New cochlear implant processor from Advanced Bionics

19 01 2013

AB's next gen BTE

The next generation cochlear implant processor has been rolled out by Advanced Bionics, enhanced with Phonak’s high-performance hearing aid technology, achieving an industry first in bimodal technology. The processor will be launched in the UK within the next few weeks, so it will be some time before it is actually available as the audiology clinicians will require training prior to provision – this processor has the most exciting list of goodies!

The new processor is 40% smaller than the Harmony, Advanced Bionic’s previous BTE processor – in the photo below, the Harmony is on the left, a hearing aid is on the right, and the new processor is in the middle. It’s thinner and lighter – it is smaller in size, but larger than life in performance. The processor is available in lots of colourways.

Colour wheel



UltraZoom – The user can focus on a speaker in front of them in a noisy environment.

ClearVoice – Sound is automatically analysed to filter out environmental sounds from the speech signal, improving understanding of speech in noise by up to 55%.

The SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) is how much louder a voice is in relation to other background noise. Children need a speaker to be 15 decibels louder than background noise in order to be easily understood. Adults only need a SNR increase of 4 to 6 decibels. When UltraZoom is used with ClearVoice by a unilateral user, up to 6.5 dB SNR is obtained. The future capability of these combined features mean bilateral users will benefit with up to 70% improvement in understanding speech in noise.

HiRes Optima – Advanced Bionics’ newest sound processing strategy optimises battery life.

T-Mic – The unique T-mic is a microphone situated at the ear canal, utilizing the ear’s natural capability to gather sound for optimal listening.

HiRes Fidelity 120 – This is the only sound strategy in the cochlear implant industry that uses 120 spectral bands to deliver five times more sound resolution than any other cochlear implant processor. This means sounds are richer, fuller, and more natural.

AutoSound – The widest range of sounds, from softest to loudest, up to 80 IDR (Input Dynamic Range), are automatically adjusted to.


Matt has a Harmony processor, a Oticon Safari 900 SP hearing aid, and an iConnect. He wants to pair his laptop to his Harmony via Bluetooth – he hates wires everywhere and wants to do his auditory rehabilitation at his desk in a noisy open plan office. The easiest solution for Matt is to use a Phonak Smartlink with an MLXi FM receiver, but this is expensive. To access Bluetooth, the iConnect is needed to attach the processor to cables, neck loop, or Bluetooth headphones. Advanced Bionics advised Matt that the best solution is to upgrade to a Phonak hearing aid and the new Advanced Bionics processor with all its connectivity options…..

Phonak ComPilot – With the ComPilot, Matt can link wirelessly to a wide variety of devices such as mobile phones, computers, Bluetooth, media players, TVs, navigation systems, and FM systems.

Phonak RemoteMic – Speech is streamed directly and wirelessly to both ears, making it easier for Matt to listen to speech in noisy places.

Phonak TVLink – Audio is streamed directly to Matt’s cochlear implant processor so he can listen to the TV.

Advanced Bionics myPilot – With this remote control, Matt can change his processor settings.

*** Bimodal Technology ***

For the first time, Matt is able to wirelessly and simultaneously stream sound to a Phonak hearing aid and an Advanced Bionics cochlear implant processor. This is a hugely exciting stride forward in cochlear implant technology, merging the technologies available from Phonak and Advanced Bionics.

Phonak ComPilot

Phonak RemoteMic

Phonak TVLink

AB myPilot


The new cochlear implant processor is very exciting for bilateral listeners – such as me! Phonak Binaural VoiceStream Technology™ will allow me to hear speech and phone calls, adjust volume, and change programs – simultaneously.


ZoomControl – I will be able to focus on a speaker situated on either side of me, to help me hear better in noisy places.

DuoPhone – My phone calls can be automatically streamed to both ears so I can hear voices in stereo, with a higher level of speech perception from binaural hearing.

QuickSync – Both processors can be adjusted instantly at the same time.

Future Developments

There is yet more to come from Advanced Bionics – WindBlock, EchoBlock, and SoundRelax.Windblock Echoblock SoundRelaxCochlear implant processors are entering an exciting phase of development as all manufacturers are expected to come out with new processors this year.

Watch this space!

Advanced Bionics
Brochure: Next Gen Processor
Phonak: Dynamic FM



41 responses

19 01 2013
Jamie Bond

We were actually offered this new processor for my son. He currently has a Neptune and Harmony processor for his left side and is scheduled for surgery on the right side next month. I really have been impressed with AB

24 01 2013

Hi I was interested to see you have a Neptune and a Harmony for your son did u get this free?As we have been told due to funding not allowed Neptune as well as a Harmony!

19 01 2013

I was also told that they are coming out with a pouch so that you can also be around water. Not clear on whether it will be like the Neptune or no.

19 01 2013

I received the booklet about the new processor when i was last at my Audiologist, but the way you have done your post is brilliant, far better to read. I have only been activated 6 weeks. But I was told when the new processor is available I will be able to have one, and do not have to wait 5 years, when I chose my Harmony in September part of the deal was for the upgrade.

19 01 2013

Slavering over the new stuff. I NEED a new FM system. I still haven’t opened my other new processor, and am wondering already if I can switch with the new processor. Have they named it yet?

19 01 2013
Neurofibromatosis; My Daughters Story

[…] New cochlear implant processor from Advanced Bionics […]

19 01 2013

Tina, this is awesome!! I’m more excited about this than the Neptune (since I’m not really a swimming/water sports person). Thanks so much for the great information!

19 01 2013

Yes, feeling same way here! 🙂

19 01 2013
Nancye Ayn

I am very excited! I’m way overdue for a bilateral fitting. How long now? Feb. perhaps?

20 01 2013

The FDA have yet to approve the processor in the US, that will take some time.

5 09 2013
Bionic Nelly

FDA have now approved it! Here’s the link for more details:

19 01 2013

I’m the Matt who Tina wrote about in her post. I emailed AB UK with a query about neckloops that would work with my Harmony CI + Oticon Safari 900 SP, and part of their very helpful reply included the PDF which is the source of information in Tina’s above post. To me, the flexible wireless connectivity & several of the new features sound fantastic, and will make a major difference. I seriously cannot wait to upgrade to the new BTE & also replace my Oticon with a Phonak hearing aid as it’ll be a major step up for me over what I’ve currently got & before I go truly bilateral later on – with an AB cochlear implant!

19 01 2013

That’s so exciting! I can’t wait for the US’s FDA to approve of this device later on! I’m looking to see if I can trade my Harmony for the new one or if I can upgrade so soon… hmm.

5 09 2013
Bionic Nelly

Further information about trading can be found here on this link:

19 01 2013

I am so excited technology has come so far since I was implanted in 97′!

20 01 2013

Awesome…I was hoping for a remote of some sort…it will really help to make those quick adjustments and not lose out on what’s being said while doing so! Phonak has great products. I had 2 sets of Phonak hearing aids and never had a problem with either. How exciting for us all! Thanks for the details!

20 01 2013

Hi Tina,
Do babies in the Uk get implanted with AB CI’s .. I am wondering if all the kids getting implanted now with other Brands such as Cochlear will benefit from all these amazing new advances??? Cheers Hollie

20 01 2013

Hi Hollie

In the UK, babies get bilateral implants if they are suitable. Children can go bilateral before they reach 18.I believe that Cochlear and MED-EL are coming out with upgraded processors this year too.

5 09 2013
Bionic Nelly

Hi Harry, I’m bilateral myself and I didn’t get the choice to choose different brands and am glad I’ve just got the one brand but I think it is a lot easier for the brain to cope with just the same brand for both ears because it would be like having two different mobile phones and you are trying to juggle one phone is capable of doing whilst juggling the other – doesn’t that get confusing for the children to remember?! Life is hectic enough! Can you imagine trying to remember about having different brand warranties, different spares etc, having different chargers to charge different batteries, different software tunings/mappings for each ear, two different remote controls and so on.

20 01 2013
James Gilsen

I’m due to get one of these as a free upgrade from a Harmony when it comes out, be good to compare the 2. It has the look and size of the Cochlear device. Not waterproof btw.

20 01 2013

Wow 2013 is going to be a good year for AB with this fantastic new processor and wow so many changes! I remember the phonak analogue hearing aid in 2004 and I’ve still got my old hearing aid in a box in my bedroom. When I get the upgrade hopefully in 2015/16 I shall have something to look forward to. I’m so glad I chose AB in 2004 as being a IT tester/developer I knew it was going to progress with fantastic technology… am hoping it’ll be just as reliable as my good old trusty bilateral Harmony processors that I’ve had since 2007. Cool write up, Tina! 🙂

20 01 2013
Jane Foreman

Great news, thanks for the post. QUESTION Is the new device processor retro-compatible does anyone know – presumably yes for the Harmony but for the C1 (1997 model) is it? My son has C1 in one ear and Harmony in the other.

18 02 2013

That’s a very good question Jane. I have Hi Res 90K (2007 model). I recommend getting in touch with AB and here is their email address:

Elaine (

14 03 2013

Required complete details

26 03 2013
Prakash Bhavsar

Please share me full details of upcoming new processor ,becoz i am so confused ,which i want to take i cant understand please suggest

26 03 2013

I will share when I get them – check back soon!

2 04 2013

Go with Cochlear,their support is great.

5 09 2013
Bionic Nelly

All Manufacturers offer great support, it is best to research on all different cochlear implants. Here is a comparison chart that is very up to date to help guide you –

30 04 2013

does anyone know when the cochlear N6 will be out?

17 05 2013

Has anyone got the upgrade to Hires Optima?
How long is it lasting so far?

5 09 2013
Bionic Nelly

As the HiRes Optima is part of the new Naida CI Q70 processor, it is best to enquire if anybody is using this new optimized battery method but I’m sure it is certainly giving a much better battery life to many new users wearing the new Naida CI Q70 as it is a new software enhancement. You could find out on Advanced Bionics Hearing Journey to ask anybody there on the forum. Although the FDA has only just approved the new Nadia processor so it could be a while yet before we know if it is lasting longer but looking at the different batteries options to use with Optima I would say there is a strong possibility that it is giving a better battery life.

20 05 2013

I would like have this on AB cochlear implant newsletter to post me as my friend got one…how I get newsletter ??

23 05 2013
3 09 2013

Will this be able to connect with Phonak’s Roger system?

4 09 2013


5 09 2013
Bionic Nelly

I believe that Phonak has a variety of wireless FM systems and therefore it is best to find out from audiologist as he/she would have more up-to-date information with FM systems. Or even get in touch with Phonak and/or Advanced Bionics to find out – they would be happy to help you.

10 09 2013

Hi all,
I am currently a student studying to become a speech therapist. One of my assignments is to ask some basic questions to 3 people who have had cochlear implants – as to gather a better understanding. They are basic questions and there are only 7. Would anyone be interested in helping me? Id really appreciate it.

11 09 2013
Bionic Nelly

Hi Marisa – please feel free to ask me by sending a message to me on my Mentor page –

15 03 2014

Can a child with moderate hearing loss in one ear and profound in the other benefit from AB’s new technology of bimodal technology

16 03 2014

Hi Amy

That’s a very good question. I would love to say yes but then it is down to the child’s hospital audiologist as they would be the best people to ask for advice. As they are also most up-to-date with the latest technology that Advanced Bionics provides. Having said that it would be good to seek advice from Advanced Bionics themselves as they have specialised Clinical Specialist who have the most up-to-date knowledge of the Advanced Bionics bimodal technology. Here are AB’s contact details in the UK:

UK Office

Advanced Bionics UK Ltd 2 Breaks House, Mill Court, Great Shelford, Cambridge, CB22 5LD,
United Kingdom

T: +44.1223.847.888 F: +44.1223.847.898

and we have some great mentors on this link, some of who are adults and some of who are parents with child(ren) with cochlear implants:

Hope this will be of help to you.

17 02 2015
Hard Of Hearing Railcard | Hearing - InstaHealth

[…] New cochlear implant processor from Advanced Bionics | I … – Jan 19, 2013 · The next generation cochlear implant processor has been rolled out by Advanced Bionics, enhanced with Phonak’s high-performance hearing aid …… […]

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