Recently, Med-EL released the new SONNET processor. The awesome part about this processor is that it can be used as a cochlear implant only, or as a cochlear implant with acoustic element – the SONNET EAS. The acoustic element means that people who have residual hearing can make use of an hybrid technology: electro-acoustic stimulation.
I think this is pretty amazing. It allows for one to use their residual hearing to hear the natural basses. The thing I like less about the SONNET EAS processor, is that the acoustic part has a MPO (Maximum Power Output) of 118 dBSPL. (reference)
Okay, that’s still a lot, but if you compare that to the Naida IX UP BTE’s I’m wearing, with their MPO of 144 dBSPL (reference), I’m slightly dissapointed. Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people with residual hearing could get access to the hybrid technologies?
Of course, you can always go for a Rondo unit with a BTE (Behind The Ear) hearing aid, or a Sonnet with an ITE (In The Ear) hearing aid which usually packs less power than the BTE kinds. But why did Med-EL not splurge just a little extra and pack some extra power in the Sonnet EAS systems?
I do not expect that any of my residual hearing will be saved, but around 20% (reference, I know this is a small study but I think/hope it’s slightly representative) of the people that get implanted with the FLEXSOFT array with soft surgery lose <10dB in the low frequencies due to the implantation. If I might happen to be one of the “lucky ones”, then I would definitely be interested in messing around with electro-acoustic stimulation.
But it seems the Sonnet EAS processor will be quite useless in this aspect.
Oh well, just a slight annoyance I felt like sharing.
On another note, my next appointment is on tuesday 27 november. I will have balance testing, a MR scan and… something. I can’t quite figure out what the last appointment is about yet, since I can’t decrypt all those abbreviations on the paper the hospital gave me. I guess I’ll just see.