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Oticon Vs. ReSound Hearing Aids | Head to Head
As an audiologist, I help match patients with the hearing technology that fits their needs. Hearing aids have come a long way in the last few years. With the latest technology, hearing aids are now more stylish, connected, and functional than ever before. Two of the most popular hearing aid brands are Oticon and ReSound. They are known for their innovative features and reliable performance. If you are in the market for hearing aids, you are probably wondering which one to choose. In this article, we will compare Oticon and ReSound hearing aids, head to head, and determine which one is better. Let's get started!
Today's contenders are two Danish heavyweights. In the blue corner, we have Oticon, known for its exceptional, smooth sound processing capabilities. And in the red corner, we have the robust ReSound, the master of connectivity and customization. As they step into the ring, they'll duke it out, round for round, in categories such as sound quality, connectivity, battery life, and more. So, buckle up, folks, because this isn't just an informative face-off—it's set to be a fun ride, too!
Round One – Styles
When selecting hearing aids, style matters, and Oticon and ReSound offer a wide range of styles to suit different preferences. Oticon has the Intent, OWN, and Zircon models, offering something for every budget and need. The Oticon Intent, the flagship product, offers premium sound quality and a sleek, rounded design. For those who prefer buttons, the Intent has a single push button for volume control and program changes. The Oticon OWN offers custom hearing aids from the smallest IIC to the larger ITE device. The CROS option is available for single-sided hearing loss. And if you're looking for a fun color choice, they've got you covered there, too. While you'll find the typical discrete colors to match hair, there are also fun colors like sky blue.
We wouldn't be doing justice to this face-off if we didn't mention ReSound's NEXIA and custom hearing aids. These models offer a stylish twist to hearing aids with their modern design. The NEXIA micro RIE model is noteworthy for its discretion, with a 25% reduction in size. The RIE model features a user-friendly push-button for those who prefer manual controls, offering a seamless blend of style and functionality. Similarly, ReSound's custom products, with their sleek earbud-like appearance, bring style to hearing aids, proving that functionality and fashion can go hand in hand!
Both brands win points for style, but Oticon wins this round with a broader range of custom-size hearing aids and fun color options in their RIC devices.
Round Two – Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth connectivity is vital for hearing aids in today's digital age. Both Oticon and ReSound offer Bluetooth connectivity with their hearing aids. So, let's get to the difference.
ReSound stands out when it comes to iPhone Bluetooth connectivity, as they were the first to use Made for iPhone (MFi) technology. If you have an iPhone 11 or later, your ReSound hearing aids can function like a hands-free headset. Your hearing aids will pick up your voice, and you can keep your phone in your pocket! Specific Android devices are also compatible with ReSound, using the ASHA protocol, but you'll want to ensure your phone model is on the list of compatible devices. Unfortunately, the hands-free feature does not extend to Android phones without using an accessory, the Phone Clip+. However, ReSound's Bluetooth accessories, such as their Mini Mic and TV Streamer, are top-notch and some of the best assistive devices in the industry. Notably, the Multi Mic+ is a favorite amongst my patients, providing considerable help in a noisy restaurant or a similar setting. And for patients with a Cochlear Americas implant in the other ear, ReSound is, without a doubt, the best option. And perhaps the most exciting feature of all: ReSound NEXIA hearing aids are Auracast compatible! If you’re not familiar with Auracast, you can read more here. Essentially, it’s a future technology that will help you hear audio clearly in more public places. Think of it a little bit like picking up a radio station with the audio signal you’d like to hear - delivered directly to your hearing aids!
Oticon also offers excellent Bluetooth connectivity options, using MFi for iPhone and ASHA to connect Android phones. They are compatible with iPhone and iPad devices, functioning as a wireless headset and facilitating hands-free phone and video calls. This feature is incredibly convenient for busy individuals who need their hands free while speaking. And most recently, the Oticon Intent allows hands-free calls with compatible Android devices. Oticon's compatibility with a diverse range of devices and its high-quality streaming feature makes it a strong contender in this round. And last but not least, their new devices are also Bluetooth LE Audio compatible, meaning their Auracast-ready when the time comes.
In the battle of Bluetooth, ReSound wins the Bluetooth category!
Round Three – App Controls
The mobile app controls for hearing aids are essential for adjusting the settings and volume of your hearing aids. This is where the match-up gets interesting.
ReSound excels in-app features, offering a high degree of personalization that users appreciate. The ability to tailor programs, modify the noise filter, and adjust streaming settings provides a level of flexibility that empowers and liberates users. The premium technology offers a 'Front Focus' program, a boon in crowded, noisy environments like restaurants, enabling users to easily hone in on conversations. Moreover, the 'Check My Fit' feature is a fantastic tool for novices, guiding them smoothly through adjusting to their new hearing aids. And remember the 'Find My Hearing Aid' feature! It's evident that ReSound's commitment to user-friendly design and technology that truly responds to the needs of its users sets it apart in the competitive hearing aid market.
Oticon recently debuted their new Companion app, allowing you to fine-tune your hearing aid experience and access remote care all in one app. (Before the Companion app, there were two separate apps for app controls and remote programming.) The app, compatible with both iOS and Android platforms, allows you to adjust the hearing aid volume and switch between the different programs to suit your environment or needs. However, it's important to note that the Oticon Companion app only permits adjustments to streaming sound quality but not to the sound quality of the hearing aids themselves. Perhaps one of the most important features is the "Find My Hearing Aids" option, a life-saver for those stressful moments when your devices get misplaced.
ReSound takes the victory in this round due to its superior customizable features. With its highly personalized app controls, ReSound hearing aids allow users to drastically modify settings and adjust to their preferences. The 'Front Focus' program and 'Check My Fit' features are remarkable additions, offering users the flexibility and guidance needed to ensure an optimal hearing experience. While Oticon's Companion app does offer some customization, it falls short compared to the extensive personalization options offered by ReSound. Therefore, the winner of this round is unequivocally ReSound.
Round Four – Special Features
Oticon and ReSound offer unique and innovative features to improve the user experience.
ReSound's hearing aids stand out due to their unique M&RIE (Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear) technology. This feature significantly enhances the natural quality of sound, providing users with a more authentic, immersive listening experience. Notably, it also minimizes wind noise, a common challenge many hearing aid users face. The sound quality provided by Resound's M&RIE technology is, in my personal experience, superb and offers a crisp, clear, and well-rounded audio experience. It's worth mentioning, though, that this technology may not be the best fit for those with more than moderate hearing loss, as its effectiveness decreases with the severity of the hearing impairment. Nonetheless, M&RIE technology from Resound is a game-changer in enhancing sound quality and reducing environmental disruptions for those within its suitable range.
Oticon has greatly improved their user experience with enhanced wind reduction technology. This upgrade significantly mitigates the effect of wind noise during outdoor activities, making outings much more enjoyable for the user. In addition, Oticon has also focused on reducing handling noise. This ensures more comfortable listening, as any noises produced by the movement or handling of the hearing aids are minimized. The sounds of hair brushing against the microphones or the rumble of wind are disruptive sounds for the hearing aid wearer. These improvements showcase Oticon's dedication to fine-tuning their technology in response to user needs.
And the winner is… ReSound! Their groundbreaking M&RIE (Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear) technology places them firmly ahead of the competition. This feature, unique to ReSound, elevates the natural sound quality to an echelon yet to be matched by other hearing aids on the market. It allows users to enjoy an authentically immersive listening experience that feels incredibly close to natural hearing. Significantly, it also tackles the common issue of wind noise, improving users' engagement with the world around them. Although this technology may not be ideal for individuals with severe hearing loss, for others, it's nothing short of a revelation. Despite Oticon's commendable strides in wind reduction and handling noise mitigation, ReSound's innovative approach with M&RIE receivers sets them apart and earns them the crown in this comparison.
Round Five – Sound Quality
The sound quality of ReSound hearing aids is simply exceptional. ReSound boasts a bright sound quality that leaves the listener with an enriching auditory experience. Its signature sound has a certain edge that transforms how users perceive sound, adding a whole new dimension to their listening experience. This distinct audio quality sets ReSound devices apart from the rest.
Moreover, music lovers will particularly appreciate the excellent streaming music fidelity that ReSound hearing aids offer. The devices deliver a vibrant and clear sound, staying true to the original tone and tempo, ensuring that users fully immerse themselves in the melodies. Whether you're listening to a soothing symphony or an energetic rock track, ReSound ensures that every note resonates beautifully. This impeccable audio fidelity paves the way for a more intimate connection with music, making ReSound hearing aids a stellar choice for music aficionados.
On the other hand, Oticon prides itself on its smooth, mellow sound quality, which makes it a preferred choice for individuals who value the preservation of spatial cues. The nuanced detail in Oticon's sound reproduction is present without overpowering, making it a standout choice for those seeking fidelity in audio output. Particularly for patients who exhibit sound sensitivity, Oticon's mellow sound output can make all the difference in ensuring comfort and ease of usage.
Moreover, music lovers will find much to appreciate in Oticon's offerings. The devices are adept at capturing musical notes' intricacies, faithfully reproducing melodies' rhythm and richness. The softness of the sound, combined with its excellent spatial resolution, allows listeners to immerse themselves in the music, connecting with every beat and rhythm. For these reasons, I recommend Oticon hearing aids for music enthusiasts and individuals with sound sensitivity.
And the winner of the Sound Quality round is... ReSound! When it comes to providing a crisp, clear sound quality, ReSound outshines its competition. The vibrancy and clarity of sound achieved with ReSound devices are unparalleled. Their extraordinary ability to render every note in its proper form, coupled with excellent music streaming fidelity, makes them the preferred choice for those seeking an optimal auditory experience. The enriching, transformative listening experience offered by ReSound places it ahead in this round, making it the clear victor in the sound quality comparison.
After concluding our comprehensive comparison, it's time to announce the overall victor. The winner of this match-up is... ReSound! With their groundbreaking M&RIE technology and superior sound quality, ReSound stands out as a true innovator in hearing aids. Their commitment to enhancing the user experience, reducing environmental disruptions, and delivering spectacular audio fidelity makes them the clear winner in this match-up. However, it's important to note that Oticon also offers a solid performance focusing on mitigating handling and wind noise and preserving spatial cues. The decision ultimately lies in the user's specific needs and preferences. But based on our assessment, ReSound takes the crown in this showdown of the hearing aids.
Oticon and ReSound are two of the most reputable hearing aid brands. They offer similar features and styles, but some differences set them apart. After a head-to-head comparison, we can conclude that ReSound is a winner, thanks to its more stylish design, direct iPhone connectivity, innovative features, and unparalleled sound quality. However, choosing the right hearing aid ultimately depends on your preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Be sure to consult with your audiologist before making a decision.