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Kanso or Rondo users please advise

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In the US, some CI centers are one processor centers (1 surgery = 1 processor) and some centers are two processor centers (1 surgery = 2 processors).  Ask your CI audiologist about your center.

Cost is complicated in the US due to different agreements with various health insurances and doctors/hospitals/CI centers.  Also some CI centers package the cost of activation and a few MAPping sessions in the one cost and others bill separately for activation and each MAPping.  It really is necessary to get cost info from your specific CI center.

To my knowledge, there is no difference in cost based on choosing the Sonnet or the Rondo.

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Hi Nomirro,

It is a hard decision and I was in your spot not too long ago! While I was trying to decide between 3 brands, I focused on the internal processor first and the external processor second. Technology on the outside will always catch up. The Rondo technology is a little older than the Sonnet BTE. It still sounds very good though. I wear the Sonnet most of the time now as I now have the automatic sound management turned on ? The Rondo was great when I was healing from surgery and couldn't wear anything behind my ear. I'm really happy I got one of each. 

I believe the Rondo is water resistant. So no worries about sweating or hot weather. At night I put my HA and processor in a drying unit to get rid of any moisture. You will get a drying unit in your kit if you get Med El - not sure about the other brands.

It is very nerve wracking but it will be so worth it in the end. I was super scared to get the surgery but I have no regrets - I'm glad I did it. Truly life changing!

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Nomiroo! Welcome to Hearpeers! I'm a sonnet user. The BTE processor we call it. Others use the Rondo but I was hesitant because it is older technology. The sonnet uses two mics for better directional sound where as the Rondo uses only one. I have worn BTE for 15 years. The sonnet is slightly heavier but I got used to it. The sonnet is very good with sweat as well. We have a product called waterwear for both sonnet and Rondo  who ch some people use for serious sweating. You can ask lots of questions here. I too was in your shoes two years ago. I was quite nervous as well. I didn't know what to expect. This group helped me tremendously! Best of luck!! 

 

Kara 

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On 7/1/2017 at 4:46 PM, Megan L. said:

Hi Nomirro,

It is a hard decision and I was in your spot not too long ago! While I was trying to decide between 3 brands, I focused on the internal processor first and the external processor second. Technology on the outside will always catch up. The Rondo technology is a little older than the Sonnet BTE. It still sounds very good though. I wear the Sonnet most of the time now as I now have the automatic sound management turned on ? The Rondo was great when I was healing from surgery and couldn't wear anything behind my ear. I'm really happy I got one of each. 

I believe the Rondo is water resistant. So no worries about sweating or hot weather. At night I put my HA and processor in a drying unit to get rid of any moisture. You will get a drying unit in your kit if you get Med El - not sure about the other brands.

It is very nerve wracking but it will be so worth it in the end. I was super scared to get the surgery but I have no regrets - I'm glad I did it. Truly life changing!

Thank you Megan L! 

Yes, the surgery isn't my favorite part of it but I've been through ear surgery before so that will help me to know what to expect somewhat. Only last time it was a Stapedectomy and I came out of the surgery hearing SOOO much! I'm sure this one I'll come out of hearing exactly the same as I do now. I think the biggest thing is just going through the process.  I'm eager to just get from point A to point B and forget all the in between but I know it's all those in between things that will help make the end outcome so much better. 

It's been super hard for me losing this hearing actually. Self confidence took a really big beating. My husband has excellent hearing so that's one area that makes it really hard. I think if he had a portion of hearing loss it would make it easier for him to better relate with me. He's an awesome husband and super supportive...just can't understand the heartbreak that comes with losing hearing you once had. So I'm really praying this implant is the exact answer to prayers that I've been asking for. 

If I'm able to get two processors I'm really leaning to get the Sonnet and Rondo so I really appreciate your help on that!

Thanks again for all the support and helpful advice!

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On 7/1/2017 at 7:46 PM, Kara of Canada said:

Nomiroo! Welcome to Hearpeers! I'm a sonnet user. The BTE processor we call it. Others use the Rondo but I was hesitant because it is older technology. The sonnet uses two mics for better directional sound where as the Rondo uses only one. I have worn BTE for 15 years. The sonnet is slightly heavier but I got used to it. The sonnet is very good with sweat as well. We have a product called waterwear for both sonnet and Rondo  who ch some people use for serious sweating. You can ask lots of questions here. I too was in your shoes two years ago. I was quite nervous as well. I didn't know what to expect. This group helped me tremendously! Best of luck!! 

 

Kara 

Thank you Kara!

I'm really hoping I'll be able to get the 2 processors with 1 surgery. I think that would be a huge blessing to have both for whichever occasion I need either for. I can see where if you're able to have 2 how helpful that  would be. Truly though, with 15 years experience would you say that having the BTE one is in the way or anything? I do wear glasses occasionally and I really don't want this big huge bulky thing weighing down my ear if I can help it. I'm sure you know what I mean.  I'm already appreciating this group so thank you for contributing!! :)

 

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Your welcome Nomiroo. I also have started wearing glasses more regularly I dint have any issues. 

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You're welcome Nomiroo ?

Yes, the implant process is kind of a long one. For me it was 3 months from testing to surgery. 

Before the implant surgery, I had 2 fistula surgeries. Both of them left me with a devastating hearing loss, so I know the heartbreak you speak of. It's hard to explain to people what it's like which is why I never said anything growing up. Maybe your husband would be willing to wear ear plugs for a day to better understand where you're coming from. It's not easy. On a positive note, I can absolutely say all the hearing I lost in my left ear and then some were gained back after surgery ? 

I would definitely ask your audiologist if your hospital is a 2 processor center. It's a huge relief knowing I have back up if one processor is not working! 

Also, I wear glasses for tv and computer and I have no issues with the Sonnet. It doesn't feel different than my right HA ?

Best wishes!

 

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Oops! Great spelling on my part! 

 

it was was a long process for me to get my implant. I was probably almost two years in the process to get it. I have had the same issues as you with the stress if not knowing what to expect. I had never had any surgery on my head. It was pretty smooth even with my complications. I had about 40% hearing before my surgery with HAs and now it's at 79% without my HA and with it it is 83%. That's with the implant without the HA in my left ear and with it. So overall an extremely great improvement. I lose things all the time that is also the other reason I like the Sonnet. It has a better chance of me feeling it when it does try to fall off  watch your head near things metal. The implant can jump to metallic objects! Lol 

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I wear glasses all of the time and have no problem with the Sonnets.  After a short time, they will become completely undetectable to you, just like glasses.  

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On 7/3/2017 at 11:57 AM, Megan L. said:

You're welcome Nomiroo ?

Yes, the implant process is kind of a long one. For me it was 3 months from testing to surgery. 

Before the implant surgery, I had 2 fistula surgeries. Both of them left me with a devastating hearing loss, so I know the heartbreak you speak of. It's hard to explain to people what it's like which is why I never said anything growing up. Maybe your husband would be willing to wear ear plugs for a day to better understand where you're coming from. It's not easy. On a positive note, I can absolutely say all the hearing I lost in my left ear and then some were gained back after surgery ? 

I would definitely ask your audiologist if your hospital is a 2 processor center. It's a huge relief knowing I have back up if one processor is not working! 

Also, I wear glasses for tv and computer and I have no issues with the Sonnet. It doesn't feel different than my right HA ?

Best wishes!

 

I'm just taking it one day at a time. My appointment for the Speech Therapy Analysis is set for Aug 3 so from there will just see how fast things happen. I'll check on the processors at that visit.

I do have a couple questions that perhaps you can answer for me. One, are the Med-El implants MRI safe? I'm just curious. I have no need to have to worry about an MRI or a CT scan in the near future but I think purchasing an implant that is MRI safe would be a good choice just to know that it wouldn't be an issue if ever one was needed.  Secondly, how long is the average surgery time? jIt doesn't really matter to me, as I'll be out anyway lol but it doesn't hurt to just be curious. My surgeon has been doing this for 30 years and he says it should take about 45 min. but I just read on a Facebook support group that one woman's surgery took 3 hrs!!! Thirdly, do they use a breathing tube? I know you can't say for all surgery patients but on average is a breathing tube used during the surgery? I had my Stapedectomy 19 years ago and I do believe they used a breathing tube. I woke up and my throat was very dry. They gave me ice cubes for the first little while to soothe it. And lastly, would you say that the surgery is relatively painless or minor? I expect to have problems with verdigo (I had verdigo so bad with the Stapedectomy that for the first two days it took me almost 10 min just to walk across the hall to use the restroom!) but am just curious of all the little stuff. :)

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On 7/3/2017 at 2:28 PM, Mary Beth said:

I wear glasses all of the time and have no problem with the Sonnets.  After a short time, they will become completely undetectable to you, just like glasses.  

Thank you! With my work, wearing glasses just gets in the way. I sweat during the summer so much that sometimes my glasses just slide right down my face all the time. I try to wear my contacts as much as possible but during those days that wearing glasses would be better it'd be nice not having to worry about the processor sliding off as well. :)

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On 7/3/2017 at 0:08 PM, Kara of Canada said:

Oops! Great spelling on my part! 

 

it was was a long process for me to get my implant. I was probably almost two years in the process to get it. I have had the same issues as you with the stress if not knowing what to expect. I had never had any surgery on my head. It was pretty smooth even with my complications. I had about 40% hearing before my surgery with HAs and now it's at 79% without my HA and with it it is 83%. That's with the implant without the HA in my left ear and with it. So overall an extremely great improvement. I lose things all the time that is also the other reason I like the Sonnet. It has a better chance of me feeling it when it does try to fall off  watch your head near things metal. The implant can jump to metallic objects! Lol 

It sounds like you had pretty ok hearing before the implant though compared to mine. I only had 19% speech understanding w/o hearing aid at 100 db. This was at the Audiologists who sent me over to the surgeon I'm getting the CI done through. With the hearing aid was only a slight improvement. This was my HA ear. The left one that I'm getting the surgery done is I only got 2 words right out of 25. It encouraged her knowing that I Can hear in that ear and the fact I got 2 words right says there is hearing in it. So, basically I was extremely disappointed and discouraged the day I came home from that appointment. But, I have a friend who just graduated and got a job as an ASL Intrepreter and she was ecstatic when I told her that I was a potential candidate for a CI. I say potential as I still have to have the hearing exam with my HA in. But according to the one she gave me, I am a candidate.  And now after talking with all of you, I'm actually excited for it. Yes, a tad nervous but excited overall. :)

Yes, I'll be sure to watch my head around metal. Fortunately I have super long hair so I'm hoping my hair helps shield it from jumping ;)

 

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Eyeglass tip:  If you have an old pair of glasses remove the arm from the implant side before surgery.  It helped a lot in the first days while still sore.

They used a breathing tube for my surgeries.

My recoveries were much easier than previous ear surgeries, including stapendectomies.  I hope your recovery is the same.

Good luck!

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Hi Nomiroo!

One of the reasons I chose Med El over the others is due to their ability to go into a 3.0T MRI. I believe that's the highest resolution here in the US. Also, the design of the internal processor is incredible. I strongly encourage you to check out Med El's website to see the Synchrony implant in motion. It's really cool!

My surgery was an hour and 50 minutes long (and that was getting the electrodes wrapped around the cochlea first try) but 3 hours was allotted for my surgery. They do put a breathing tube down your throat as a safety precaution. My throat wasn't too sore after - just really dry. I had no real pain after the surgery, just discomfort and the feeling of something in my ear/on the side of my head. However, I got really sick from the anesthesia and had really bad vertigo for 2 days. That was my downside and doesn't seem to be the norm for a CI surgery. 

Hope this helps! ?

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Rondo is heavier than Kanso which give Kanso the lead. 

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@stream2525

Comparing external processors when choosing a CI brand is definitely something we all do.  The external processors change all of the time.  While I have been a Med-El user (2 years, 10 months) I have used 3 Med-El processors (Opus 2, Rondo and Sonnet) and now Med-El will be releasing the Rondo 2.  The external processors will change many times over our hearing lifetimes and if we are fortunate we will be able to move onto the new processors.  That is where backwards compatibility is so important.

Med-El has enabled users with all of the internal implant designs to use the newest processors.  This gives me comfort going forward.  I had not realized that all brands do not do this until after I was implanted.  I have friends with other brands that are not able to upgrade to that brand’s newest processors because the newest processors will not work with their internal components.

There are definitely features in other brands that many of us would like to have in our Med-El processors too.  There is a lot of interest in the direct from iPhone to processor ability.  Also in wireless streaming devices. (Med-El has that ability in the Sonnet processors but has not released the AudioLink intermediary streaming device yet.)

There are features in Med-El processors that some of my friends who have other brands wish they had in their brands.

I think this competition between brands is helpful to us end users.  They keep pushing each other to improve features that we want.

In the end, the sound quality we receive is not based on the processor size, weight, streaming ability, etc but rather the internal components and the software.

There are successful CI users with all 3 FDA approved brands.  When I was struggling to choose a brand, I came to the realization that my surgeon would not offer a brand to me that was unable to produce good results.  I started to view it a bit like shopping for a car.  There are all different models of cars and in the end we choose which car is a best fit for us.  It felt strange to be choosing a brand for an implant.  And it was overwhelming.  In the end for me, it was Med-El’s electrode array options that made my decision.  I have had excellent results with my Med-El CIs and have had excellent customer service from my Med-El CSR (Customer Service Representative).

Make the decision that will be the best match for you.  Whichever brand you choose, I wish you the absolute best on your journey.  All of the helpful tips in our aural rehab section will be useful for any brand.  

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@Mary Beth

I was referring to the fact that Med-El was first to come out with a one piece processor, then Cochlear came out with Kanso which is lighter , smaller and has many new features. Med-El then came out with Rondo 2 which is the same as Rondo but with the ability to be wireless charged. I have been comparing all brands and see that each brand has an advantage over the others. For me , at the moment I am leaning towards Med-El due to the many reasons such as they allow tesla 3.0 MRI , they have a one piece processor, they have many electrode option and the most is that they have better results in preserving residual hearing which is the most important factor me. the fact that I have good low frequencies and that I can still hear very well in those frequencies is directing my search in this direction. I am looking for an implant that will keep my residual hearing, but won't go for EAS. I can even go for a short electrode but won't accept having EAS components. 

Med-El was the first cochlear implant company , but I feel that their marketing isn't competing well with other brands. It was very smart from Cochlear to name its branch as Cochlear Americas. I feel that this made many Americans trust the brand more. I wonder why doesn't Med-el think the same. Advanced Bionics have very short electrodes , but claim they give the best results for music appreciation . I believe it is only a marketing strategy because all implants help with music appreciation though it takes more time. 

 

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There are people with CIs who are musicians and others who enjoy music very much with their CIs. There are also people with CIs who do not enjoy music.  Presently there are many studies being done about cochlear implants and music enjoyment.  To the best of my knowledge, scientists do not yet have a way to predict with certainty how any of us will do with our CIs (for speech or for music).  There are definitely factors that are promising and factors that are not as promising, but no definitive way to know our listening success with CIs ahead of time.

I am a big fan of aural rehab, for speech...speech in noise.....and for music.  It is my belief that we will never know how far our CIs will take us, until we train over time.

However, there are people with CIs who do aural rehab and who still do not get the amount of benefits they were hoping for.  I feel for those people.  It is not due to any fault of their own.  It must be so disappointing and frustrating.

I am encouraged that many researchers and CI surgeons continue to focus on that group of people and hope they make advancements that will enable those people to get better results with their CIs.

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On 6/30/2017 at 10:54 PM, nomiroo said:

Hello, I am new to this whole Cochlear Implant idea. Though I've struggled with my hearing nearly all my life (and I'm 42), it never crossed my mind that eventually I'd be a candidate for a CI. I was diagnosed with Otosclerosis in 1998 and had a Stapedectomy surgery in my left ear. It worked tremendously but over the years it decreased. I finally got a Miracle Ear hearing aid in 2011 because it was starting to get hard to understand people. It worked fabulously and I felt like I had gotten back into life again for awhile. But all that changed in 2014 when I had a wax build-up and the hearing aid specialist didn't make sure I heard her on a check-up, she was always talking to me when I didn't have my hearing aid in which on something as important as wax-build up you would think she'd make sure I clearly understood her. Anyway, the next visit nearly a month later I was noticing I couldn't hear as well and she was astonished. Told me she had informed me I needed to get the wax cleaned out on the last visit, but I didn't hear her correctly I guess. She told me it was urgent I get to an ENT. When I went, I had an ear infection and fluid built up in my ear. Long story short, I lost the hearing in that ear for the most part. I got 2 words right out of 25 during the hearing test.  (This is also the ear that the CI will be in). I did get a hearing aid for my right ear but I can no longer hear music well and just basic conversations with people are becoming a tad stressful. 

I have my Speech thing on Aug 3rd and honestly I really don't know what to expect. So any help anyone can give in this would be extremely helpful. You know, what to expect etc.

Right now I'm considering the Rondo or Kanso as I work an active job and I really don't want the BTE piece if it can be avoided. I just need to know who those are recommended for and if they are just as good as the BTE ones.  I do know that I sweat a lot at my job and workout regularly so I need a device that I don't need to worry about sweating all over.

Any help is appreciated and it's so wonderful knowing that I'm not the only one going through this journey.'

Nomiroo

I’m new to this to. I’m 51 and have SSHL in one ear .. just done the whole audiologists tests .. etc MRI steroid injections .. now awaiting to see Dr for the CI devices to go through .. I don’t no which one either but my choices I think are the Rondo2 or Kanso .. I also enjoy sports and being a women I really want something g descreet.. rondos slimmer than the kanso .. also have to look at  MRI .. just Incase down the road you need one.i spoke a to a guy who had a kanso and the place where I go  recommend the kanso .. have to see I’m in the same boat as you and know exactly how you feel .. 

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@Karen fudge

Good luck on your hearing journey.  This is a Med-El forum so almost everyone here uses Med-El processors.  There are quite a few people with Rondo 2 processors.  If you have any questions about their experiences with Rondo 2, just ask.  We are a friendly bunch.

@Dave in Pittsburgh

@Jdashiell

@Jewel

@Mary Featherston

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Hi @Karen fudge - I have Rondo2s.  I'm not terribly familiar with Kanso, but I *think* but am not sure that the Rondo2 is a bit slimmer.  I know it's lighter than the original Rondo. 

It's a good processor.  I use Sonnets for work because I work where I'm often in situations with a lot of noise and the two-mic processor does better there, but when I'm at home I wear Rondo 2 almost all the time - it gives my ears a break, makes my glasses more comfortable and sounds great.

As for discretion, I don't know whether the single-piece processors are that much less noticeable than the over the ear ones.  I mean, I never see my own, heh.  But a couple of weeks ago we were on vacation and my husband took a picture of me and I could see my Sonnet on my head.  Doesn't bother me, but I saw it.  My hair is very short, though, so whatever I wear is completely visible.  If you have longer hair you could probably hide a Rondo2.  @Jewel, you have long hair - is your Rondo2 mostly not visible?

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Hello @Karen fudgegood luck on your journey.I am bilateral I have 2 Sonnets and one Rondo 2 if I am going to a noisy place I wear both Sonnets if I am home I wear one Sonnet and the the Rondo I find Rondo pick up the tv and radio better if you are in meetings I find the Rondo performance superb.Not familiar with Kansa 

The Rondo has a Omni mic pick sounds up from all directions this is what I don’t wear it in noisy environment.

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Ok thank you so much for the info 

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@Karen fudgeno problem keep us posted any questions HP is here to help

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Hallo @Karen fudge

I got my Rondo2 in January and absolutely love it! Most times I'm not even aware that I'm wearing it. As @Mary Featherston mentioned, my hair is longer than hers. 

My hair is very heavy but I had no problem with the Rondo2. I always secure it with a tether and hairclip that is provided with the Rondo2. 

I have since cut my hair and it is above my shoulders, kinda in a bob. No one has ever asked me "what's that on your head?" I just make sure to wear the mic cover color that is closest to my hair colour. There was one occasion where someone pulled at the hairclip cos it is silver and was apparently showing but now I make sure to put the clip closer to the scalp so hair covers it. 

When my hair was longer I would put it in a ponytail and a bun and the Rondo2 couldn't be seen! In fact my mom asked whether I was wearing it cos she didn't see anything. And even when I lift my hair to show it to people oftentimes they don't see it! 

The sound on the Rondo2 is very good quality. I also have the BTE Sonnet but I hear much better with the Rondo2 although it only has one mic. Kanso has two mics I believe.

Rondo2 is not too good in noisy environments but I learnt this week how to adjust the sensitivity and that has helped a lot. 

I wear the Rondo2 all day from about 7:30 am until midnight! It is hassle free. 

However, I was trying to dance with it (the cha cha) and when I jumped it did  fall from my scalp but the tether secured it so it didn't fall to the ground. Note that it hardly ever falls off (only a handful of times). I have worn it to the gym and had no problems; it never fell off there.

Hope this helps. 

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