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Rick H

New to hear peers & Choosing brands

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Hi everyone I’m Rick from Washington & I have profound hearing loss in both ears . I have been qualified for implants in both ears & am scheduled to be implanted on the left side in October! I am still trying to decide which brand but am leaning toward Med-El or Cochlear mainly for the OTE processors.(Rondo 2 or Kanso) all the brands seem to be great but all also claim to be the best . My question to you is how happy are you with the sound quality of your implant & the customer service you receive from Med-El. Choosing the right brand seems to be the hardest decision as a doctor doesn’t really know how each sound  unless he has one. I know it’s also a tough thing to answer for most recipients as they are used to only the brand They chose. Also music is very important to me as well . How would you rate the quality of music thru your implant? I know sometimes music can be a hard thing to acquire again. I’m nervous & excited as most people are before getting an implant, but reading a lot of the stories & experiences on this forum have really helped me to know what to expect. Now just Down to making the final decision for brand. I trying also to base my decision on the implant itself as I know the new technology changes every few years for the processors & those tend to be upgraded, So I really like the synchrony! Have any of you experienced any reliability issues with that implant? Any input you can share would be great! 

Thanks

Rick

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Hi Rick,

Welcome to Hearpeers. I'm not a Medel user, but I can tell you that Cochlear is the worst brand to choose if you want to listen to music.

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Hi @Rick H

Welcome to HearPeers and congratulations on your upcoming CI.  I have bilateral Med-El CIs and they have been outstanding!  Super customer service.  I have one internal Synchrony and one internal Concert (the previous model).

I will post two links for you since I’m on my way to work.  Feel free to ask questions.

 

Music has been spectacular.  It took its own journey.  The end result has returned old, new and playing music back to my life.  I’m addicted to listening to music and loving every minute of it.

 

Wishing you the best!

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The video is my CI journey. It is captioned.

 

This link is to a guest article about music with my Med-El CIs.

https://blog.medel.com/3-steps-to-rediscovering-music-with-a-cochlear-implant/

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19 hours ago, Daniel the Stranger said:

Hi Rick,

Welcome to Hearpeers. I'm not a Medel user, but I can tell you that Cochlear is the worst brand to choose if you want to listen to music.

Thanks Daniel, I’ve heard Med-El is the best for music but I’ve heard very little about how the other brands perform for music, so that helps me a lot! I read that music  can require a lot of rehabilitation & some people never really learn to enjoy it with implants. I know for each person it’s different but I hope yours gets better as time goes on. Thanks for your input!

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13 hours ago, Mary Beth said:

Hi @Rick H

Welcome to HearPeers and congratulations on your upcoming CI.  I have bilateral Med-El CIs and they have been outstanding!  Super customer service.  I have one internal Synchrony and one internal Concert (the previous model).

I will post two links for you since I’m on my way to work.  Feel free to ask questions.

 

Music has been spectacular.  It took its own journey.  The end result has returned old, new and playing music back to my life.  I’m addicted to listening to music and loving every minute of it.

 

Wishing you the best!

Thanks Mary Beth 

thank you for the links/articles . They were very helpful to me. I’ve been leaning towards Med-El s for a while now. I have to make my decision in about 9 days & I like all the things & stories I’ve heard about Med-El. I think my implant center is a 2 processor center so I’m thinking about the sonnet 2 & Rondo 2. Do you know if back ground noise is a problem with the Rondo as they only have 1 mic? I like the way the cochlear brand connects with IPhone direct but with the new audio link I think the Med-El would connect up pretty easy as well. Besides I’m thinking the implant itself is more important & I really like the MRI safety of the Synchrony. Plus Med-Els I’ve always heard are better for music. I know music can take a lot of work to learn & everyone is different as far as being able to enjoy it again but that is important to me. 

Thank you again & I really appreciate your advice!

Rick H

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@Rick H

Hi Rick,

Unfortunately there is no crystal ball to help us see what life will be like with CIs before we start our journeys.  It requires a leap of faith and a commitment to the appts and training our brains,  it sounds like you have done your research.  Smile.  So much to learn at the beginning isn’t there?

I hope your CI center is a two processor center.  Be sure to ask about the Sonnet swap promotion if the Sonnet 2 is not released when you have surgery.  Be careful about anyone opening a Sonnet 1.  Your audiologist or Med-El US can help you with that.

Rondo 1, OPUS 2 and Rondo 2 all work with one omni mic in Automatic Sound Management 1 (ASM 1).  I hear very well in noise with my OPUS 2 and my Rondo 1 processors.

Sonnet 1 uses two mics (or can use one mic in the Omni setting) in Automatic Sound Management 2 (ASM 2).  The noise management features of dual mics in ASM 2 relies a lot of the location of the noise.

Sonnet 2 uses two mics (or can use one mic in the Omni setting I believe) in Automatic Sound Management 3 (ASM 3).  The noise management uses adaptive intelligence which should be really cool in noise.

I was implanted in 2015.  In the 4+ years, Med-El has been using.....

OPUS 2

Rondo 1

Sonnet 1

Rondo 2

and now Sonnet 2.

 

Processors change often.  The internal components we hope to have for life.

AudioLink will give us stereo streaming with Sonnet 1 and Sonnet 2.  I can’t wait.  

We already have several options for streaming in binaural mono sound.  Easy to use and sound very good.  But I am excited for streaming in stereo.

Which CI center are you using?  I go to New York Eye & Ear in NYC.

 

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Hi Mary Beth

i am going to Bellevue ENT. 

Yeah I’m not sure if the Sonnet 2 will be out yet but I’m hoping by the time I get activated which is November 5th they will be. I’m getting excited but also nervous, but can hardly wait to start this journey! My doctor told me I actually qualified for implants 5 years ago, but the doctor I was seeing then just gave me hearing aids. I started losing my hearing 20 years ago due to noise exposure from my job & it has steadily gotten worse to the point where I only have about 14% left. Watching all the videos of other people who have gone through this I can relate so much to everything they say. People  just  don’t realized how much you withdraw socially & how much it changes your daily life & relationships! I am so ready to give this a try! I’ve been reading all the info & forums & watching people who have been through it. Everyone is so inspirational! I think I pretty know what to expect & I know it will hard work. But I have a great doctor & team & supportive family & friends. 

Thanks for all the info I’m looking forward to the journey & starting a new part of my life!

Rick

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@Rick H

It is a life changing journey!  Best wishes!

Keep us posted.

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@Rick H hello and welcome!  I am a huge fan of MedEl and their customer service - they really support us.  Hear Peers is part of that too, it builds a little community for us where we can all trade stories and ask questions.

I was implanted last year.  I have Sonnets and Rondo2s.  I like them both for different reasons!  I am hearing better all the time and just recently noticed another improvement in the way I hear music.  I have farther to go, but am trusting the process and it gets better all the time. 

I would recommend MedEl without reservations but in fairness would report that a friend with AB loves music and gets a great deal of enjoyment from listening too.  But she was implanted fifteen years ago and has had more time for rehab than I have!  But if you want an off the ear processor AB is not an option for you, so we're back to MedEL!

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Thanks Mary

I appreciate your input! Yes I kind of ruled out AB because they don’t offer an OTE processor. So it’s really between the Rondo2 & Kanso, even though I’m planning on getting a processor like the sonnet2 or  nucleus 7 as well (I think my center is a 2 processor center). I like the streaming capability of the cochlear brand a lot but I’m sure I can set up the Med-El s to stream as well just need to get extra ALDs. Do you do much streaming with yours? 

I really know I should focus more on the implant than the processor anyhow but the features seem to be in the processor. I also really like that the Rondo2 are rechargeable. That’s a big plus on my list as well! I take it you’ve not experienced any reliability issues? For the most part all brands seem to be very reliable. I still find choosing brands is the most overwhelming, they all seem to be good.

Glad to hear you are enjoying yours so much & that your hearing is getting even better. I’ve been told that it will continue to improve for up to 2 years. Sounds like you are doing good on your journey & enjoying the process!

thanks & best wishes to you 

Rick H

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@Rick H I don't often use my Roger devices or even my neckloop anymore.  That may change but right now I'm putting my processors on in the morning and leaving them pretty much all day.  Today we had a large meeting and I used the Fine Tuner to increase my volume, and that was sufficient for me to hear (which is astounding compared to a year ago!). 

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Rick

welcome. I was implanted this past March and activated in April. I chose med el after a lot of research and discussion with my surgeon. He said something that helped me decide. He said the flex 28 implant was the “floppiest” out there and that would help with retaining residual hearing. My research also indicated that the med el implant was superior. I have both the Sonnet and Rondo 2 and each has its pros and cons. The sonnet has better sound quality for me (so far) but the lack of Bluetooth is a con. The Rondo 2 rechargeable battery lasts all day which is a big bonus over the kanso. But as I said, to date the sound quality isn’t as good as the Sonnet. Admittedly I am still in the beginning stages (although if you’ve seen some of my previous posts you’ll realize I’m frustrated by this 😀) so my views are basically those of a newbie. 

Good luck with your decision. 

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Thanks Mary

thats kind of what I was thinking . The streaming sounds beneficial but most of the times I’d be using my implants just the way they were intended, just hearing. Hi tech features are great but I don’t want to base my main decision on them. As new technology improves processors I’m sure the MedEls will stream like the cochlear s do but Like I said before I think the implant itself is the most important thing. Its what we live with for years or a lifetime & I just want to get the best I possibly can. 

I am so looking forward to just being able to hear & communicate with people again! I am so inspired by reading about everyone’s experiences & wow moments on this forum. Its just great & gives me so much hope for the future. One of my biggest reasons for taking this leap of faith is I have a 4 month old granddaughter & I don’t want her to struggle to communicate with me. 

Thanks again Mary for all the advice

Rick H

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11 minutes ago, JohnL said:

Rick

welcome. I was implanted this past March and activated in April. I chose med el after a lot of research and discussion with my surgeon. He said something that helped me decide. He said the flex 28 implant was the “floppiest” out there and that would help with retaining residual hearing. My research also indicated that the med el implant was superior. I have both the Sonnet and Rondo 2 and each has its pros and cons. The sonnet has better sound quality for me (so far) but the lack of Bluetooth is a con. The Rondo 2 rechargeable battery lasts all day which is a big bonus over the kanso. But as I said, to date the sound quality isn’t as good as the Sonnet. Admittedly I am still in the beginning stages (although if you’ve seen some of my previous posts you’ll realize I’m frustrated by this 😀) so my views are basically those of a newbie. 

Good luck with your decision. 

Thanks John 

I was  curious if the Rondos sound quality would be less than that of the Sonnet since it has only 1 mic. That is something I would expect but hopefully it is still an acceptable sounding processor. I’m looking at getting both so I’d have a back up anyhow.(it’s something my surgeon recommended) I also feel that  the MedEls  are superior but the only way for me to know for sure is by talking to people like you who have experienced this first hand. I realize frustration is probably going to be part of the process as well. I hope it improves for you. Just give it time & it will work out for you! 

Thanks for the info & take care !

Rick H

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@Rick H

Hearing the quiet voice of our young great niece was a true WOW moment for me.

 

I use tech just to stream audiobooks and if I’m listening to music while traveling.  

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Hi @Rick H

I got implanted last month and my activation is on Monday. I did lots of research to decide whether I should go with Rondo 2 or Kanso. Kanso is slightly smaller but I think that's hardly noticable. I choosed Rondo 2 mainly because of the wireless charging, and the interior part (Synchrony) is imho superior to the Cochlear's Nucleus as it has complete cochlear coverage plus the flexible electrodes. Like others say, choosing  right interior piece is the key part because sound processors tend to change every few years. 

Cochlear Nucleus 7 has direct iphone connectivity as well, but I'm hoping for built in 2.4ghz bluetooth for Rondo 3 sometime in the future. Sonnets already have it. I do listen to old/new music a lot with my hearing aids, attend to concerts (last one was Guns N' Roses) so music have an important part in my life. But I told myself, I could sacrifice music if I'm going to have better speech discrimination. It's all about prioritizing what you expect from cochlear implants. :)

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Thanks Evren

i think you & I are on the same page! I’m really leaning toward MedEl for the exact same reasons. The rechargeable battery of the Rondo2 is really a nice feature & to stream either one of the OTE processors would still require some sort of ALD anyhow. 

I agree also if I had to choose between speech & music I’d take speech, & think medEl is going to give the best chance at acquiring enjoyable music! Guns & Roses would have been a great concert! Sounds like we both enjoy the same music also! 

Best of luck to you on your activation I hope it all works out for you!

thanks

Rick H 

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@Rick H

 

I would not equate music appreciation with processor streaming functions.  I LOVE music with my Rondo 1 processors. The ability to enjoy the full range of musical sounds is dependent in part on the internal implant, electrode array and sound processing strategy.

My Med-El CIs have returned music to my life.  I listen to music for hours everyday.

We have lots of options on how to listen to music with our processors.  We will be happy to share our favorite ways when you are ready.

It’s a fabulous journey.  Wishing you the best.

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Hi Mary Beth 

yes I'm really looking forward to hearing my granddaughter talk! I also only plan on using tech for limited things like that & phone calls, maybe TV.

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Thanks Mary Beth 

i agree it really is the implant itself that will be the most important for music! 

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Hi @Rick H

I have Sonnet 1 and Rondo2. Both are great for music! Everyone's journey is a bit different. For me I was able to enjoy music within the first 3 months of activation. Music sounds just as it did when I had normal hearing. I was able to enjoy music at a concert a few months ago! 

I hear better with Rondo2 but in noisy environments I prefer Sonnet 1. Check if your CI center is a two processor facility. You may be able to get one of each. Of course if you're going with the Sonnet, I'd recommend you wait on Sonnet 2 unless you're able to benefit from an exchange. 

I'm hardly in noisy environments so it's not a problem using the Rondo2 personally. 

Yesterday I was driving and listening to an audiobook and it was very clear. I usually connect the phone to the car radio but this time forgot! I was amazed that with my Rondo2 I could make out the audiobook clearly while driving although I was just hearing from the phone's speakerphone a few feet away! Gonna try that with my Sonnet tomorrow and see how it compares!

Wishing you the best with your journey. 

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@Jewel

WOW that is terrific!  Isn’t it amazing how our hearing with CIs continues to improve even when we do not realize it?!  I love hearing something easily and later realizing that I couldn’t do that months/years earlier.  

Everyone’s excitement with the Rondo 2 sure has me eager for when I can upgrade.  

I forget, do you tether/secure it to you in some way?

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Flexible electrode is longer than Cochlear's and go in further into cochleae. I was implanted this year, heard high frequency for first time as I was extremely weak in that area. Been a journey. Cicadas, birds either talking to or yelling at each other, buses and trucks pressured air releasing which annoy me, leaves rubbing on ground and blown by wind. About music, well, it depended on how heavy I go. AC/DC was static for me until I got mostly used to it but I heard it much more clearly than I did with hearing aid. More details like the vibrations of guitars, never heard them. All of above and plus many many more, my hearing aids weren’t able to hear them for me because my high frequency is non existence. During hearing test, max volume and still can’t hear them. Imaging hearing them for first time. 
 

Hope this helps with your decision. 

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6 minutes ago, Ricky said:

Flexible electrode is longer than Cochlear's and go in further into cochleae. I was implanted this year, heard high frequency for first time as I was extremely weak in that area. Been a journey. Cicadas, birds either talking to or yelling at each other, buses and trucks pressured air releasing which annoy me, leaves rubbing on ground and blown by wind. About music, well, it depended on how heavy I go. AC/DC was static for me until I got mostly used to it but I heard it much more clearly than I did with hearing aid. More details like the vibrations of guitars, never heard them. All of above and plus many many more, my hearing aids weren’t able to hear them for me because my high frequency is non existence. During hearing test, max volume and still can’t hear them. Imaging hearing them for first time. 
 

Hope this helps with your decision. 

By the way, I had to adjust treble on my TV as it was too high. The consonants were too much. That’s another one, I didn’t use to hear consonants. 

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