Cochlear Implants in noisy bars and nightclubs

leviathan54

New Member
Hi All

I'm in the process of getting a cochlear implant. Not sure which brand i will be getting just yet but doing heaps of research..

I'm aware that cochlear implants are not so great in noisy environment correct?

Perhaps those with experience can enlighten me?

What can expect in each of the following environments - with and without an assistive listening device
1. Restaurants with lots of talking going around and no music background
2. Restaurant with talking and music
3. Bars
4. Nightclub/discotheque
 

HOH-ME

Member
I have Advanced Bionics and with the UltraZoom program, you will likely hear better in those situations then people with "normal" hearing. It's a wonderful bit of technology!
 

cdmeggers

Well-Known Member
I don't know what Cochlear or MedEl has to offer for noisy situations, but Advanced Bionics has ClearVoice and UltraZoom. I have ClearVoice Medium and UltraZoom together on one slot, but still having a hard time in noisy situations. I'm going to ask my audiologist to boost my ClearVoice up to High and see if that makes a difference.
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
Mine suck in noisy environments. Even with the fancy programs. Completely useless, I just take them off. FREEDOM'S one has been broken a year though.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app
 

Bebonang

Active Member
I don't understand why you have to have CI to be clear up in noisy environment. Do you know that hearing people can not hear in noisy places and that is normal? They have to shout or write down on papers to communicate.

You just going to have to accept this as there are lots of noises in the hearing world. You can not minimized the noises. If you have a quiet place where you can understand what is going on without being noisy. That would be great.

Like Soutthpaw said, "Completely useless, I just take them off". It is good to have Golden Silence for a change. Why would you want to depend sounds so much? Give your hearing a rest. You will feel at peace eating your food at the restaurant or sipping a drink at the noisy bar, even at nightclub. You will find how much better without sound for a short time. Give it a try. :)
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
when I was involved with research studies at Cochlear, I asked about noise canceling programs. Was told the problem is the background noise is on the same frequencies as speech, that's why it's so difficult to make CI work well in those environments

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Angel1989

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Mine suck in noisy environments. Even with the fancy programs. Completely useless, I just take them off. FREEDOM'S one has been broken a year though.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app

I totally agree with you....the only way I can hear with my CI at a not so noisy restaurant is to plug in my microphone clip and have the other person talk right into it.

Bebonang is correct....I was hearing, bars with lot's of people and loud music is difficult even for a hearing person. Shouting is very common.
 
I don't know what Cochlear or MedEl has to offer for noisy situations, but Advanced Bionics has ClearVoice and UltraZoom. I have ClearVoice Medium and UltraZoom together on one slot, but still having a hard time in noisy situations. I'm going to ask my audiologist to boost my ClearVoice up to High and see if that makes a difference.

What is your IDR on UltraZoom? I think it can go lower than 60 if need be, and lowering IDR can help as well if there's too much other noise. I had my audiologist boost my CV to high on my ultra zoom program, and I heard people better but it made all the background noise sound tinny. I found that too weird and too uncomfortable, so I went back to CV medium on my ultra zoom, and I have an IDR of 65 on that program. There is always a trade off, so it depends what you prefer.
 

leviathan54

New Member
Thanks All

I'm interested to know..I'm not entirely sure i should need to explain why i wish to know.

I've worn hearing aids all my life. I'm a social person, i like being where my friends are which happens to be in noisy places a fair bit. I manage with some difficulty. It would totally suck if the cochlears are useless in such environment. I've read (correctly or not) that Cochlears white out when volume is above a certain level? is this correct?

I'm not asking about how normal hearing people do..I'm sure they struggle to some extent, no doubt there is some shouting but as an observation, they do manage to have conversations and engage with the people around them far more successfully than a deaf person ever will. Its not a like for like comparison. It actually annoys me when hearing people say they struggle too, they may struggle but they sure don't have the same social exclusion or isolation when it comes to communication and engagement....I'm profoundly deaf, i wear two superpwoer hearing aids. do the best i can with the hearing I have always have and for the most part i do a reasonable job or it so. A hearing person cannot possibly expect to tell me it is difficult for them by comparison. Anyway I know your trying to be helpful but i thing your getting away from my question, so lets please stick to it...

Taking a cochlear off to enjoy the silence defeats the whole purpose of getting a cochlear. It dis-engages you from those around you. Thats exactly what i don't want. I know cochlear implant has limitations, but i want to know...I get by with my hearing aids, i dont doubt i will do better in quiet situation with a cochlear implant compared to my current hearing and use of hearing aids...but i really hope it wont be worse in noisy situations...hence me wanting to know
 

cdmeggers

Well-Known Member
What is your IDR on UltraZoom? I think it can go lower than 60 if need be, and lowering IDR can help as well if there's too much other noise. I had my audiologist boost my CV to high on my ultra zoom program, and I heard people better but it made all the background noise sound tinny. I found that too weird and too uncomfortable, so I went back to CV medium on my ultra zoom, and I have an IDR of 65 on that program. There is always a trade off, so it depends what you prefer.

I will definitely discuss this with my audie. She has me at 70 on all programs if I remember right. It does take some playing around with different setting options to find out what works best for different situations, for sure.
 

cdmeggers

Well-Known Member
I don't understand why you have to have CI to be clear up in noisy environment. Do you know that hearing people can not hear in noisy places and that is normal? They have to shout or write down on papers to communicate.

You just going to have to accept this as there are lots of noises in the hearing world. You can not minimized the noises. If you have a quiet place where you can understand what is going on without being noisy. That would be great.

Like Soutthpaw said, "Completely useless, I just take them off". It is good to have Golden Silence for a change. Why would you want to depend sounds so much? Give your hearing a rest. You will feel at peace eating your food at the restaurant or sipping a drink at the noisy bar, even at nightclub. You will find how much better without sound for a short time. Give it a try. :)


Not everyone is going to think the same. Yes, I do enjoy silence at times. But if I'm in a social setting where I want to socialize, I'd want to try to hear as much as I can to keep up with what's going on. Everyone is different and will do what they want. No need to randomly go around spouting "silence is golden!" and "why bother with the CI if it's useless?" Do YOU have a CI? No? Then shut up. Every one is DIFFERENT, let them do what they want, even if that means trying to make the best of hearing in a noisy situation with what they have. Some people with CIs do have success with hearing in noisy situations, and others do not. Again, it's different for everyone. Some people LIKE and WANT to hear what's going on around them. So be it.
 
Being able to hear goes a long ways in a bar or club. While I'm sure there are a few folks that don't mind being nice enough to take the time to write notes back and forth, the vast majority are going to ignore you once they realize you are deaf. It's just way too much trouble. That is reality, even though it sucks. I definitely prefer not to limit my interactions to note-writers and deaf fetishists (meaning hearing-people that objectify deaf people. They are attracted to your deafness, not you. It is generally bad news. These folks turn up in the deaf community, attracted to it because it gives them a sense of power.) For those who really don't have a choice or option as far as being deaf, the positive way to look at it is you quickly filter out those who aren't worth your time.

You can talk directly into my ear just as you would a normal hearing person (I have the Tmic, which is placed in the ear.) I have enough practice to filter out the noise/music and focus on the most immediate sound.. which is the voice of the person speaking into my ear. The main issue is they often go for my other ear, which is completely deaf. I do not use Clear Voice or Ultra Zoom in these instances as they will only get in the way.

UltraZoom is ideal for restaurants which can be noisy, but relatively quieter than a club. Ambient music isn't normally an issue anymore than chatter.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
I totally agree with you....the only way I can hear with my CI at a not so noisy restaurant is to plug in my microphone clip and have the other person talk right into it.

Bebonang is correct....I was hearing, bars with lot's of people and loud music is difficult even for a hearing person. Shouting is very common.

So loud that my hearing friends who are fluent in ASL end up signing to each other to communicate!
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
Thanks All

I'm interested to know..I'm not entirely sure i should need to explain why i wish to know.

I've worn hearing aids all my life. I'm a social person, i like being where my friends are which happens to be in noisy places a fair bit. I manage with some difficulty. It would totally suck if the cochlears are useless in such environment. I've read (correctly or not) that Cochlears white out when volume is above a certain level? is this correct?

I'm not asking about how normal hearing people do..I'm sure they struggle to some extent, no doubt there is some shouting but as an observation, they do manage to have conversations and engage with the people around them far more successfully than a deaf person ever will. Its not a like for like comparison. It actually annoys me when hearing people say they struggle too, they may struggle but they sure don't have the same social exclusion or isolation when it comes to communication and engagement....I'm profoundly deaf, i wear two superpwoer hearing aids. do the best i can with the hearing I have always have and for the most part i do a reasonable job or it so. A hearing person cannot possibly expect to tell me it is difficult for them by comparison. Anyway I know your trying to be helpful but i thing your getting away from my question, so lets please stick to it...

Taking a cochlear off to enjoy the silence defeats the whole purpose of getting a cochlear. It dis-engages you from those around you. Thats exactly what i don't want. I know cochlear implant has limitations, but i want to know...I get by with my hearing aids, i dont doubt i will do better in quiet situation with a cochlear implant compared to my current hearing and use of hearing aids...but i really hope it wont be worse in noisy situations...hence me wanting to know

I've had almost 200 mappings during a few cochlear research studies and countless hours of testing etc. Have I once had normal/near normal hearing and then used hearing aids, I can say from my personal experience you will definitely do better with hearing aids in nose than with a CI.... Or 2 of them in my case. I'd stay with HA unless they are no longer of benefit as was my case.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
So loud that my hearing friends who are fluent in ASL end up signing to each other to communicate!

Agreed...... it's pretty much the norm to function as at best HOH with hearing technology, whether CI or HA. Except in rare cases, it doesn't allow you to function as hearing. Hard of hearing is not hearing.
 

HOH-ME

Member
I've had almost 200 mappings during a few cochlear research studies and countless hours of testing etc. Have I once had normal/near normal hearing and then used hearing aids, I can say from my personal experience you will definitely do better with hearing aids in nose than with a CI.... Or 2 of them in my case. I'd stay with HA unless they are no longer of benefit as was my case.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app

I SO disagree with this!!! In my almost 20 years of HA use, they were worthless in noise, even with the various noise programs I had later on. They sort of helped with the right people/voices but compared to my CI's they were garbage. Like I said earlier, I hear better than most "normal" hearing people in noise/restaurants now, even without using my Ultrazoom programs. Not all CI manufactures have the good technology, but AB's Ultrazoom is heads and tails better than any HA.
 
Unless you have a CI, you have no business commenting on how people hear or do not hear with it.

All I ever heard in noisy environments with hearing aids was noise. If I listened carefully, I might get just a sliver of one person's voice.

Contrast that experience with my experience, as described below, with an Advanced Bionics CI:

Last month, I went to a social event that was located at a bar and there were over 70 or so people who attended that night. I could bounce back and forth among different groups and jump into different conversations without any difficulty. I could differentiate among everyone's voices and identify the person very clearly. I could turn my back and recognize who several people I knew were just my hearing their own voices. Ambient noise in the bar and on the TV wasn't an issue. There were quite a few hearing people who had to ask me to repeat myself or turn their ear to me to listen intently because they had difficulty hearing. I didn't have to ask one person to repeat themselves that night or make such an effort to listen.

People with normal hearing have difficulty hearing too. Hearing with a CI may not be the normal hearing that one would typically experience, but can be damn close to it in both quiet and in noise. Way better than being HOH in the moderate range with hearing aids that just amplify everything rather than give you the potential to differentiate sound in noise.
 
Agreed...... it's pretty much the norm to function as at best HOH with hearing technology, whether CI or HA. Except in rare cases, it doesn't allow you to function as hearing. Hard of hearing is not hearing.

deafdyke, you make it sound like CI's are more limiting than what they actually have the potential to do. What limitations are present with CI's mostly depends on someone's individual hearing history. Also, how someone's central auditory system functions in the brain plays a role in how quickly one is able to process language and integrate sound once it gets to the brain.

It allows me to function as close to hearing as possible without hearing loss being that much of an issue. If my hearing isn't problematic with a CI overall and there's evidence that I'm doing reasonably well on par with what my hearing peers are also doing, there's no point in playing hearing olympics OR comparing myself to how people hear with hearing aids.

While no one's hearing is perfect, my CI allows me to function more hearing than not. YMMV depending on your hearing history, language base, central auditory system functioning, integrity of auditory nerves, and in part, which CI you choose.
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
I SO disagree with this!!! In my almost 20 years of HA use, they were worthless in noise, even with the various noise programs I had later on. They sort of helped with the right people/voices but compared to my CI's they were garbage. Like I said earlier, I hear better than most "normal" hearing people in noise/restaurants now, even without using my Ultrazoom programs. Not all CI manufactures have the good technology, but AB's Ultrazoom is heads and tails better than any HA.

This illustrates one very important point. Results for CI recipients cannot be generalized...
It's much easier to predict hearing aid success than CI.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AllDeaf App mobile app
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
deafdyke, you make it sound like CI's are more limiting than what they actually have the potential to do. What limitations are present with CI's mostly depends on someone's individual hearing history. Also, how someone's central auditory system functions in the brain plays a role in how quickly one is able to process language and integrate sound once it gets to the brain.

It allows me to function as close to hearing as possible without hearing loss being that much of an issue. If my hearing isn't problematic with a CI overall and there's evidence that I'm doing reasonably well on par with what my hearing peers are also doing, there's no point in playing hearing olympics OR comparing myself to how people hear with hearing aids.

While no one's hearing is perfect, my CI allows me to function more hearing than not. YMMV depending on your hearing history, language base, central auditory system functioning, integrity of auditory nerves, and in part, which CI you choose.

Really? Then how come you still need stuff like ALDs, closed captioned, FMs, seeing the speaker and all those other accomondations? Hearing people don't need all that stuff.... The research indicates that almost all people (including postlingal/late deafened people) still use pretty much ALL the same accomondations that dhh people have used historically. I don't understand why CIers take it as an insult that CIs work differently for different people.
THAT is a FACT.....Nobody's saying that they don't work..... we're just saying that they work differently for different people, and it's very rare for even a late deafened person to function exactly like a hearing person with a CI....
 
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