The New Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor Gets FDA Approval

The New Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor Gets FDA Approval

The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is currently the lightest and smallest behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor available in the industry. Photo courtesy of Cochlear Limited.

The world-renowned leader in implantable hearing solutions, Cochlear Limited, has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor. This behind-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor is now the smallest and lightest one available in the industry.

The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is also the first cochlear implant sound processor that can provide direct audio connectivity to everyday consumer electronics by using Bluetooth’s next generation LE Audio technology.

“Cochlear’s goal is to help people feel empowered to connect with their world and make it easier to hear and be heard,” said Lisa Aubert, President, Cochlear Americas, in the company’s press release. “In a restaurant, at work, at school, or spending time with family and friends — life’s full of opportunities to engage with others. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is our smallest, lightest and smartest behind-the-ear sound processor yet and is designed to help people hear conversations more clearly and comfortably, wherever life may take them.”

Both cochlear implants and hearing aids allow people with hearing loss to communicate better. While hearing aids amplify sounds to be detected by damaged ears, cochlear implants directly stimulate the auditory nerve, bypassing damaged parts of the ear. Audiologists perform careful examinations to determine which option is more suitable for their patient with hearing loss.

Hearing aids do not require surgery and may be used by people with fair speech understanding and less severe hearing loss. Cochlear implants require surgery and are typically more appropriate for individuals with poor speech understanding and more severe hearing loss in one or both ears.

Current research suggests only one out of 20 adults who can benefit from a cochlear impact use cochlear implant technology. Improved hearing helps people communicate better and it enhances their quality of life. Therefore, patients with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss should see their audiologist to take advantage of cochlear implant technology.

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The Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor

Cochlear’s Nucleus 8 Sound Processor expands on the direct streaming capabilities present in Cochlear’s latest sound processors. This newest sound processor uses the next-generation Bluetooth LE Audio technology to directly connect to everyday technology in more locations and from more devices than before. Individuals using the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor will be able to connect to broadcasts at conference centers, airports, sport stadiums and gyms that support Bluetooth’s next-generation Auracast.

In addition, the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor senses changes in an individual’s environment and can automatically adjust the listening settings. Furthermore, its ForwardFocus feature reduces the background noise to help the cochlear implant recipient have a more confident face-to-face conversation with less distraction. Cochlear’s latest sound processor is 15 percent smaller and 13 percent lighter than its predecessor.

The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor will be commercially available across the US and Canada by the end of 2022. Health Canada has also approved the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor.

“Cochlear continues to lead in innovation that matters most, delivering smaller and smarter sound processors to improve hearing performance that’s comfortable and easy to use,” said Ryan Lopez, Director, Nucleus Product Management & Marketing, Cochlear Americas, in the same press release. “The Bluetooth LE Audio connectivity in the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor will provide those with hearing loss new, more convenient ways to stream audio to their sound processor, including making it easier for children and adults to engage in the world around them. From the classroom to the conference room, we want to help reduce the stress of life’s interactions with the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor.”

Cochlear is also broadening its Connected Care solutions for patients who received their Nucleus Implant System. Expanding upon the ability to let patients with a Nucleus system adjust their sound processor settings and access Remote Care options from their mobile phone, improvements to the Nucleus Smart App will allow for future improvements to the bimodal control experience and give access to Remote Firmware updates. This will allow patients to conveniently access the latest technology without needing to visit the clinic.