The classroom can be a challenging environment for individuals with hearing loss. With many people crowded into a small place, plus an abundance of other stimuli, it can become overwhelming to try and communicate through all the noise.

Fortunately, the Baha System can provide clarity to many individuals with hearing loss, giving them confidence in the classroom.

Meet McKenna N., a senior studying special education at University of North Carolina Wilmington. She said her Baha® 5 Power processor has “opened up a whole world” of sound.

Watch as she shares the story of her hearing journey:


McKenna was born with hearing loss in her left ear and grew up struggling to hear. Her life changed about eight years ago when she found out she was eligible for a Baha sound processor.

When she tried the Baha sound processor on for the first time, she said the experience was “incredible.”

“Even though I only wore it for a few seconds, it still opened up a whole world to me that I had never heard before,” McKenna said.

That day she noticed a strange sound in the audiologist’s office, and to her amazement she realized she could hear the air conditioning for the first time.

“Every day I am discovering more things that I can hear, like birds chirping, or wind rustling through the trees,” she said. “Most importantly, I can fully hear my friends and my family talking, which is an incredible feeling.”

A Lifestyle Upgrade

McKenna recently upgraded from the Baha 4 to the Baha 5 Power sound processor. She said she immediately noticed a difference.

“The quality of sound is better (and) the volume is higher,” she said. “Trying on the Baha 5 Power for the first time was amazing.”

McKenna said she also enjoys using the Baha 5 Smart App to stream audio directly from her phone to her processor, including music and phone calls. She uses the app to adjust her processor settings and volume with just a few taps.

“It amazes me every day, the new things that I can hear,” she said.

Hearing at School and Beyond

As McKenna prepares to graduate from UNCW and begin teaching her own classes, she said her Baha processor gives her confidence that she will be able to hear and respond to her future students.

“I always worried … that I wouldn’t be able to hear one of my students calling out my name, or trying to get my attention, or whispering in my ear,” she said. “Since I’ve been able to wear the Baha in classrooms, I’ve felt a lot more confident in my abilities.”

McKenna uses the Mini Mic to hear dialogue in restaurants or meetings, which she said was helpful when she spent the summer of 2017 interning at the Cochlear Americas headquarters in Centennial, Colorado.

“I’m able to help people just like me,” she said.

McKenna said the Baha sound processor has impacted her life in more ways than she ever imagined.

“It’s like I’m seeing the world in color after living in black and white for the first 18 years of my life,” she said.

For more information on upgrading to a Baha 5 System Sound Processor, click here. To find a hearing specialist near you, click here.

Skylar Mason
As a journalism student, Baha recipient, and Anders Tjellström Scholarship winner, Skylar is excited to join the team at Cochlear as an intern to tell the stories of other CI and Baha recipients! She attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.