When I first started in this field there were three major manufacturers who made very powerful hearing aids for people with severe hearing losses. Unitron, Phonak, (who did not yet purchase Unitron), and Oticon. These were the go-to companies for patients with severe to profound hearing losses, and while they had other products, these were their staple items. Oticon has come a long way since then, they were the first company to truly accelerate the digital era by introducing a digital chip which would learn the habits of the user and adapt those changes over time; literally learning the preferences of its owner. Based on the HAL, the computer which ran the ship in the movie 2001; A Space Oddessy, the Adapto chip became the norm in all hearing aids several years later.

More recently Oticon has taken the Channel Free technology that it inherited from it’s sister company, Bernafon, and used that to increase clarity overall, but more specifically to help enhance music. Their new Alta 1 chip has the clearest digital music interpretation of any hearing aid I have heard before or since. In the future I hope they continue this research, as I know has several friends who, as self proclaimed Audiophiles, live for the highest definition of sound they can find.

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