Have you thought about upgrading your sound processor but wonder what the experience might be like? Maybe you’re comfortable with your current sound processor and question why you should upgrade it? Or you might even feel overwhelmed by the idea of adjusting to a new device?


Who better to answer these questions than someone who has recently upgraded to two Cochlear Nucleus® 8 Sound Processors. We asked Susan, a retired grandmother who lives in the US and who upgraded recently from Nucleus 7 Sound Processors, to share what her experience was like.

One of the reasons Susan made the decision to upgrade to the Nucleus 8 Sound Processors was to take advantage of hearing more sounds around her. Here she is shown sitting outside at a cafe'.

Q. What was the main factor in your decision to upgrade?

A. I was excited to get Nucleus 8 [Sound Processor] because it’s the latest technology. Of course I wanted that!


Q. What was it like getting used to the new technology?

A. It was easy for me. I could understand speech immediately. For a few weeks or months, I noticed that my ears heard differently; one was much higher pitched, and the other deeper. But together, they blended and I rarely noticed the differences. Now, I think I hear from both ears with the nearly the same pitch. Since my left ear is implanted for less than a year, and my right ear switched from the Nucleus 7 to Nucleus 8 [Sound Processor], I am thinking that my brain simply needed time to consolidate things.


Q. What’s been the biggest change?

A. My hearing is clearer than ever. Sounds all around! The transition didn’t require any special aural training. I just put them on and went. The biggest change is that, in most cases, I can understand in restaurants, especially if there is low background music.

It’s also easier to understand my grandchildren, who used to be such a challenge to hear. Children speak while running around, while playing with their toys, while the TV is on, and while just being kids. Their diction is not always clear, especially when they are toddlers and preschool age. But now, I rarely notice a problem. With the Nucleus 8 [Sound Processors], I know that I am hearing more of what they have to say, and that is a gift to me. Just this week, my cousin whom I see frequently, commented while we were in a restaurant that she can tell that I hear better, because she doesn’t need to repeat as often.

Susan, who made the decision to upgrade to her Nucleus 8 Sound Processors, enjoying a piece of art at a museum.


Q. What features do you like best about your new sound processor?

A. Compared to the Nucleus 7 [Sound Processor], I like the clarity of sound. Music is better and the variety of music that I can enjoy is wider.

Recently, we had the opportunity to attend a small concert of the Vienna Boys Choir. The setting was very intimate. This group of 24 boys had such sweet voices and I could make out the individual singers who had special parts in the performance.   

I was moved to tears and this truly was a highlight of our vacation last summer! Restaurants are also better. The outdoor setting is awesome! So many things to hear, and now I feel that I likely would hear a rattlesnake’s rattle, which is a huge benefit because I hike often in their environments.

Q. Do you stream to your sound processors? 

A. When I make or receive a phone call on my iPhone®1, my phone automatically streams. Nothing special is required to start streaming, once the phone and the sound processors are connected.2 Likewise, when I listen to a podcast, audiobook, or any web-based audio content, my phone automatically starts streaming. I also stream FaceTime, YouTube, Facebook, and other websites. 

Q. What accessories do you use?

A. With the Mini Mic 2+, I stream movies from my Kindle Fire, listen to my husband and others in the car, and listen to doctors. I also use it to hear tour guides and recorded audio tours, when I can plug their device into the MiniMic 2+. I love all of these features! I love the TV streamer and can easily hear the TV now, but I prefer to also use closed captions. I like being able to hear at the pool because of the [Aqua+].3 I’m no longer left out of conversations and can hear my grandkids while we’re at the pool. 

Q. How do you manage battery life with your new sound processors?

A. I use the rechargeable batteries, but I like that I can use disposable batteries as an emergency back-up, especially when travelling. I like using the disposable batteries when I camp and backpack.

Susan, who made the decision to upgrade, smiling with her husband.

Q. Do you use devices to control your sound processors?

A. I usually use my phone and the Nucleus Smart App to control my processors. I like that I can control some features of the Nucleus 8 [Sound Processor] and accessories with my Apple® Watch. That’s very convenient. With my Apple Watch, I can control the volume of my sound processors, select which program to use, and select my sound source. Also, I can see the battery charge level for each processor.

Q. What would you say to others who might be hesitant to upgrade?

A. I would say, go for it. The processors get better and better, and I certainly want to maximize my hearing possibilities. There is a learning curve, and patience and dedication is required. I would encourage others to be open to new technologies and to involve others around you for help.

Q. If you could change anything, what would it be?

A. I would like to understand what the sound processor is capable of. Sometimes I feel as if there are features that I might like but I don’t know to ask. I wish that I was implanted earlier, and I wish that I went bilateral sooner. Family life is easier, and family is what matters the most.


Are you interested in finding out more about making the decision to upgrade to the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor? Find out more.


  1. Apple is the trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.  Android is a trademark of Google LLC.
  2. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is compatible with Apple and Android devices. For compatibility information and devices visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility and www.resound.com/compatibility
  3. The Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529 when you use a Cochlear Power Extend Rechargeable Battery Module or Cochlear Compact Rechargeable Battery Module. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor with Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 metres for up to 2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities. Refer to the relevant user guide for more information.
Jen Schulz
Jen Schulz is an Associate Marketing Manager and has worked for Cochlear since 2016. She is responsible for creating and publishing recipient services content and communications. Jen was born and raised in New York but now calls Colorado home. She enjoys baking in her spare time and spending time with her husband and 2 dogs.