To All CI users.


New Member
Recently I have thought about Cochlear Implants, and it's my understanding that each individual has a unique experience (good/bad) so unique in fact, it's like a "fingerprint". The trouble with such uniqueness is that it's difficult for someone to choose a brand (advanced bionics, cochlear, or med-el) I suppose my question is, if you could go back to when you started your journey, what questions would you have asked your Audiologists and doctors? Also, looking at information that is available online and in the Brands pamphlet, how would you guide someone through the technical jargon?
Also, looking at information that is available online and in the Brands pamphlet, how would you guide someone through the technical jargon?

You'll find all of your answers here:

I'm not sure about your "bad" experiences question. While there are complainers, they usually also say they would never go back to a hearing aid if they could. The bad experiences I've seen have been from those that should never have gotten an implant in the first place: prelingually deafened with no real concept of sound even through a hearing aid. You cannot have a deaf brain and expect to hear whether by CI or cure. If you are prelingual and have been wearing a hearing aid with the ability to identify the sounds you hear, a CI will help you (assuming you meet the etiological criteria.)
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Each manufacture has a forum similar to this website. I've been watching the other two companies websites-I registered at all of them when I was trying to decide. I have yet to see anyone achieve the results people are getting with the mid-scala implant and Naida with the other brands. Most people activated in the past year have achieved 90+% AZBio speech scores and in the 80% rage AZBio in noise...

Advanced Bionics, hands down, has the best product on the market right now, along with the best, by far, customer service.

Frisky Feline

Well-Known Member
I'm not a ci user. Some of my friends do. Research on the company to see about how many frequent sounds you want or long period of company or upgrading or many reasons. From my own witnesses. Mostly AB and cochlear are the one they picked.

Dr. Mario

New Member
Advanced Bionics HiRes 90k user here.

It's correct that not everyone are the same, and some doctors actually ask you during candidacy exam if you're born deaf as it's pretty important: it's due to how the brains are wired up.

And, since not everyone has the same cochlea topology, it's approximate as per electrode numbers and placement (which is slightly complicated due to how your brain registers the sounds being transmitted from the implant itself, also determined by software settings saved onto the sound processor's flash memory).


New Member
I got a CI about 18 months ago. I also found it difficult to understand and choose a brand. I read the literature and was somewhat frustrated that the doctor didn't make a recommendation. I did look to see if any brands had recent quality problems.

Dr. Mario

New Member
Advanced Bionics, and Cochlear are good on updating the BTE sound processors on even the existent cochlear implant, AB Clarion CII (and HiRes 90k containing CII chips inside) being completely reprogrammable (CII is already capable of up to 200+ virtual channels yet to be tapped, only 121 is used, due to limitations of Harmony and Platinum Series Processor's System-on-chip processors and available RAM space). Recent Nucleus implants are similar to CII now, making judgement somewhat easier for some individuals.

It's the hardware and software altogether you should judge upon, as it can either make the hearing sense or break it (in a way).
Recent Nucleus implants have not changed significantly. There is one current source with the same previous limitations. If you are thinking of the 171 pitches claim, that was based on software used in-house only and was essentially a marketing tool in response to the release of AB's Fidelity 120.

The only comparable internal devices are AB and Med El. Cochlear relies on external processor improvements that change nothing about the internal stimulation. The internal device has had the same basic design with repackaging since the late 1990s.

Cochlear does have the best marketing, that's for sure.

Dr. Mario

New Member
Ah, good point. I did read up on university thesis on how Nucleus 22 / 24 and CII implants work - Nucleus uses fixed voltage source, so must switch electrodes one at a time (thus limiting stimulation pulse rate), while CII can independently switch all 16 electrodes at once across multiple current mirrors, enabling unlimited possibilities as far as stimulation is concerned. CII is also considered an intelligent implant as it has active circuitry and a 32MHz DSP built-in so sound processor just have to push compressed audio data, and only send very little electrode data except upon boot-up which it is first configured. That also provides benefit for very large virtual channel audio slots across current steering technology.

Nevertheless, I personally am happy with Advanced Bionics as they have decent hardware, especially the Naida CI Q70 BTE which is light and thin. I also like HiRes 120 strategy, as it allows me to pick out any sound I am listening to / want to listen to (sometimes I do tune out unwanted sounds if I have to).


It's true about the unique experience.

When I had my first implant activated, all I could hear was high-pitch voices like chipmunks. I was laughing for a good 10 minutes until they started to sound a little normal.

With my second implant, I got the exact opposite. A little deeper pitched voices.

Wish I could try AB sometime just to see like if there is really a difference. But I know I'm happy with my implants/processors.