if you wore only one hearing aid.

Head shadow effect. High frequencies, the part of your hearing that gives clarity and meaning to speech sounds, cannot bend around your head. Only low frequencies can. Therefore if someone is talking on your unaided side you are likely to hear that they are speaking, but be unable to tell what they have said.

Noise reduction. The brain has it’s own built in noise reduction which is only really effective when it is receiving information from both ears. If only one ear is aided, even with the best hearing aid in the world, it will be difficult for you to hear in background noise as your brain is trying to retain all of the sounds (including background noise) rather than filtering it out.

Sound quality. We are designed to hear in stereo. Only hearing from one side sounds a lot less natural to us.

What are the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids?

For most people, the main benefit of a rechargeable hearing aid is simple convenience. We are used to plugging in our phones and other devices overnight for them to charge up. 

For anybody with poor dexterity or issues with their fingers, having a rechargeable aid makes a huge difference as normal hearing aid batteries are quite small and some people find them fiddly to change.

One downside is that if you forget to charge your hearing aid, then it is a problem that can't be instantly fixed. For most a 30 minute charge will get you at least two or three hours of hearing, but if you are the type of person who is likely to forget to plug them in regularly then you're probably better off with standard batteries.

Rechargeable aids are also a little bit bigger and are only available in behind the ear models.

Finally, just like with a mobile phone, the amount of charge you get on day one is not going to be the same as you get a few years down the line. Be sure to ask what the policy is with the manufacturer warranty when it comes to replacing the battery.

 

Are behind the ear aids better than in the ear aids?

For most people, the answer is yes. But it's never that simple.

The majority of hearing problems affect the high frequencies a lot more than the low ones. Therefore open fitting hearing aids sound a lot more natural and ones that block your ears up can make your own voice sound like you are talking with your head in a bucket. Therefore in-ear aids tend to be less natural.

However the true answer is we can't tell until we have had a look in your ears to assess the size of your ear canal, and until we have tested your hearing to see which frequencies are being affected.

People with wider ear canals tend to have more flexibility, also there are open fitting modular CIC hearing aids now that do not block your ears.

There is also the age old rule to consider, that a hearing aid will not help you if it's sat in the drawer gathering dust. If the only hearing aid you would be happy wearing is one that people can't see, then that's what you should get.

Most people can adapt to any type of hearing aid, as long as they know what to expect. Have an honest conversation with your audiologist as to what your needs are.

What are channels, and how many do I need?

Generally speaking, six or more. Unless it's none at all.

The number of channels a hearing aid has is often a simplistic way an audiologist will use to explain why one hearing aid is better than another, but channels are complex and it is really not that straightforward.

Hearing aids amplify sounds of different frequencies by different amounts. Most people have lost more high frequencies than low and therefore need more amplification in the high frequencies. The range of sounds you hear are split into frequency bands or channels and the hearing aids are set to provide the right amount of hearing at each frequency level.

Less than six channels and this cannot be done with much accuracy, so six is the magic number. However, a six channel aid is typically very basic with few other features and is suitable only for hearing a single speaker in a quiet room. The number of channels is not what you should be looking at, it's more the rest of the technology that comes with them.

As a final note, different manufacturers have different approaches. One method is not necessarily better than any other. For example some manufacturers have as many as 64 channels in their top aids. Most tend to have between 17 and 20. One manufacturer has no channels at all.

Where can I get the hearing aids covered?

Hearing aids are easily lost, misplaced or damaged and typically are one of the most expensive personal possessions an individual can own. We offer hearing aid warranty cover for £80 per year per aid.  Find out more here

How much does the hearing test cost?

All our audiologists use the very latest technology and provide the full range of tests to accurately measure your hearing for free.  Find out about what we offer all our customers here

Do home visits cost extra?

Hearing Aid UK offers all their customers free home visiting services and home visits for hearing aids - Including hearing tests, fittings, maintenance, check-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience.  Find out more information here

How come you're much cheaper than other places?

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are dedicated to offering low hearing aid prices. We achieve this by having no head office and low marketing costs.   Our hearing aid prices are amongst the lowest you will find anywhere in the world.

Need advice? Give our hearing aid experts a call for FREE

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