Choosing a Cochlear Implant system

I’m looking for input from people who had their first implant during the last two years. I’m looking at a hybrid processor on the right paired with HA on the left. What were the main reasons you picked AB, Cochlear or MedEl?

Welcome to the forum.

Have you done any reading in the cochlear implants section of the forum? Lots of information that might help you.

I have two CI612 Cochlear implants with two Nucleus 7 and two Kanso 2 processors. I use a Google Pixel 3 phone. @Deaf_piper has a hybrid Cochlear set up.

Good luck


I chose Cochlear because it was the surgeon’s preferred brand. I have the Nucleus 7 processor. I have almost no hearing in the other ear but opted for the Resound Enzo Q. It helps a little. Both work well with iPhone. Almost one year now.

Welcome to the forum. Please do some serious research into the hybrid array of your own.

I was referred for a cochlear N7 hybrid CI 23 months ago. When I got to see the surgeon he stated very plainly he wouldn’t be using the short hybrid array. But he’s been having good results with the longer slim straight array 522. (Cochlear) He went into explain that he couldn’t guarantee the longevity of my residual even if he managed to successfully save it.

Well save it he did, but the next 14 months were nothing but little problems with the hybrid attachment. Lots of static noises that no one could figure out wha was wrong. Lots of other clicking noises as well. They changed my processor, and the static didn’t go away, nor the clicking. At 14 month my residual had started to decline further still. So I decided to ditch the hybrid attachment and go fully electric.

I’m ever so grateful to my surgeon for using a long array, simply because when my residual started to decline, I didn’t need to have my hybrid implant (short array) removed and a long array inserted.

Here in Australia the hybrid array (short) was removed from the market it must be well over 8 years ago now. The surgeons were having to remove too many and replace them when patients residuals started to decline. And it will decline, it might last 1, 5 or 8 yrs but you will end up fully electric at some point in your future.
Edited- I’m bimodal Cochlear N7 and Resound Enzo 3D. I love being bimodal as It gives me some form of natural hearing even with my processor on. I still have some natural hearing (not much) just enough to hear a person in a very quiet room without and device should I choose to do so. But once my lows start to decline in my CI ear this won’t be possible.


I’m no help on the hybrid side. I suddenly lost my hearing in my better hearing ear in 2019, so no residual left. My left ear has had hearing issues since I was young, but with a hearing aid, I can hear naturally on that side.

I received my CI in last July. I had been on the forum back to when I started to research hearing aids in 2017 so it was a great resource when I lost the hearing in my right ear. I first did research through the forum and when I learned the manufacturers in the US, started further research. By tye time I had my evaluation, I was leaning toward Cochlear. They have been in the CI business the longest in the US. When I had the eval, I learned my surgeon only does Cochlear.

I originally had 2 N7 processors, but was able to upgrade one of them to the Kanso2. I have a CI622 array. There have been no problems for me with my implant or processors. I love my Kanso2 and it is the processor I mainly use. So , since I have no other experience with the other 2 companies, I recommend Cochlear. That’s not to say the other 2 aren’t good, just do your research, but it is usually your surgeon’s choice.

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Thanks for sharing your experience.

My situation is similar to yours. My first implant will take place in two weeks time. I don’t have a choice about which implant - the hospital’s implant team decide, and I still don’t know what I am getting. The only decision I get to make is which processor, once I know which implant I will receive.

My biggest concern was the MRI 3T compatabililty as, looking to the future, MRIs are definitely the diagnostic tool of choice for doctors. I’ve had two just in the past year. So my fears have been allayed in that regard, as I have been happy to learn that AB has upgraded their implant to MRI 3T safe - in alignment with Cochlear and Med-El.

My implant takes place in two weeks time. The choice of implant is up to the doctor and his team and they have yet to inform me as to which brand. The only decision I get to make is the processor, once I know what I am getting. So do I want an off-the-ear, behind-the-ear … what kind of connectivity … rechargeable battery life … still some decisions I need to make. I see pros and cons to all of the options. My eyes are glazing over …

This is odd. It’s your money and body.
Where are you?
Have you talked to the surgeon? Try contacting his/her office and ask.
Once you learn which implant you will get you can contact a representative from that company. The representative will help you with all your questions. Then you should feel more as ease about the procedure.

Have you read some of the threads on this forum? Lots of details about everything CI.

Seems getting ready for the surgery was the most difficult part.

Ask questions, we will try to help.


Hi Raudrive! Yes I was surprised to learn that it wouldn’t be me making the choice of implant - after I had spent hours researching. Yes, I met with the surgeon in May and he said it would be up to the team, based on my hearing loss. I am sure they are much more qualified than me to make that decision, so I accept that. I just wish I knew now, so I could focus on what processor I want. I did reach out to Advanced Bionics - only because I wanted to know whether the hospitals implant only their latest CI. The rep, from California, responded very quickly and put me in touch with the Canadian rep (I’m in Ontario). This was a couple of months back, at least, and she has touched base every few weeks to see if I have a surgery date. I was actually quite impressed with this, as she knows I can’t choose which implant I’ll be getting. It makes me feel that AB has good customer relations …


Try contacting them, see what happens.

As far as off the ear or on the ear, that’s pretty straight forward. I have both and just now am starting to wear the off the ear all day. It’s way more comfortable than on the ear for me. The Cochlear processors are both Android and iPhone compatible without any intermediate device. I like that. I use the TV streamer and that’s about it. I have found the Nucleus 7 processors to be less sweat resistant than my previous Phonak aids. They do dry out in a dryer overnight and have not had any failures.

I think you will find all the CI manufacturers to be very helpful. I know Cochlear has been wonderful.

Good luck

Thanks for the input, Raudrive. I am reading several posts where people have both an off-the-ear processor as well as on-the-ear. That seems like a very expensive luxury - or did you receive both as part of the package? That would be really nice, but my audiologist never mentioned that I would get both types - perhaps things are different in Canada. I am glad to hear that you are happy with Cochlear as a provider. Canada is very restrictive about advertising of medical products and pharmaceuticals - not to mention cigarettes and alcohol!!! So most of what I read online is info from the US companies, and I can see that CI packages come with some choices of accessories etc. My hearing aids always have come like that, so perhaps I might still have more choices than I anticipate. Cheers, enjoy your weekend.

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@susanmarylynn It’s strange you haven’t been informed of the brand of implant you are getting. In my case it was my surgeon’s call. I’m glad he went with the company I was leaning toward. The day of my eval, I was told which implant I would be getting and was shown the the sample of the implant itself and the processors. I was able to make my choice of processor then and I chose 3 of my 4 accessories at that time.

Since I am in the US and have health coverage through work, I wonder if the reason you are not being told which brand may be because of Canada’s national health system? It’s good that you are doing the research. That’s what I did when I learned that a cochlear implant might be the solution to my sudden loss of hearing in my good ear. When I learned that Cochlear was the brand of CI I would receive, I signed up for their mentor program. The first mentor I had was okay, but Cochlear reached out to me and offered another mentor. One that was local and lives not far from me. It was a tremendous help. We’ve met and stay in close contact. The other brands might have similar programs, but it would be nice if you knew which company. These resources are a great benefit for new implanted or pre-surgery patients. I wish you luck on your upcoming surgery.


@susanmarylynn it’s strange all right, but I would be ringing the Drs surgery and asking if someone can tell you. It’s very unfair that you are left in the dark like this.

Because of where I live in Melbourne, my state and the RVE&E Hospital have remained very loyal to Professor Graeme Clarke. He’s the Dr who invented the Cochlear implant. The only brand easily available to me, was the Cochlear. I could have gone interstate and got an AB or Med El, but then every Drs visit and mapping was going to have to be interstate as well. That’s not just a bus of car trip, but a 2 day plane and accommodation as well. So an expensive couple of days.

But I couldn’t be happier with my N7, I have had a fabulous outcome from having a CI. Good luck to you on your journey to better hearing.