UPDATE – AUGUST 11 2016: We checked today, and the website described below is still selling Oticon Opn aids to the general public with no local audiological support.
Oticon’s new Opn hearing aids were recently discovered for sale online for a conspicuously low price. While we’d rather not divulge the exact price, we can confirm that the direct-to-consumer cost was so low that some practicing audiologists reported paying the same amount to purchase their own hearing aid stock.
Online Sales Incident Reported
The online seller was reported to a closed group of audiologists on Facebook:
In a matter of hours the seller was reported to Oticon by group members. Oticon has reportedly contacted the online retailer and terminated their buyer contract:
Protecting Consumer and Audiologists
Oticon’s move was welcomed by audiologists (as indicated by the number of likes on the comment above), and should be welcomed by consumers as well. Oticon’s Opn hearing aids are capable of outputting 127 dB SPL, and have the potential to cause immediate hearing damage in the hands of the wrong person:
While Hearing Tracker has taken the position of embracing new hearing device technologies, we are also aware of the complexity of medical-grade hearing aids. Devices that have the potential to produce extremely high decibel output should be carefully fitted by audiologists using output verification via Real Ear Measurement (REM). To fit a hearing aid any other way is irresponsible and reckless. The risk to further damaging your remaining hearing just isn’t worth it.
Finding a Responsible Audiologist
In the past we’ve been asked “Where do I find an audiologist who does Real Ear Measurements?” Browse over to our Find a Hearing Clinic page and select “Real Ear Measurements” to find someone in your area who performs the test.
It would appear that the online seller is still selling the Oticon Opn. We will continue to monitor the situation and confirm when the seller’s Opn listing has been removed.
Last modified: August 11, 2016