Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Remote

The Nucleus 5 CP810 processor comes with a remote. It certainly seems to be one of those love it or hate it sort of things. I don't think it should be a deciding factor in choosing an implant/processor, but I can't say how many times I've heard "You should get brand X because you don't have to fool around with the settings or have to deal with a remote." Or, conversely "I chose the Nucleus 5 because I loved the idea of having a remote!" 

FYI, I rarely fool around with the settings on my processor, and I use the remote even less. I have an everyday setting which I am on at least 90% of the time. If I am listening to music alone in a quiet place or at an orchestra concert, I'll put it on the music setting, but I can still appreciate music very well on the everyday setting. Or, if I'm in a noisy restaurant, I'll put it on the Zoom setting, which I finds gets rid of most of the background noise without dampening voices. Cochlear has a few different settings for noisy situations, and each one is a bit different. Noise, Focus, and Zoom are all available, but it really depends on personal preference which one you use. The Noise and Focus options are both separate programs. This means that on the home screen of the remote (or on the buttons of my processor) that I just press which one I want to change it to. It's really easy, and I can easily see which program I'm on.
Here is the summary of Zoom from Cochlear's website:
"Nucleus 5 is designed to enhance hearing performance in noisy environments. A new signal processing path with dual omni microphones has created a new platform designed for better hearing performance. Dual microphone technology has been shown to improve speech performance in noise. Recent research also shows that the Nucleus 5 Sound Processor Zoom™ Power Option may result in even better performance in noise"

Notice this is sentences *in noise*.
Getting to the Zoom setting is a bit different than getting to Noise or Focus, since you can add it on to any of the programs (Everyday, Noise, Music, or Focus) that you're already on. I typically add it to the Everyday program, but you have to get to the processor settings menu to enable it, and back to the processor settings menu to disable it. On the home screen, there is no notification of whether it is turned on or off. 
Why is this relevant?

Well, for the past week I've noticed I've been struggling quite a bit to hear, even in one-on-one, quiet situations. I figured I just needed (another) mapping, and shrugged it off. I hadn't bothered with the remote in a while, so as I was shutting it off to put it in my purse, I decided to do a quick check through all of the settings. The volume and sensitivity looked okay. I was just about to put it away, when it hit me...

I'd gone out to a noisy steakhouse a week ago. I set it on the Zoom function, then put the Remote away. Had I ever turned it off?

I quickly went to the "Zoom" setting to see the option to disable it, mean it was still turned on.  I felt stupid, yet relieved.

My hearing has since seemed much better. *Whew* I think when Cochlear has a software upgrade for the remote, they should have a "dashboard" setting where you can see everything that you've changed from the default settings. I can't be the only one who's made this mistake! Sad thing is, it's not the first time. Usually I figure it out within a day or two, though.


  1. I have my everyday program with zoom as my 3rd program. I don't bother with the remote as I carry enough "rubbish" around with me!

    I too have done this MANY times. Gone out clubbing/eating etc. Come home and gone to bed - wake up and *something* just doesn't seem right. Halfway through the day I change my program and suddenly I can hear again!

    Here's a tip if you are ever in a place thats playing music really loudly - so loudly that it is a massive "blur". Put it onto the T setting, its usally so loud that it can work with the telecoil and you can hear the music perfectly! People can't hear you and you can't hear them you are more likely to be lipreading anyway :-)

  2. This sometimes happens to me (even though I don't have a remote)...
    Example: Enter noisy restaurant. Change sensitivity dial/program. Leave restaurant. Forget to change it back. Wonder why everything sounds funny. :P

  3. Replies
    1. Hey Lissa,

      Cochlear updated the software of the remote a while back (around a year or so ago) and Zoom is no longer a separate program that users turn on themselves. Audiologist can assign it to one of the four programs as one of the Smart Sound options.


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