The benefits of upgrading to new technology


By Allison Biever, AuD, Rocky Mountain Ear Center

Why upgrade to newer technology? Dr. Biever shares her experience working with cochlear implant recipients to maximize hearing outcomes.

Next to the joy of sharing a recipient’s first moments of hearing with their cochlear implant is the wonder of watching a recipient experience upgraded technology as they frequently exhibit emotions of gratitude, disbelief, giddiness and utter delight.

Upgraded technology helps provide recipients with better hearing and new freedoms. When recipients get upgraded to technology that allows them to stream music and phone calls wirelessly, I often hear, “You mean you can’t hear what I am hearing?”  Bilateral recipients have often had to use speaker phone on their cell phones to enjoy a call or listen to music with both ears. The expectation is that everyone is privy to their phone calls and hearing their music.

Moreover, patients tend to report that sound quality is also better when streaming phone calls, and it’s easier to understand the caller and look more relaxed talking to the caller. One of my adult recipients reported that after getting upgraded to new processors, he decided to create his first playlist because for the first time in his life – music sounded so good!

Upgraded technology can demonstrate additional benefits with regard to wearability. For example, some of my recipients are excited to now make it through the day on a single battery charge. Patients have also reported benefits due to the improved size and weight of the processor. Previously, playing sports, dancing or even doing yoga could be difficult because the size and weight of the processors prevented the processor from sitting securely on their ear. 

One unexpected benefit of upgraded technology is that recipients may now make important processor adjustments which can improve their hearing ability or comfort with sound. Historically, if recipients needed significantly more volume or less treble for example, they needed to come back to the implant program so adjustments could be made.  With current upgraded technology and use of the Nucleus® Smart App, patients can have increased volume capabilities.

From an audiologist’s perspective, it has been amazing to see the improvements in technology that have taken place over the past 20 years. The future looks bright and undoubtedly, sounds better than ever!

To learn more about upgraded technology, visit our website!

This article expresses the experience and opinions of Allison Biever.

The Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Apple, the Apple logo, FaceTime, 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. The Cochlear Nucleus Smart App is available on App Store and Google Play. For complete smartphone compatibility information, please visit

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