“Ground-breaking” hearing aids give children access to the full sound environment
Hearing aids specialist Oticon is introducing the award-winning hearing technologies of Oticon More into its new hearing aids that give children a closer-to-natural listening experience.
The new Oticon Play PX family – Oticon’s first paediatric hearing aids – are the world’s first hearing aids for children with an on-board Deep Neural Network (DNN). Trained with 12 million sound scenes from real-life, this intelligent DNN has learned to recognise sounds through experience, just like how a child’s brain does.
With the DNN technology, children with hearing loss are provided access to the entire sound scene and a closer-to-natural listening experience.
A variety of meaningful sound is important for the development of a child’s auditory system, according to the hearing specialist, and Oticon Play PX hearing aids have been developed to provide this.
Ensuring that children have access to the entire sound scene in any environment while controlling noise, Oticon Play PX helps support children’s brains to both handle sound and hear naturally.
Oticon has optimised the technology of Oticon More, adapting the “revolutionary” hearing technology that adults have access to, specifically for children. Oticon’s Genie 2 software features pre-set fitting options for children according to age, which also take a child’s growth into account, so that Oticon Play PX can help support every stage of a child’s hearing system as it develops.
Thomas Behrens, Chief of Audiology at Oticon, said: “At Oticon, we know that children with hearing loss need access to all relevant sounds in the rich sound scenes they grow up in, and our latest paediatric hearing aids have been developed to do just that.
“The experiences children have as they grow rapidly through childhood to adolescence play a vital role in stimulating the brain and supporting development of important skills and cognitive function. Without full access to the world around them and communication, children with hearing loss lack sufficient sensory input, which is why we are offering children the new approach to sound processing delivered by our innovative MoreSound technologies.
“With the best technology available from Oticon, and adapted according to age, children are better supported to learn and meet developmental targets at a pace on par with their peers.”
A new study by Oticon ‘Oticon Play PX: Supporting Communication, Learning and Inclusion for Children and Teens’, demonstrates that Oticon Play PX makes sound from all directions clearer for speech recognition and recall than hearing aids using traditional and OMNI directional hearing technology. Notably, in some conditions, speech recognition and recall, even in noisy environments, can be similar to the normal hearing range, according to the paper.
By giving children’s brains access to the full sound environment in a more natural way, therefore improving their access to communication and promoting participation in everyday listening environments, Oticon Play PX provides support for language, learning, emotional and social development.
The paediatric hearing aids are powered by Polaris, a powerful platform featuring the new MoreSound Intelligence, MoreSound Amplifier and MoreSound Optimizer. Together, these technologies help children enjoy a more natural representation of all sounds in a clear and complete sound scene with fine contrast and balance between sounds, and optimal, stable amplification. Oticon says this is comfortable and “much less likely” to cause feedback when children are playing, hugging and interacting.
Oticon Play PX is supported by EduMic, a remote microphone system built for educational settings. Children can also wirelessly stream from iPhones and Androids with the hearing aids.
The hearing aids are available in a variety of colours, as well as being robust and comfortable. The new paediatric hearing aid family features two BTE styles and two miniRITE styles, including two rechargeable styles.