This little gadget has been promised for almost a year now, and it has finally arrived. When Oticon released the OPN Velox hearing aid platform, people loved the natural sound, especially in a group setting, thanks to OPN Sound Navigator. It was also really exciting to have a new Made For iPhone hearing aid family available on the market. However, it lacked one, very obvious shartfall- there was no way to connect it to any other non-iOS cellphone- so Android users were stuck in the dark. But they recently released a little device available that just might be a game changer:

The Oticon Connectclip is small (52x27x18cm) and can be worn clipped onto a collar or on a strap around your neck. It comes with a sweet little leather pouch that it slips into for extra protection. It charges using micro-USB, which is the same as you probably use to charge your Android phone anyway- so it’s super convenient.

Last week I received my first order of the Connectclip for a patient who has been wearing his OPN hearing aids for about a month. I must say I was surprised by the size- it really is small and can certainly be worn quite discreetly. I was also excited to find out that it can be used as a remote microphone in addition to it’s streaming function, which makes it ideal for business people and those who really struggle in a noisy environment. I found the device very easy to pair with the hearing aids, and also simple to pair with the phone- although with the huge variety of Android phones from many different suppliers available, I imagine that it might not always be so straightforward. I have said many times that Audiologists these days need to double as cellphone technicians!

My patient was THRILLED with the Connectclip. It worked right away (after pairing) and he reported that the sound quality was excellent, especially for listening to music from his phone. I’m interested to see how things go moving forward, and I will certainly let everyone know if I get any other feedback from him or any other patients.

As an Audiologist, I have seen many patients do extremely well with the OPN platform for it’s excellent sound quality and performance in that most-dreaded sound environment- the big group. Now that the ConnectClip is finally available, I imagine that any patients who hesitated because of the missing Android connectivity will be right back. I even think that the ConnectClip could be a good purchase for Apple users, as it adds a ‘hands free’ element to taking calls. With Direct to iPhone the user still needs to actually hold the phone near their mouth in order to have a phone conversation- the ConnectClip means your phone could stay in your pocket or handbag while you chat.

One last time for other hearing healthcare professionals- remember that as the ConnectClip is a recent addition to the OPN platform, you will need to update Genie 2 before you can fit one, and you will also need to update the patients’ hearing aids, which must be done the old fashioned way- cabled, with flex strips. This doesn’t take too long but it’s nice to be prepared for it before the patient comes in.

Have you had any experience with OPN hearing aids or the ConnectClip? Comment below with your experiences or any questions.