16 vs 22 electrodes

BlackLabDad

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We are in the process of choosing a brand of CI for our daughter who is about to turn 3. Both Cochlear and Advanced Bionics seem to be good. But can anyone explain the key difference in having 16 vs 22 electrodes. AB has 16 and Cochlear has 22, but AB says that it has 120 virtual points. Any info on this is much appreciated. Thanks.
 

LoveBlue

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@LoveBlue , can you please throw some light?
Hmm, I'm not really good at the technical part but I can give you some resources (for Advanced Bionics - AB) where you can find more info.

hearingjourney.com - this is a user community and some of the participants are very knowledgeable about the technical side of our implants. You do have to sign up on the site. Many people have come onto the site to help them decide if AB is right for them. You can also find an AB mentor on the site.

If you do not already know who the CICS (Cochlear Implant Consumer Specialist) is in your area, you can contact AB or a mentor and they'll have your CICS contact you.

It is my understanding that the virtual 120 provide the ability for AB to continue to do much more with their processors in providing optimal sound. They just came out with a new processor, the Marvel, that users who have upgraded are very happy with. They're reporting that voices sound crisper and clearer...not that voices don't sound good already (I have the previous version and won't be eligible for an upgrade till next year).

Remember that sound quality / speech understanding is the important part of choosing an implant, not the bells and whistles that come with the processors. :)

@cdmeggers, can you add anything to this? Thanks.
 

x1heavy

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I try to keep things simple, minimizing the amount of heavy lifting on virtual things. There is sound. Move that sound to the person's Mind. Done.

Anything else extra becomes a bit of a bells and whistles problem that one needs to carefully examine with professionals who are going to help you decide which unit to get.

For example Ive been offered hearing aids that are capable of wireless connection to my smart phone and I could do anything to the hearing aids from that. I told them no. I want basic strong digitals that move sound from there to me. And a lot of it. Nothing else. No wireless, no doodads, no fancy stuff. Its over complicated as it is.
 

Jane B.

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I try to keep things simple, minimizing the amount of heavy lifting on virtual things. There is sound. Move that sound to the person's Mind. Done.

Anything else extra becomes a bit of a bells and whistles problem that one needs to carefully examine with professionals who are going to help you decide which unit to get.

For example Ive been offered hearing aids that are capable of wireless connection to my smart phone and I could do anything to the hearing aids from that. I told them no. I want basic strong digitals that move sound from there to me. And a lot of it. Nothing else. No wireless, no doodads, no fancy stuff. Its over complicated as it is.
Sorry but you are off topic. To me it is clear you are talking about hearing aids when the thread is about brand choice for a cochlear Implant
 

x1heavy

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Sorry but you are off topic. To me it is clear you are talking about hearing aids when the thread is about brand choice for a cochlear Implant
Not necessarily. I used my old hearing aids as a example. The Audiologist offered me virtual services via my smart phone with newer aids either in ear or cochlear. I was even asked if I wanted Cochlear as well. I said no.

The topic talks about using a smart phone to adjust or refine whatever processing is going on in the cochlear or hearing aid. Under the word "Virtual"

When the surgeon makes the connections between the implanted cochlear to the person's mind via that person's inner ear structure there is a awful lot of precision going on already. No need to confuse or befuddle the person any further.
 

LoveBlue

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@x1heavy, actually the topic has nothing to do with smart phones, etc. The virtual the OP is talking about is how the 16 electrodes can produce virtually 120 spectral bands (five times more sound resolution).


 

TexasEngineer

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BlackLabDad, you may already have seen this: https://cochlearimplanthelp.com/cochlear-implant-comparison-chart/

I am a lifetime wearer of bilateral hearing aids, and finally had a CI done 5 years ago with AB. As you no doubt have heard, they say that there isn't much difference in hearing perception between the three main CI brands. My sister-in-law has a Cochlear CI and she loves it.
What won me over to Advanced Bionics was:
1. While a newer company than Cochlear, they have had more new innovative developments and patents in the last few years.
2. While Cochlear has more electrodes/channels (22) than AB (16), Cochlear can only stimulate one electrode at a time where AB can stimulate 4 electrodes simultaneously (currently, and with future software updates can potentially stimulate up to all 16 electrodes simultaneously). The ability to stimulate multiple electrodes is why AB is able to claim "120 channel" capability instead of 16. The claim is that 120 channels results in a more natural reproduction of sound and better appreciation of music.
3. While you can upgrade your CI processor every few years as the technology improves, you are stuck with the implant you use, i.e. the electrodes that are implanted in your inner ear. My perception is that AB has better "upgradability" with their electrode array (see item #2 above).
4. Phonak owns AB (both brands are now under the name Sonova Holdings). As a long-time wearer of Phonak hearing aids (I still wear one in my non-CI ear) I've been impressed with Phonak's innovation and overall quality of hearing.
 

Beach girl

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I realize I’m replying to a year-old post, but I’m wondering if being able to stimulate 4 electrodes at a time as AB does would help with listening to chords in music. Can anyone speak to that?
 

LoveBlue

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I realize I’m replying to a year-old post, but I’m wondering if being able to stimulate 4 electrodes at a time as AB does would help with listening to chords in music. Can anyone speak to that?
I've been hearing positive reviews from AB users about music with the new processor. Music sounds ok to me, with the previous processor, but then I wasn't one, before HAs and CIs, who paid much attention to the different instruments, chords, etc.
 

TexasEngineer

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Beach girl and LoveBlue,
I upgraded in February of this year to AB's new Marvel processor (Naida CI M90) and its companion hearing aid Phonak Naida Link M. The processor is on my left ear and the hearing aid on my right ear. I can report that music does sound better, but it is an incremental improvement going from the old processor to the new. The greatest improvement of course was 6 years ago going from a hearing aid in the left ear to the cochlear implant.

More importantly, the new Marvel processor seamlessly integrates directly with your smartphone, laptop, and any other bluetooth device. No more Phonak Compilot, and I suspect that because it is direct from the phone to the processor/hearingaid the sound quality is substantially better. I do a lot of WFH using Microsoft Teams on my Laptop, and the direct connection between laptop and processor is really amazing, as the microphones on the processor and hearing aid picks up my voice when I speak and transmits it to the laptop. I've asked colleagues on the Teams call whether they can hear me, and they say it sounds very good and clear.

One point I'd like to make if you are considering upgrading from the older AB processor to the new Marvel. If you have insurance coverage, do make sure that the insurance company approves the upgrade as "in-network" before you make the purchase. If they approve it as "out-of-network" and you make the purchase, then you will be on the hook for substantial copays, and AB will require you to purchase the new processor and then you will have to claw back any reimbursement from the insurance company. My insurance company initially approved my upgrade as "out-of-network", and it took me two months to get them to change it to "in-network". I refused to make the purchase until the change was made.
 

TexasEngineer

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Beach girl,
To respond to your query on whether AB's ability to stimulate 4 electrodes simultaneously improves listening to chords in music, I can't honestly say whether it is better than Cochlear's implant/processor, since I have no way to compare. :dunno:
I can say that I have a much greater appreciation of music than I did pre-implantation. I'm now discovering the beauty of classical music as well as certain bands like Queen. I love hearing the electric guitar riffs now!
 
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