Our global community is always at the heart of what we care about at Cochlear. So, a few years ago, we reached out to our cochlear implant recipients on Facebook to ask you to complete this sentence: “If I were designing the next Cochlear™ sound processor I would…”

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Your suggestions were so powerful that we shared them with our engineers, who are constantly looking to innovate and deliver technology that can make a real difference in your life.

Here are your top requests and some of the ways we have improved Cochlear technology based on your suggestions.

1. A better listening experience

A Nucleus 8 Sound Processor recipient talking with a friend at a busy restaurant. The ForwardFocus, a feature we delivered on from the Cochlear tech wish list, enhances your listening experience in a noisy environment.

What you asked for

“Improve listening in background noise.” – Alicia

 “Better sound quality.” – Sam

 “Allow me to program myself to try different things to see if I can get a better sound.” – Felicity

What we delivered

Several tools and features have been developed as part of our technology released over recent years to improve sound quality, listening in noisy situations and enable you to control your sound processor settings.

Using the Cochlear™ Nucleus® Smart App1, you can fine-tune your hearing settings to suit your situation by adjusting things like sensitivity or bass and treble.

If you don’t want to adjust settings yourself, the latest Cochlear™ Nucleus® 8 Sound Processor senses changes in your listening environment and automatically adjusts the sound using enhanced SmartSound® IQ 2 with SCAN 22, which has been designed to offer clearer sound compared to previous generation Nucleus 7 and Nucleus 6 Sound Processors.3456

To better hear face-to-face conversations, you can turn on ForwardFocus7 a feature which works to reduce noise coming from behind.8

Our newest device, the Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor, offers an improved ForwardFocus function, so it more powerfully reduces distracting background noise compared to the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with ForwardFocus on.9

2. Smaller but more powerful sound processor

A request on the Cochlear tech wish list, the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor shown here in black, grey, silver, white, sand, and brown, is our smallest sound processor yet.

What you asked for

“Make it smaller, but just as powerful and make the batteries last.” – Victoria

“Lighter and smaller.” – Siew

What we delivered

The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is the world’s smallest behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor: it’s 15% smaller and 13% lighter than its predecessor, the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor10 with the same battery life. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is also 32% smaller and 34% lighter than the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor.111213

With the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor, you have a choice of disposable or rechargeable battery options, including Compact and Power Extend, so you can select the best way to make your battery power your day.

If you prefer an off-the-ear option, the Nucleus® Kanso® 2 Sound Processor is the smallest and lightest rechargeable off-the-ear sound processor available.1415

3. MRI compatible

What you asked for

 “Make it MRI compatible for 3.0 Tesla.” – Azam

 What we delivered

The Cochlear Nucleus® Profile Plus Series Implant is designed to allow you to have routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a 1.5 Tesla MRI machine or a high-definition 3 Tesla MRI machine without removing the magnet.16 (Check with your clinician if you are unsure about your specific implant.)

That means there’s no need to have additional surgery, no need to wear a bandage in the MRI machine, no delay in having your scan done and, most importantly, no unnecessary time without sound.

Before you have an MRI, refer to the Cochlear MRI Guidelines for your region. Cochlear MRI Guidelines: Safety for Cochlear Implants.

4. Smart phone app

What you asked for

“Make an app for a smartphone to control settings so I don’t have to carry the remote around.” ­– Jane

“I think the idea of the remote linking into your phone instead of having to carry a separate remote would be a great idea. Everyone carries a phone these days so to be able to flick over to your CI app would be perfect.” – Lisa

“Make the sound processor independent of remote control which can be managed by an app in a mobile phone.” – Sachin

What we delivered

Using the Nucleus Smart App, you are able to manage your sound processor from a compatible17 device. Some examples of the great features:

  • At a glance, view battery status and check if the sound processor is working. It’s as easy as tapping the battery icon.
  • When on the phone, adjust the mixing ratio to block out surrounding noise to concentrate on the conversation.
  • Locate a misplaced sound processor.

We are continuously reviewing and testing new mobile devices and operating systems as they become available, so be sure to check the latest compatibility information here.

5. More ways to connect

A Nucleus 8 Sound Processor recipient smiling at the movies with his wife; Cochlear tech wish list.

What you asked for

“Make more Bluetooth capabilities.” – Tina

What we delivered

You’ll be able to discover more ways to connect and stream audio directly to your sound processor with the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor which is ready for next-generation Bluetooth LE Audio.18192021222324

This means, when the technology becomes available, you’ll be able to connect to what’s being broadcast at public venues such as airports, conference centers and theatres supporting Bluetooth Auracast™.25

And whether you’re listening to music, taking a phone call, or watching your favorite film, Bluetooth® LE Audio will be able to deliver better sound quality than the previous generation Bluetooth Classic to help you get the best possible audio experience.2627

6. Track a misplaced sound processor

Tracking a misplaced sound processor was a request on the Cochlear tech wish list. Shown here is the 'Find My Processor' feature in the Nucleus Smart App.

What you asked for

“Include some sort of tracking device – the amount of time I spend looking for my son’s lost sound processor is crazy!” – Chanelle

“Maybe a phone app that can help track the processor. I’m a mother of a two-year-old who has put his processor in a ‘really safe place’ some three weeks ago.” – Sally

“A GPS feature. With a two-year-old, we don’t lose it often, but when we do, a tracker that can link to a phone would be perfect.” – Lisa

What we delivered

This has been a very popular request from busy parents! The Nucleus Smart App offers a ‘Find My Processor’ feature to help you find a misplaced Nucleus processor.28

7. Remote care

What you asked for

Allow it to be remotely mapped and have settings modified. This would reduce travel costs and time for remote families and reduce delays with replacements and repairs having to go back via mail to implant centers for maps to be reloaded.” – Jo

“Make it be able to be remotely adjusted via an iPhone to call your audiologist.” – Sam

 “Mapping! We travel 400 miles for a mapping” – Tina

What we delivered

For Nucleus 7, Nucleus 8 and Nucleus Kanso 2 Sound Processors, the Nucleus Smart App offers what we call ‘Remote Care’ solutions.293031

Using the internet, you can do a hearing check or have a video appointment with your clinician from the convenience of home.323334

Check if Remote Care is available in your region and for your sound processors here.

8. Better water resistance

Better water resistance was an item on the Cochlear tech wish list. In this picture is a little boy in a hot tub smiling and wearing his Aqua+ accessory.

What you asked for

“Make my sound processor waterproof” – Jacinta

What we delivered

We know many of our recipients love being active or live in humid climates. However, exposure to sweat, water, dust, and dirt can impact the performance and lifespan of your sound processor, which is why we have been working on the IP rating of our devices.

The “IP rating” is an international standard for electronic devices, which signifies the durability of your device – how it’s rated for dust and water protection.

Our latest devices have an IP68 rating, which means they have a high level of water resistance and are well protected from dust and dirt.3536

Sound processor IP ratings

Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor37 (with rechargeable battery module) Cochlear™ Nucleus® 8 Sound Processor38 (with rechargeable battery module)IP68
Nucleus 7 Sound Processor (with rechargeable battery module) Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor (with rechargeable battery module)IP57
Nucleus 6 Sound Processor (with rechargeable battery module)IP57
Nucleus Kanso 2 Sound Processor39 Nucleus Kanso® 2 Sound Processor40IP68
Nucleus Kanso Sound Processor IP54

Your sound processor can withstand a sweaty workout at the gym without long-term damage, with the recommendation that you take care of it with daily cleaning and store using a dehumidifier.

However, just like you wouldn’t take most smartphones swimming, sound processors, even with an IP68 rating, are not waterproof.

If you want you to be able to enjoy a bath or swimming in a pool or the ocean, we have created Aqua+ water-safe accessories.373839

Using the Aqua+ and Aqua+ Coil with your sound processor, you can enjoy water activities with your sound processor for up to two hours in up to three meters.4041 To find out more, visit the Cochlear online store.

We love hearing from! you! Keep up with the feedback on our social media channels where other recipients can join the conversation. Visit Cochlear on Facebook  Instagram or X and tell us more!

For more information about Cochlear’s latest technology, visit our website.

  1. The Cochlear Nucleus Smart App is available on App Store and Google Play. For compatibility information visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility
  2. It is recommended that SNR-NR, WNR and SCAN be made available to any recipient, ages 6 and older, who is able to 1) complete objective speech perception testing in quiet and noise in order to demonstrate and document performance and 2) report a preference for different program settings.
  3. Mauger SJ, Warren C, Knight M, Goorevich M, Nel E. Clinical evaluation of the Nucleus 6 cochlear implant system: performance improvements with SmartSound iQ. International Journal Of Audiology. 2014, Aug; 53(8): 564-576. [Sponsored by Cochlear]
  4. Mauger S, Jones M, Nel E, Del Dot J. Clinical outcomes with the Kanso™ off- the-ear cochlear implant sound processor. International Journal Of Audiology. 2017, Jan 9; 1-10. [Sponsored by Cochlear]
  5. Wolfe J, Neumann S, Marsh M, Schafer E, Lianos L, Gilden J, O’Neill L, Arkis P, Menapace C, Nel E, Jones M. Benefits of adaptive signal processing in a commercially available Cochlear Implant Sound Processor. Otol Neurotol. 2015 Aug; 36(7):1181-90. [Sponsored by Cochlear]
  6. Cochlear Limited. D1864200 SCAN 2 Design Description. 2022, Apr.
  7. ForwardFocus can only be enabled by a hearing implant specialist. It should only be activated for users 12 years and older who are able to reliably provide feedback on sound quality and understand how to use the feature when moving to different or changing environments.  It may be possible to have decreased speech understanding when using ForwardFocus in a quiet environment.
  8. Cochlear Limited. D1964109 Clinical Investigation Report CLTD5804 – Feb 2022.
  9. Cochlear Limited. D1964109 Clinical Investigation Report CLTD5804 – Feb 2022.
  10. *Comparison made using the Compact Battery Module for Nucleus 8 Sound Processor and the Compact Rechargeable Battery for Nucleus 7 Sound Processor.
  11. Comparison made using a Compact Battery Module with the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor and an equivalent Compact Rechargeable Battery for Nucleus 6 (CP910) Sound Processor.
  12. Comparison made using the Compact Battery Module for Nucleus 8 Sound Processor and the Compact Rechargeable Battery for Nucleus 7 Sound Processor.
  13. Cochlear Limited. D1190805 Processor Size Comparison. 2022, May.
  14. Cochlear Limited. D1190805 Sound Processor Size Comparison. 2020; March
  15. The following implants are designed to be compatible for MRI at 1.5 T and at 3.0 T with magnet in place: Nucleus Profile Plus Series: Cl612, Cl622, Cl632 and CI624. The following implants are designed to be compatible for MRI at 3.0 T with the magnet removed (should your doctor specifically recommend this procedure) and 1.5 T with magnet in place with use of the Cochlear MRI Kit: CI500 Series: CI512, CI522, CI532 and ABI541.CI24RE Series: CI422, CI24REH (Hybrid L24), CI24RE (CA), CI24RE (CS) and CI24RE (ST).CI24R Series: CI24R (CA), CI24R (CS), CI24R (ST). CI24M Series: CI24M, CI 11+11+2M and ABI24M. CI22 Series: CI22M (with removable magnet).Implant magnet removal may be required to reduce image artefact.
  16. The following implants are designed to be compatible for MRI at 1.5 T and at 3.0 T with magnet in place: Nucleus Profile Plus Series: Cl612, Cl622, Cl632 and CI624. The following implants are designed to be compatible for MRI at 3.0 T with the magnet removed (should your doctor specifically recommend this procedure) and 1.5 T with magnet in place with use of the Cochlear MRI Kit: CI500 Series: CI512, CI522, CI532 and ABI541.CI24RE Series: CI422, CI24REH (Hybrid L24), CI24RE (CA), CI24RE (CS) and CI24RE (ST). CI24R Series: CI24R (CA), CI24R (CS), CI24R (ST). CI24M Series: CI24M, CI 11+11+2M and ABI24M. CI22 Series: CI22M (with removable magnet). Implant magnet removal may be required to reduce image artefact.
  17. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection rating means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 meters (9 feet and 9 inches) for up to 2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities.
  18. As Bluetooth LE Audio compatible devices become available, a firmware update will be required for you to use certain features. Auracast™ broadcast audio capability is subject to third party adoption of the Auracast protocol.The Bluetooth® and Auracast™ word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Cochlear Limited is under license.
  19. Cochlear Limited. D1631375 Nucleus 8 Sound Processor Product Definition. 2022, Oct.
  20. Wolfe J, et al. Evaluation of a wireless audio streaming accessory to improve mobile telephone performance of cochlear implant users. International Journal of Audiology. 2016; 55(2):75-82.
  21. Wolfe J, et al. Improving hearing performance for cochlear implant recipients with use of a digital, wireless, remote-microphone, audio-streaming accessory. J Am Acad Audiol. 2015 Jun; 26(6):532-9.
  22. Warren C, Nel E, and Boyd P. Controlled comparative clinical trial of hearing benefit outcomes for users of the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor with mobile connectivity. Cochlear Implants International (2019 Feb); 20(3):19.
  23. Hunn N. Introducing Bluetooth® LE Audio [Internet]. [Cited 2022 Jan]. Available from:https://www.bluetooth.com/learn-about-bluetooth/recent-enhancements/le-audio/
  24. A Technical Overview of LC3 [Internet]. Bluetooth® Technology Website. [Cited 2022 Feb 28]. Available from: https://www.bluetooth.com/blog/a-technical-overview-of-lc3
  25. As Bluetooth LE Audio compatible devices become available, a firmware update will be required for you to use certain features. Auracast™ broadcast audio capability is subject to third party adoption of the Auracast protocol.The Bluetooth® and Auracast™ word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Cochlear Limited is under license.
  26. Hunn N. Introducing Bluetooth® LE Audio [Internet]. [Cited 2022 Jan]. Available from:https://www.bluetooth.com/learn-about-bluetooth/recent-enhancements/le-audio/
  27. A Technical Overview of LC3 [Internet]. Bluetooth® Technology Website. [Cited 2022 Feb 28]. Available from: https://www.bluetooth.com/blog/a-technical-overview-of-lc3
  28. The Cochlear Nucleus Smart App is available on App Store and Google Play. For compatibility information visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility
  29. Cochlear Limited. D1631375 Nucleus 8 Sound Processor Product Definition. 2022, Oct.
  30. Cochlear Limited. D1715545 NSA product definition (inc. Remote Check). 2022, Mar.
  31. Remote Care is not available in all markets and patient must have cellular or WiFi connection for use of Remote Care features. Remote Check and Remote Assist for Nucleus sound processors are intended for ages 6 and older. Remote Check and Remote Assist features are only visible and accessible if they are enabled by a clinician. Clinicians should consider the suitability of the feature before enabling Remote Check and Remote Assist. Remote Check does not replace clinical care and does not involve remote programming of the sound processor. Only available at clinics that have enrolled in Remote Care.
  32. Cochlear Limited. D1631375 Nucleus 8 Sound Processor Product Definition. 2022, Oct.
  33. Cochlear Limited. D1715545 NSA product definition (inc. Remote Check). 2022, Mar.
  34. Remote Care is not available in all markets and patient must have cellular or WiFi connection for use of Remote Care features. Remote Check and Remote Assist for Nucleus sound processors are intended for ages 6 and older. Remote Check and Remote Assist features are only visible and accessible if they are enabled by a clinician. Clinicians should consider the suitability of the feature before enabling Remote Check and Remote Assist. Remote Check does not replace clinical care and does not involve remote programming of the sound processor. Only available at clinics that have enrolled in Remote Care.
  35. The Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor was tested 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 1 metre3 meters for up to 1 hour.2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities. Refer to the relevant user guide for more information.
  36. The Cochlear Nucleus± The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection rating means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 meters (9 feet and 9 inches) for up to 2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities.
  37. The Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor was tested 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 1 metre3 meters for up to 1 hour.2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities. Refer to the relevant user guide for more information.
  38. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection rating means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 meters (9 feet and 9 inches) for up to 2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities.
  39. Some models of Aqua+ accessories require the ear hook to be removed before inserting the sound processor into the accessory. Please consult the instructions for use for more information.
  40. Some models of Aqua+ accessories require the ear hook to be removed before inserting the sound processor into the accessory. Please consult the instructions for use for more information.
  41. Cochlear Limited. D1980144 CP1110 IEC60529 IP68 Certificate & Test Report. 2022, May.
Jen Schulz
Jen Schulz is the Services and Marketing Specialist and has worked for Cochlear since 2016. She is responsible for facilitating 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.