Anyone who has camped in front of a store waiting for the latest smartphone can tell you: upgrades are exciting. The same is true for sound processor upgrades, but the prospect of dealing with insurance and paperwork can be daunting.

Luckily, Cochlear has resources designed to help make the process as smooth as possible. Through insurance and reimbursement services, Cochlear representatives will walk you through the steps and answer any questions you may have along the way.

Meet Brittany M., a bilateral Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 recipient who has experienced that process firsthand.

Brittany M.

Growing up with hearing loss

Brittany first noticed she had hearing loss when she was 8 or 9 years old, but doctors were unable to diagnose the cause.

From that point on, Brittany had no hearing in her left ear and limited hearing in her right ear. She wore a hearing aid, attended a school for deaf and blind students, and learned sign language.

However, when she was 22 years old, she lost all the hearing in her right ear and she became completely deaf. It was then that she decided to pursue a cochlear implant.

Brittany said she already knew several people with cochlear implants, which helped her make the decision to move forward. At her consultation, doctors were hopeful that she would regain access to hearing.

“They told me I was a great candidate for cochlear implants,” she said.

Activation day

Brittany was bilaterally implanted and received Cochlear™ Nucleus® 5 Sound Processors. She said her activation experience brought her to tears.

“I hadn’t been able to hear in my left ear for a long time, so being able to hear out of that ear was very emotional,” she said. “I cried when I heard my grandma’s voice… I was a single mom, so being able to hear my kids after being deaf for 3 months was the most joyous experience.”

Brittany said at first, the sound was distorted. However, with persistent practice, she was able to improve her hearing.

She would focus on what people were saying, utilize the Cochlear Communication Corner, and listen to music.

“One day I was listening to one of my favorite songs and I started crying because I could finally hear the music in it—every instrument that was being played,” she said. “Everything started sounding pretty normal after that.”

Upgrading to the latest technology

Last year, Brittany decided to begin the process of upgrading to Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processors.1

She said she was especially excited for the Made for iPhone compatibility.

“I did a ton of research before I decided to upgrade,” she said. “The fact that you could use your iPhone®2 … I feel like that’s just so cool and amazing.”

She started her upgrade process through the Cochlear website. A representative quickly reached out to her and walked her through the process from beginning to end.

“I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such great customer service,” Brittany said. “The upgrade process was so smooth and so easy— I’m just blown away.”

The process took about three months. When it came time to activate and map her new processors, Brittany said she noticed a distinct difference in the sound quality.

“I actually feel like I can hear softer noises now,” she said. “There are certain situations that are still hard to hear in, but the Cochlear Mini Microphone 2+3 is such a big help.”

Brittany said she found Cochlear supportive throughout the entire process.

“The upgrade process was absolutely a breeze—I mean, I can’t believe how easy it was,” she said. “The customer service was outstanding. Dealing with Cochlear in general has been wonderful.”


Find more information on upgrading to the Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor now!

  1. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is available for Nucleus® CI500 Series and CI24RE Series Implant recipients. The timeframe for Nucleus 7 Sound Processor compatibility for other implants depends on research and development timelines, manufacturing processes and regulatory approvals. The Nucleus 6 Sound Processor is available for all implant models.
  2. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is compatible with iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPad Pro (12.9-inch), iPad Pro (9.7-inch), iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini, iPad (4th generation) and iPod touch (6th generation) using iOS 10.0 or later. Apple, the Apple logo, Made for iPad logo, Made for iPhone logo, Made for iPod logo, iPhone, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Information accurate as of February 2018.
  3. The Cochlear Wireless Mini Microphone 2+ is compatible with the Nucleus 6, Nucleus 7, Kanso, Baha 4, Baha 5, Baha 5 Power, and the Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processors.
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.