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georgewes

any aproximation as to the sound of a cochlear implant

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I know that it is difficult to explain sound with words.  But I wonder if there is a tape or some kind of way an approximation as to the sound a cochlear implant would give to an implant recipient.

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Hi George,

 

There are vocoder recordings online BUT I listened to them prior to receiving my CIs and they do NOT represent how things sound to me at all.  Not even close.  So I do not recommend them.

 

The difficulty is that we hear with our brains and not our ears so although they can use electronics to create the input signal, they seem to be unable to replicate what our brains do with that signal having learning to hear with a CI.

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22 hours ago, Mary Beth said:

Hi George,

 

There are vocoder recordings online BUT I listened to them prior to receiving my CIs and they do NOT represent how things sound to me at all.  Not even close.  So I do not recommend them.

 

The difficulty is that we hear with our brains and not our ears so although they can use electronics to create the input signal, they seem to be unable to replicate what our brains do with that signal having learning to hear with a CI.

could you possible try to explain how it sounds compared to normal hearing.   That may be difficult I know.   Someone said the CI made a quacky sound.   Does that make sense?  I assume that the sound will get better in time as more technological advances continue.

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I will do my best to explain how things sound to me with my bilateral CIs.  I do not have any residual hearing so EVERYTHING I hear is coming from my CIs only.

Please remember that this is NOT how things sounded to me at the beginning of my CI journey.  The first few months are full of adjusting to the CI input and our brains figuring it all out as we settle into our favorite map.

Everyone has their own voice.  I can recognize people I know just by hearing their voices.  I can recognize singers voices as well in songs.  I notice people's accents.  I can tell when someone is playing with their voice (being funny or disguising their voice).  I can tell when someone has a sore throat which has altered their voice.  I hear the child voice qualities in young children.  I can pick up the phone without looking at caller ID and recognize familiar voices right away.  This is what I mean when I say things sound natural to me with my CI.  There is no robotic, computerized, flat sound to the voices I hear.  They are amazing!

Again, since this is very important to keep in mind, things did NOT sound like this to me at first.  In fact, I did not understand any speech at activation for either side.

At some point in my journey, musical instrument voices emerged.  I was sent a musical clip to listen to from a friend.  I had never heard of the group before.  I listened and enjoyed their sound.  I thought the saxophone was a tenor sax instead of an alto sax (I had played alto sax growing up) so I looked online for information about this group and it was a tenor sax!  I was so excited that the musical instrument voices were becoming so clear.  Smile.  Just two months ago I was at a restaurant with friends.  It had a bar with live music in the section next to where we were eating.  We could not see into that area but could hear the live music.  My friend commented on the clarinet.  I was baffled because it did not sound like a clarinet to me.  It sounded like a muted trumpet.  On our way out, I peeked into the bar area and it was a muted trumpet.  It's so exciting!

 

We were on vacation and my friend was speaking to someone there we had just met.  Afterwards I commented on that person's strong midwestern accent and wondered if she was from Michigan.  My hearing friend said her accent sounded British.  Later that week we ran into this woman again and guess what?  She is from Wisconsin so midwestern accent was correct.  This stuff continues to blow my mind.

 

I am sharing my experiences with you so that you can see that for some of us, CIs sound very natural indeed.  It really is all up to neural survival that delivers good info to our brains and then what our brains do with this info.  We can not do anything about the neural survival but we can help our brains by activiely training on aural rehab and giving our brains time to figure things out,

 

I have been implanted for just over two years and I still train everyday.  The types of training activities I do have changed over time.  Right now I am training musical pitch perception.  I have returned to playing the piano and have been taking weekly lessons for the past 4 months.  It is so much fun and things continue to improve.

 

Some people have asked me when I will stop training.  My response is always the same.  I will stop training when I see that training is not improving my listening skills.  So far that has not happened.  Smile.  I hope it doesn't happen for a long long time as I plan on getting the best listening possible out of my CIs.  They have changed my life in so many ways.

 

Since I have shared some of my WOW moments with you I think it is important for me to tell you that there were frustrating experiences along my journey too.  This is not a simple fix.  Everyone's journey will have WOW moments and frustrations.

 

I wish you the best.

 

 

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