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Cochlear Implants Int. 2013 Jan;14(1):36-44. doi: 10.1179/1754762811Y.0000000032.

Performance of the Harmony™ behind-the-ear processor with the first generation of Advanced Bionics™ implant systems.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany. martinab@abionics.fr



When new cochlear implant (CI) sound processors are being introduced by the manufacturers, usually the newest generation implants benefit first from the new technology in order to release the full potential of the new hardware. Subsequently, for the Advanced Bionics system the Harmony behind-the-ear processor was only compatible to the newer generation implants, i.e. the CII and HiRes90K, at the time of market release. After further development of a new Digital Signal Processing code the Harmony could also support the first implant generation, the 'C1' (Clarion 1.0 and 1.2). This study reports on a field trial with a new sound processor designed to be used with older generation CIs from Advanced Bionics, focussing on ergonomic and performance benefits.


Speech perception tests (Freiburger monosyllables, HSM sentence tests) were performed at a baseline appointment with the subject's clinical processor, followed by the fitting of the Harmony. After a 1 month take-home period the tests were repeated with the Harmony. Additionally, subjective evaluation through questionnaires and a structured interview were administered after upgrading to the sound processor 'C1 Harmony'. Adult users of Advanced Bionics C1 series CIs (n = 29) participated in this study.


The new processor provided superior performance in many, though not all, of the speech recognition measurements. Subjective reports indicated certain practical benefits from the new processor, particularly for previous users of body-worn processors. Overall, 80% of the subjects preferred the new processor.


The positive outcomes from this trial have resulted in the decision to make the new C1 Harmony processor available to all existing users of the early C1 devices.

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