N6 Review

Cochlear has recently released their Nucleus 6 processor. There are due to be many advancements with this processor. With my recent revision surgery, I was able to receive 2 N6′s, one for the right (original implant) and one for the left (revision). While there is still much that hasn’t been approved for it, even though it has the capabilities within the processor, I have to say I do see an improvement.

First let us see what Cochlear has to say about the processor.  Nucleus 6 Features  (I’m only going to be posting what is new with the N6, and doesn’t have to deal with the internal piece.

  1. Better than a Hearing Aid -

Because all a hearing aid does is amplify sound. It makes everything louder, including background noise. This is where a cochlear implant can really seem like a miracle worker. It’s designed to not only make sounds louder, but clearer.

  1. Sound can change quickly. Now your sound Processor can, too. -

Every place is different. With different sounds. One minute you’re walking down a quiet street, the next you’re stepping into a crowded restaurant. You go from a concert hall filled with music to a stadium filled with cheers. And now, thanks to synchronized microphones and SmartSound® technology, you’ll hear your best in all of them.

Unlike most sound processors, the Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor has synchronized microphones that focus on the direction the sounds are coming from, filtering out what you don’t want to hear and tuning in to what you do.

Then the innovative SmartSound technology optimizes the sound to enhance your hearing in any environment, including ones filled with music or background music.

If you prefer to have more control over your hearing, you have the choice of using the sound processor or the remote assistant to make simple modifications to your hearing so you hear your best in any situation.

  1. Our Most powerful Microchip yet -

The heart of the Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor is a chip that’s 5 times more powerful than our previous sound processor. It’s powerful enough to take advantage of an entirely new concept called data logging. And it will let you use future innovations, including advanced wireless technology. As the breakthroughs come, you’ll be ready.

  1. A Processor so smart, it can tell you where its been

It can be hard to remember what happened yesterday, let alone the last month. With data logging, you don’t have to. It records exactly how your sound processor is being used every day. It fills in all the gaps, so your audiologist gets a more complete picture of your hearing experiences, and makes any necessary adjustments so you can hear your best.

For parents, the data logging functionality provides added confidence that your child is hearing their best at all times. For the first time ever, key information about your child’s Nucleus® System can be downloaded by your audiologist for evaluation. This is a minute-to-minute, comprehensive record that lets the audiologist know how your child is using the system and if it’s being used correctly, especially when you cannot be with them.

  1. It’s a whole new wireless world. And you’ll be ready

Just being able to use the phone like everyone else is life-changing. That’s why our Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor comes with a telecoil so you can talk on the phone without plugging anything else in. But that’s just the beginning. The Nucleus 6 Sound Processor has a chip that’s 5 times more powerful than our previous sound processors. And soon, you’re going to be able to put all that processing power to good use.

With a simple software upgrade that’s under development, your Nucleus 6 Sound Processor will directly connect to an incredibly wide range of 2.4GHz wireless devices . You’ll use Bluetooth-enabled music players and some hearing aids without any wires, ear buds or additional accessories hanging around your neck. The audio signals from your TV, stereo and GPS will broadcast right to your sound processor, just like it was an extra speaker. Whatever wireless wizardry they come up with, you’ll probably be able to connect to it.

  1. Built to be strong and Durable

To truly experience a world of sound, you have to get out there and explore the world around you. That’s exactly what the Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor was designed to handle. With a special water-repellant nano-coating, the Nucleus 6 is resistant against water, sweat and humidity all the time.And, built on a titanium foundation – the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal – it’s strong enough for whatever adventure life has in store for you. For even more peace of mind, it’s backed up with a 5-year warranty that’s just as strong.*

  1. 5-Year, No quesitons Asked Warranty

You can worry less with the most comprehensive warranty out there. In keeping with our promise to Hear now And always, your Nucleus® 6 System comes with a no questions asked 5-year warranty.*

The 5-year warranty covers your:

✓ Sound processor ✓Magnet
✓ Coil ✓Remote
✓Cable ✓Battery Holder & Cover
  1. Convenent Remote Assistants

To help you feel confident your hearing is optimized and your Nucleus® System is working properly, we designed the Nucleus 6 with another industry first, our two-way remote assistants.You have two to choose from.The advanced remote assistant puts you in control of monitoring and managing your hearing with built-in diagnostics, simple navigation and troubleshooting features.

The pocket-size remote control allows you to adjust your settings without touching the sound processor.

  1. Accessories that let you hear just the way you want

COLOR!!

Whether you want to be discreet or live out loud, the Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor allows you to do both. With a wide range of colors and sound processor covers to choose from, you can have a different look every day.

The Nucleus 6 Sound Processor is small and fits securely and discreetly behind your ear.And with our range of soft earhooks that have been ergonomically designed, it’s as comfortable as it is discreet.

In addition, the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor comes with disposable batteries that last for up to 60 hours of life, so you can wear it all day without worry.*

*Rechargeable batteries for the Nucleus 6 Sound Processors are not yet available, pending FDA approval.

That’s a lot to Live up to… so lets look at each feature quickly.

  1. Better than a hearing aid

Yes, My implants are better than my Hearing Aids were, but you have to remember that 1. Cochlear implants don’t work for everyone. 2. Not everyone qualifies for a Cochlear implant. 3. A cochlear implant doesn’t replace normal hearing.

  1. Sounds Can change quickly. Now your sound processor can, too (SmartSound iQ)

Unfortunately… I can’t comment on SmartSound iQ yet, as it isn’t FDA approved. I must say I am excited to try it though.

  1. Most powerful Microchip yet

Can’t argue, but I can’t say for sure

  1. A processor so smart it can tell you where its been

This is very cool. I went back for my one week checkup, and was able to see how my progress was made, and how much time I spent on each program, and with what accessories. This is very exciting as it will help both myself and my audiologist plan for what will need to happen in the future with my CI and what programs will be appropriate for me.

  1. It’s a whole new wireless world. And you’ll be ready

Again, not FDA approved.

  1. Built to be strong and Durable

The N6 is lighter than the N5. It feels a little less durable… but I think only time will tell.

  1. 5-Year, No quesitons Asked Warranty

It is important to note, this is only with new surgeries. For upgrades / replacements it is still a 3 year warranty.

  1. Convenient Remote Assistants

I do have both remotes, and will cover that a little later. The size difference is amazing.

  1. Accessories that let you hear just the way you want

The earhooks are much more comfortable, as is the snug fit, I will again make more comments on this later down. I LOVE the processor covers, and the fact my coil can now be colorful! Exactly what I wanted! (I really do like color!)

So as for their claims, so far it seems like they aren’t making any false claims, just a few that haven’t been approved from the FDA yet.

The first thing I noticed with the N6, was how light it was. The weight difference doesn’t seem like it would be much, but it really does make a difference. When you have a device sitting on your ear for 10+ hours a day, especially right after surgery, the new ounces makes a HUGE difference.

Once I put the N6 on, and it was turned on, the other thing I noticed with my right (older) ear, was how much… quieter it was. It wasn’t that I couldn’t hear things, it was that the background noise was much quieter. It was almost as though the volume for the background noise was turned down, while the speaker’s voice was turned up. It was wonderful. Before with the N5, I would have to struggle to hear if there was any background noise, with the N6 it is much easier. Now, it is also important to note, there is new software that hasn’t been applied yet, because it hasn’t been approved by the FDA, this includes the SmartSound iQ, the Noise Reduction and the Wind Noise Reduction software. Even saying this… background noise is MUCH better. I can’t say why this is, I’m curious if it has to do with the 5x more powerful microchip or because the microphones are in different locations than before. The everyday program, or what is now called the “Home” program on the N6, is better than the noise program on the N5, yet without sacrificing clarity or access to sound.

The ear hooks are also much more comfortable, and while 99% of the earhook I do like, including that it is much easier to take on and off, and it doesn’t break nearly every time it is removed, the issue I have with it… it falls off a bit more often than I would like. This morning for example, I went to put my processors on and one of the earhooks was missing… thankfully I had my snugfits with me, and was able to use those. I guess I will have to purchase more earhooks just in case. Everything else about the earhook I love. Much more comfortable, more pliable, and holds onto my ear much nicer.

The remotes are very nice. I’m very happy I was able to get both remotes. The remote assistant has a different user interface than the remote assistant for the N5. You have more options, and it is much more colorful. You can also access things, such as volume and sensitivity in a much nicer manner. You also don’t have to quickly turn the remote off in order to switch between advanced and simple mode for controlling the processor. The remote control is so much smaller than the remote assistant. It is about the size of a processor. It is nice, and in order to pair the remote to a processor, you just have to touch the processor to the back of the remote. The remote control does have a much more limited ability to control things when compared to the Remote Assistant. You can choose between volume and sensitivity, you can’t control both. You can change programs, you can turn on and off t-coil… other than that, there is nothing more you can do. I have used the Remote Assistant much more often than the Remote Control.

The new case that comes with the processor is also much nicer, with more room. The coil covers are beautiful, even if they are limited. The processor covers don’t quite fit, but I’m wondering if that has to do with the batteries not being approved yet (which will be shipped to me free once they come available) or if it has to do with there being two models of the processor, one with an accessory port and one without.

Another important aspect, battery life. While I am using the disposables, the rechargeable are theoretically suppose to work with it, but I admit, I am leery of trying it. With my N5′s, the disposables would last me about a day and a half at most, without changing my map on my right side, my N6 disposables are now lasting me 3 full days. This is extremely exciting. I’m hoping that when I get the rechargeable this may mean that I will be able to use the smaller battery, and not the standard battery.

All in all, I am extremely impressed with my new n6′s, and I am excited for the features that will come with the FDA approval of things such as SmartSound iQ and the wind noise reduction programs. If you have the chance to upgrade, I would suggest you look into it. I know it isn’t a cheap process, but if you have the insurance coverage and the spare cash, It will be very worth your while. Although… you may want to wait until the wireless portion of the software has been approved, because then you will be able to choose wireless accessories with your upgrades. As I get farther along with my N6′s I will be adding more to the review.

2 thoughts on “N6 Review

  1. They sound wonderful! A lot like mine, a few small differences. I’d love to be able to put a little of this one and a little of mine together and get the best of both worlds. ; )

    I have the blue tooth capability, and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t tried it yet. I’m having a hard time getting through the initial headache stage. And I haven’t been able to get back to the Audiologist to get adjusted yet. I’ve had 2 appointments I’ve had to reschedule because of being ill. Dang migraines, and vertigo! so inconvenient. I’ve decided that’s what I have, a lot of little things that are just so inconvenient. Sounds better than saying I have a bunch of chronic illnesses huh?

    I’m so happy you like your new N6 processors! I hope all goes without any troubles!

    we should chat some again soon.

  2. Pingback: Adventures of a Deaf Adult | How the time passes, a new year

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