Cochlear or Advanced Bionics?

Advanced Bionics is heads and tails better than Cochlear. The technology is cutting edge and the results of the new processor/implant have far exceeded an other brand in sound quality and speech perception results. Cochlear has maxed out the available technology in their implants where AB has used only about 25% of the available upgrades. Given that your implant will be with you for life, you want the best chance to accept upgrades in the future. You just can't with Cochlear.
Hold on there...Yes, Cochlear's processing strategy can be little dated but it is still good! And it will get better with newer processor's features! One example, Cochlear is awaiting FDA approval for new software(SCAN) with improved noise software that is comparable to AB ClearVoice! Plus, I heard that Cochlear Freedom implant and CI500 implant have more RAM than older generation but that about it.. See, there is always room for improvement.
Now, you mentioned that Cochlear cant accept upgrade in the future. With Cochlear, YES you can! Cochlear always give out processor upgrade no matter how old the implant is. 5, 15, 30 years ago, thats fine.. Cochlear will still support it! Nucleus 22(1985-1998ish) users will able to get Nucleus 6 processor in Spring 2015. Thats why Cochlear have a neat slogan called "Hear now And always" Because they are committed to keep supporting all Cochlear branded implant. Can your AB upgrade your CI for life? IMO, I dont think so.. Not after what happen with AB Clarion upgrade fiasco. Clarion 1.0/1.2 users CANNOT get Naida upgrade! If they want Naida upgrade, then they have to go through another surgery to remove old C1 implant and replace with Hires90K implant. Few people already done that. Anyway.. I dont SEE any type of lifelong commitment from AB. I dont care how advanced it is as long it get the job done. What is the point of having advanced hardware if AB not willing to support that long? Thats why I went with Cochlear.
 
Hold on there...Yes, Cochlear's processing strategy can be little dated but it is still good! And it will get better with newer processor's features! One example, Cochlear is awaiting FDA approval for new software(SCAN) with improved noise software that is comparable to AB ClearVoice! Plus, I heard that Cochlear Freedom implant and CI500 implant have more RAM than older generation but that about it.. See, there is always room for improvement.
Now, you mentioned that Cochlear cant accept upgrade in the future. With Cochlear, YES you can! Cochlear always give out processor upgrade no matter how old the implant is. 5, 15, 30 years ago, thats fine.. Cochlear will still support it! Nucleus 22(1985-1998ish) users will able to get Nucleus 6 processor in Spring 2015. Thats why Cochlear have a neat slogan called "Hear now And always" Because they are committed to keep supporting all Cochlear branded implant. Can your AB upgrade your CI for life? IMO, I dont think so.. Not after what happen with AB Clarion upgrade fiasco. Clarion 1.0/1.2 users CANNOT get Naida upgrade! If they want Naida upgrade, then they have to go through another surgery to remove old C1 implant and replace with Hires90K implant. Few people already done that. Anyway.. I dont SEE any type of lifelong commitment from AB. I dont care how advanced it is as long it get the job done. What is the point of having advanced hardware if AB not willing to support that long? Thats why I went with Cochlear.
Your post reflects a common lack of understanding of Cochlear's and AB's technology and their differences.

Front-end features like SCAN are not substitutes for advanced processing strategies like AB's and Med El's. They do nothing to change the actual hearing happening inside your head. Your processing strategy is the same. SCAN is simply a combination of front-end features and it is not a given that users will want to use it as some will find it to interfere with their hearing. You can count on both Med El and AB offering similar front-end features, which takes away any perceived marketing advantage Cochlear hopes to have by rolling out SCAN.

What was meant by Cochlear not being able to do future upgrades was in reference to the processing strategies, not external processors. The design of the array is very simple compared to AB and Med El. The perfect example is while AB and Med El can direct current deeper into the Cochlea to expand the low frequencies, Cochlear will never be able to do this. No processor upgrade or even any possible new strategy will not make this possible.

Referring to Clarion users is a common approach for Cochlear users when arguing against AB. You cannot compare Cochlear's history with AB's. The Clarion recipient-base is a very small population compared to the HI Res 90 K base. The reason Clarion users have been unable to use either the Neptune or Naida is their power consumption needs are too high. They could not use either of the newer processors without an unreasonable number of battery changes throughout the day.

The technology behind the Hi Res 90K has been kept for a number of internal implant generations at this point, which is exactly the same as what Cochlear has been doing. The difference is Cochlear is only able to offer backwards compatibility because they have essentially been doing the same thing as selling a X486 PC running Windows 3.1 all along all for the purpose of running the same software. They then market this backwards compatibility as "technology" when it is actually stagnation. AB could have done exactly the same with the Clarion array, but chose to design an advanced device that would have much more capability going into the future. This kept the user-base for the original array design small. Cochlear will have to do this sooner or later and yes, this will leave behind multiple generations of users who will be unable to run the processing strategies that Cochlear offers to users of a more advanced array than what they have offered for going on 3 decades now.

There is something to be said for running old technology. There was software that I loved that I wish I could still run on my new computer, so I certainly understand the perspective of a Cochlear user. It's good software and you are happy with it. However, most of the time the gains from advanced technology outweigh the loss of being able to run old software that we developed a nostalgic attachment to.

The situation with Clarion users is unfortunate, but AB had to move on to a new array that would provide a lot of wiggle room for technology and power consumption. They simply could not be locked down to an initial design. They needed to provide an array they could realistically support for multiple decades and not be hampered by the design.
 

NYNY

Member
Hey everyone! I finally went to a Cochlear Implant specialist and he gave me the run down to what to expect, process before and after surgery. He encouraged me to talk with anyone that has the implant done to learn from their experiences, brand they use. The brand choices I would have is Cochlear, AB and Med El.... I'm leaning towards more AB or Cochlear but still value stories and opinions
AB has about 15% of the market and Cochlear has about 65% with Med El coming in also at 15% but are privately held. I went with AB because Cochlear has so many things I don't need. AB's customer service has been outstanding and more than prompt. Cochlear also probably has decent service since there are three CI companies competing against each other.

I looked through the marketing material for Cochlear and it looks like a better fit for someone more active than I am. AB, while disappointed in the CI - it has nothing to do with how it's made, was my choice and the product seems fine.
 
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