If you’ve questioned whether you might benefit from hearing aids, you’re far from alone. According to the World Health Organization, 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss. And sadly, there is an 83% gap in hearing aid need and use. Only 17% of those who need hearing aids actually use them.
Why? Primary factors include cost, comfort, and effectiveness. Hearing aids are notoriously expensive and rarely covered by medical insurance. While there’s a growing number of less expensive hearing aids offered online — which are particularly great options for people with mild to moderate hearing loss — severe hearing loss often benefits more from medical-grade hearing aids fitted by an audiologist.
Since its founding over a century ago, Oticon remains one of the top three hearing aid manufacturers worldwide. Oticon’s hearing aids address a broad spectrum of hearing loss from mild to profound and center on durability and functionality over marketing gimmicks. Is Oticon the answer to your hearing needs? We’ve evaluated the company and its products below, so you can decide for yourself if these hearing aids are right for you.
- Lower prices than some European competitors
- Devices address the full spectrum of hearing loss, including severe to profound
- Offers the only hearing aids that employ IoT (Internet of Things) technology
- A wide range of select models for children
- Try Oticon risk-free - you can get a 30-day trial for Oticon’s flagship model
- Most models are available in rechargeable-battery versions
- High cost compared to online options
- Some models are not directly compatible with Android phones
- Many streaming and connectivity options require extra accessories
- VA clinics are exempt from trials or special offers
These custom-fitted medical hearing aids are not cheap. We found that Oticon offers lower prices than other European competitors like Signia or Phonak but still requires an audiologist visit and purchase through a partnered reseller. Oticon’s products are high-quality, durable, and covered by a three-year warranty. It offers specific models that cater to often-overlooked audiences, such as people with profound hearing loss or children with congenital hearing impairment. If you can cover the cost (through private insurance, VA coverage, or out-of-pocket expenses), you’ll find that Oticon’s hearing aids will improve your quality of life. If cost is a bigger concern or your hearing loss is more mild to moderate in nature, then we recommend you learn about other companies like MDHearingAid before making a decision.
Oticon’s hearing aids aren’t the least expensive, but they are very high in quality and you can try them risk-free.
Oticon is often more affordable than other high-end hearing devices like Signia. Your best bet is to try Oticon in a risk-free trial through an Oticon specialist, which you can do by clicking one of the links here.
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We extensively test each health service we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, this review of Oticon, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
Oticon is one of the oldest hearing aid companies in the world and remains highly trusted. Founded initially as the Demant Group in 1904 by Danish audiologist Hans Demant, Oticon has been a global leader in technology development for over a century.
The company is best known for its high-tech cochlear implants, which offer astonishing improvements for people with total or congenital hearing loss. However, the company also provides many options for those with milder or more manageable problems. Oticon approaches its traditional hearing aids with the same outlook as medical implants, offering durability and clinical usefulness rather than fashionable designs.
What technology does Oticon use?
Oticon invests most of its Research and Development budget in surgical alternatives for hearing loss, such as cochlear implants. Then, it repurposes a lot of its technology for traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids. This process has allowed Oticon to keep a step ahead on the technology side while saving on marketing gimmicks.
For many years, Oticon invested heavily in perfecting its sound processing software to offer real-time surround sound processing. Thus its devices produce no delays when detecting conversations behind you and are without directional microphones that force you to focus on one side of the room. As more and more companies reached the same benchmarks, Oticon ran the risk of losing its uniqueness.
However, in 2019, the company took an exciting leap with its connectivity offer. Rather than simply improving its Bluetooth-powered options, the company chose to make its flagship model (the Opn S1) compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT). Through the IFTTT (If This Then That) platform, you can program your hearing aids to let them interact with your home’s WiFi network.
Additional highlights among Oticon’s devices include BrainHearing Technology, which delivers pure and precise signals to the brain, and OpenSound Navigator, which balances surrounding sounds, providing a clear focus.
Oticon may collect and store data from you or its partnering audiologist. This data could include your demographics and contact information. The website may also collect non-personal, general data for improving its sites and services.
Oticon organizes its full product catalog surprisingly well. The company has designed each series with a primary specialty and with an ideal client in mind. In turn, most series also branch out into receiver-in-the-ear or behind-the-ear models with rechargeable variants. Products offered:
Oticon hearing aid devices are not sold directly to the consumer but through Oticon-authorized hearing centers and audiologists. Due to this, the cost of its devices varies a great deal. On average, we found that prices ranged from $1,000 - $3,700 per device. This price does not include the costs for your initial audiology assessment, calibration, or follow-up appointments. Here is a good place to check Oticon prices.
The more expensive Opn S models offer more connectivity and faster processing speeds, while the more basic Ruby Series is the most affordable. Among the Opn S Series, the miniRITE models with telecoil and remote-control operation are the most high-tech but also very costly, with some websites listing them for $3,650 per device. Xceed models range from $2,500 - $3,000 per device. CROS models average around $1,000, including a hearing aid for one ear along with an additional receiver for the other. Oticon Play devices cost $2,300 - $2,800 per device.
Payment plans and insurance
Oticon doesn’t sell its hearing aids directly to the consumer, so it does not directly deal with insurance companies. Moreover, relatively few insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost of hearing aids. Some companies will cover the initial hearing test or appointments with in-network audiologists.
A major hurdle regarding coverage for Oticon hearing aids relates to veterans and military personnel. The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently one of the largest buyers of hearing aids in the country, with a vast network of audiology offices and hearing loss services. However, VA audiologists are excluded from Oticon’s free trial options.
Oticon initially launched the Opn Series in 2016 as its flagship model. Its design offered aid to a wide range of hearing losses, from mild to severe. Its main claim to fame was its processing power, which processed speech faster even in environments with lots of background noise or echoes. In 2019, Oticon introduced the newly redesigned Opn S Series, which includes full internet connectivity.
The basic features shared by all members of the Opn S family include:
- Wireless connectivity between hearing aids.
- SpeechGuard Software, which continuously detects the noise levels in the background, separates them from speech signals, and adjusts settings accordingly.
- Faster binaural processing, which allows you to detect the direction of sounds.
- Compatibility with the Oticon ON app, especially for iPhone.
- 360º sound detection processing, which detects and separates sounds and voices coming from all directions.
- A tinnitus relief mode.
- Water- and shock-resistant coating (IPX6 Rating).
The Opn S is the first hearing aid created that added IFTTT (If This Then That) compatibility. IFTTT is a widely-used platform that allows you to connect any smart device to the Internet of Things. In doing so, your devices can then communicate between themselves and adjust settings with no user intervention.
Because of the open-ended nature of IFTTT, it would be impossible to list all the possible applications of this feature. Much of what you can do with it depends on the other devices you already have connected to your network. Some of the most useful applications include:
- Connecting burglar alarms to your hearing aid.
- Receiving a special alert beep when your home alarm or movement sensors are activated.
- Switching automatically to “Home” or “Quiet” settings when you arrive home.
- Sending a custom SMS or email alerting your family or caretakers that your hearing aid batteries are low.
- Using voice commands to adjust your hearing aids.
The latest generation of the Opn S family includes four models:
Oticon Opn S miniRITE
This budget-friendliest option within the Opn S Series is a receiver-in-the-ear model. It offers no volume control buttons and uses size 312 batteries.
Oticon Opn S miniRITE T
This model upgrades the basic specs of the miniRITE and adds a telecoil and volume control buttons to the side. It also works with 312 batteries.
Oticon Opn S miniRITE R
This model is a rechargeable spin-off on the miniRITE T. It uses lithium-ion batteries. These batteries recharge fully in four hours and will last 18 - 24 hours. If you get the Oticon magnetic charger, you will also have a fast charge option that provides six hours of energy in just half an hour. However, this accessory can cost an additional $200 - 400 on top of the cost of the device itself.
Oticon Opn S BTE PP
The Opn S BTE Plus Power is a slightly larger behind-the-ear alternative to the miniRITE models. This device uses the same kind of software as all other members in the Opn S family and therefore offers pretty similar performance and settings. Other than size, the main difference is that it uses slightly cheaper size 13 batteries, and there is no rechargeable version available.
Oticon created the Xceed specifically for people with severe to profound hearing loss. Therefore, the device sacrifices some of the processing speed of the Opn models to favor more powerful receivers. Its software also prevents any unpleasant feedback noises, which are a common nuisance of super-sensitive receivers. As a result, the Xceed enjoys an unmatched clear sound, even in very loud environments.
Oticon Xceed hearing aids are available in two behind-the-ear models. They offer the following specs:
- OpenSound software, meant to prioritize specific sounds (especially human voices) while detecting noise from all directions.
- Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to sync with TVs, smartphones, and music equipment.
- A “Made for iPhone” remote control function, via the Oticon ON app.
- Four adjustable profiles for managing transient or background noise.
- A tinnitus relief program.
- Water- and dust-resistant casing (IPX6 Rating).
Although powerful, the Oticon Xceed is not compatible with telecoils. Also, some of the capabilities for Bluetooth connection require an additional receiver.
The Oticon Ruby Series is the brand’s “essential” product line. They are a bit less costly, but they don’t include some of the Opn S models’ connectivity options. Nevertheless, they still offer remarkable benefits for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
This series encompasses three different receiver-in-the-ear and behind-the-ear models. They all feature:
- Bluetooth connectivity with TVs, smartphones, and music players.
- Water- and dust-resistant casing (IPX6 Rating).
- Three adjustable profiles to manage transient or background noise.
- A tinnitus relief program.
Naturally, each specific model in the series also tweaks its offer a little:
Oticon Ruby miniRITE
This receiver-in-the-ear model works best for mild hearing loss or first-time hearing aid users. It doesn’t connect to the Oticon ON app; instead, it uses tiny manual buttons to control the power and volume. These are relatively simple to use, but you may need some practice before you can master them. This model is also compatible with telecoils for an additional price if you want to use a hearing loop system.
The Ruby miniRITE uses size 312 batteries, which keeps ongoing costs manageable.
Oticon Ruby miniRITE R
In a nutshell, this model offers the same features as the regular miniRITE with two key differences: first, it replaces the disposable size 312 batteries with rechargeable lithium-ion ones. Second, if you have an iPhone (not an Android), you can remote-control this model using the Oticon ON app.
Oticon Ruby BTE
This behind-the-ear model is best suited for people with moderate to moderate-severe hearing loss. Just like the miniRITE R, it is compatible with the smartphone app and telecoils. It uses size 13 batteries.
Oticon created the CROS Series to address moderate to severe single-sided hearing loss. This condition can be tricky to deal with: even if you still have full function in one ear, you may find yourself blocked from one side of the room, or you won’t be able to discern sound direction. On the other hand, traditional hearing aids would interfere with the sound you receive on your “good side.”
CROS hearing aids combine a full-featured hearing aid on one side with an extra receiver on the other ear. Both sides are synchronized and process sounds to let the assisted ear receive sounds from all directions.
The Oticon CROS Series includes a range of behind-the-ear and receiver-in-the-ear models, paired with an additional receiver. These devices derive from the existing Opn, Xceed, and Ruby models and offer the same features.
The Play Series is the pediatric branch of Oticon’s catalog. These devices are smaller, more finely-tuned versions of the Opn S and Xceed models, specifically made for children with moderate to severe hearing loss.
Oticon Play hearing aids offer:
- Increased water, shock, and dust resistance (IPX7 Rating).
- Childproof battery doors to prevent children from tampering with their own devices.
- 360º sound detection and processing, which allows children to hear from all directions.
- Compatibility with Oticon ON, the iPhone app that lets you adjust your hearing aids’ settings from your phone.
- LED lights next to the battery, which let parents and caretakers know whether the device is on and charged.
- Compatibility with ConnectClip, a pocket microphone that will help the child listen to someone standing far away (such as a teacher or gym instructor).
Oticon Play hearing aids are also available in a rechargeable version, which replaces size 13 batteries with lithium-ion ones. They are also available in 12 different colors, many of them quite bright.
From a technological perspective, Oticon hearing aids are a worthy investment for anyone suffering from hearing loss. Yet, they are also a significant investment. Oticon keeps its low-tier models more affordable than competitors such as Signia, but it also relies heavily on accessories and add-ons. Therefore, if you are genuinely eager to enjoy direct streaming or smart connectivity features, you may find it hard to keep an eye on the total price. On the bright side, this means that you will only need to pay for the features you need.
The estimated prices we have listed in this review represent the cost of hearing aids bought from an audiologist. Some individual audiologists will include extra accessories along with follow-up appointments or extended warranties as a part of a bundle deal.
For the most part, however, you will need to keep the following extras in mind:
Most receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) models use size 312 batteries, which last an average of 3 - 10 days each. You can get a pack of 60 for about $20 - $30. This works out to $60 - $120 per year. Behind-the-ear models usually use size 13 batteries. These last 6 - 10 days, so a 60-battery pack ($17 - $25) can last you for a whole year. If you opt for a rechargeable model, you can expect to pay between $200 and $400 for the battery and charger kit.
The ConnectClip is a small and discreet accessory that doubles as an additional microphone and a link to connect to smartphones, tablets, or smart TVs. Unless you have one of the higher-end models in the Opn S family, you will need to use a ConnectClip if you want to take hands-free calls comfortably. The average price is $340.
If you have an Xceed or a Ruby model, you will also need a ConnectLine Streamer accessory to link your hearing aid with a Bluetooth-enabled Android device. The average price: $295.
Choosing the ideal hearing aid model
If you are buying a hearing aid for the first time, you will need to first talk to an audiologist to assess your hearing properly. If you have severe or profound hearing loss, the Oticon Xceed is probably one of the best available choices.
If you fall in the mild to moderate range and want a discreet or stealthy hearing aid, invest in an Opn S miniRITE. This model is smaller, but the speech-focused sound processing may let you skip on the additional microphone.
Suppose you are not very gadget-oriented, and you don’t have (or plan to have) any “Smart Home” devices in your house. In that case, any of the Ruby models may offer better value than the Opn S. If you are on the fence, keep in mind that you can access a risk-free trial to test out the Opn S but not the Ruby.
Oticon doesn’t sell its hearing aids to patients directly but through third parties. A hearing assessment and talking with an Oticon specialist will help you get started on the right footing. From there, you’ll work with an audiologist to determine the best Oticon hearing aids to suit your needs.
If you’ve never had an audiologist assessment, the Oticon website can help you get started:
Take the hearing test. The company offers a free and straightforward online hearing test under the “Your Hearing” link at the top of the main page. This assessment takes five minutes and is for screening purposes only. It does not provide sounds but only questions about your hearing issues.
Find an audiologist. If you show potential for hearing aids, the site prompts you to the “Contact a Hearing Professional” link, which provides a list of Oticon-authorized hearing centers and audiologists in your area.
Undergo an audiologist assessment. Technically, any audiologist can perform the initial audiogram and calibrate an Oticon hearing aid for you. If your health insurance covers audiograms or hearing aids, your best bet may be going to an in-network audiologist. However, by going to one of Oticon’s partner hearing clinics, you will be able to access a risk-free trial. This trial will let you test out one of the company’s flagship models for 30 days. If you decide to keep it and buy it, you will receive a $50 gift card for Oticon accessories.
Assess your options. Your audiologist will help guide you on what models, variants, and accessories are appropriate for your hearing loss needs.
Follow up with your audiologist. Your audiologist will order your hearing aids, calibrate and fit them, and recalibrate them as needed. The audiologist will also manage your product’s warranty and any necessary repairs.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For Oticon and other health services and products, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?
User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device, program, app, or website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?
Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?