Cochlear Implant Hearing Begins with the Microphone

Hearing with a cochlear implant system, just like with normal hearing, starts with first capturing sound from the environment. Instead of the normal ear collecting and delivering these sound waves, a microphone captures and delivers them to the sound processor, where they’re converted electronically into detailed digital information. The sound-capturing ability of the microphone is an important part of hearing well with cochlear implants. Microphones positioned to effectively capture the full range of sound provide you or your child with the opportunity to have the best possible hearing experience.


Location is Key

Even the most sophisticated microphones in the world must be positioned effectively to capture sound. That’s why AB places our microphones in strategic locations to capture the most complete sound window for more natural hearing.


Three Strategic Mic Locations

For optimal hearing, AB places our microphones in one of these three strategic locations:

  • Naturally in the Ear Canal: AB’s T-MicTM places the microphone at the opening of the ear, utilizing the outer ear’s sound-gathering shape for highly focused, effortless listening. Plus, with the T-Mic, you can enjoy easy wireless connectivity to cell phones, hands-free headsets, headphones and earbuds.
  • Discreetly Behind-the-Ear: The built-in mic on the HarmonyTM behind-the-ear (BTE) sound processors is located at ear level to easily and efficiently capture incoming sounds.
  • Conveniently on the Headpiece: The built-in microphone of the body-worn Platinum Series Processor (PSP) is located on the headpiece for effective sound gathering while wearing nothing on the ear.

Natural Placement for More Natural Hearing

AB’s patented T-Mic microphone is situated at the entrance of the ear canal, where it can take full advantage of the outer ear’s remarkable sound-gathering ability. This natural, optimal placement is designed to provide better, more focused hearing for you or your child. The T-Mic also provides wireless connectivity for listening to cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, MP3 players, and more the way those with normal hearing do-with no special cables, wires, or adapters required.

Study Reveals Recipients Hear Better with T-Mic

In an independent study, Gifford showed that 11 out of 11 recipients understood more sentences in noise with T-Mic than with a behind-the-ear (BTE) microphone.1



Gifford R. Speech Perception in a Realistic Background Noise: Effectiveness of Preprocessing Strategies and External Options for Improving the Signal-to-noise Ratio. Presentation at the 10th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies, San Diego, CA, April 10–12, 2008.

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High-performance, built-in microphones are included with, and fully integrated into, all AB cochlear implant systems, including Harmony, Auria, and PSP sound processors.

The T-Mic accessory is compatible with Harmony and Auria BTE sound processors.

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