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An Australian clinical evaluation of the Nucleus 6® cochlear implant system
Mauger S.J. , Warren C.D. , Knight M. , Heasman J.M. , Goorevich M. , Nel E.
Cochlear Limited, Research & Applications, East Melbourne, Australia, 2Cochlear Limited, Design & Development, Sydney, Australia
Introduction and aim: SmartSound iQ in the Nucleus 6 system includes a range of new technologies to improve
hearing and ease of device use. An automatic scene classifier (SCAN) is able to automatically and seamlessly
change programs depending on the listening environment. A background noise reduction technology (SNR-NR)
and a wind noise reduction technology (WNR) are able to improve speech understanding in noisy environments.
This study aims to evaluate the clinical performance of the Nucleus 5 compared to a range of Nucleus 6
programs in adult recipients in both quiet and noise.
Material and methods: A total of 21 Australian adults participated in the study. Word understanding at 50 dB
was evaluated using CVC words in quiet. Sentence understanding at 65 dB was evaluated using an adaptive
speech reception threshold (SRT) noise tests. Nucleus 5 Every day and four Nucleus 6 programs were tested in
quiet. Recipients preferred Nucleus 5 program and five Nucleus 6 programs were tested in noise after a one
week acclimatization period. The four noise conditions included speech weighted noise and 4-talker babble,
presented in both speech at 0° noise at 0° (S0N0) and speech at 0° noise at 90°, 180°, 270° (S0N3) speaker
Results: In the SWN S0N0 condition, the Nucleus 6 SCAN program provided a significant improvement
compared to all other programs. Improvements compared to Nucleus 5 preferred and Nucleus 6 none, were 1.7
dB and 2.3 dB respectively. In the SWN S0N3 condition the Nucleus SCAN program provided a significant
improvement compared Nucleus 5 Preferred (1.3 dB), Nucleus 6 none (4.8 dB) and Nucleus 6 ADRO+ASC (3.9
dB). No difference was found between programs in the 4-talker babble S0N0 condition. In the 4-talker babble
S0N3 condition Nucleus SCAN provided a significant improvement compared to Nucleus 5 Preferred (0.5 dB),
Nucleus 6 none (3.9 dB) and Nucleus 6 ADRO+ASC (3.5 dB). In quiet, no difference was found between the
Nucleus 5 Everyday, Nucleus 6 ADRO+ASC and Nucleus 6 SCAN programs. A significant improvement was
found for the Nucleus 6 Whisper program compared to all other programs in quiet.
Conclusion: The newly released Nucleus 6 system's SmartSound iQ default program, SCAN, provides benefit
or equivalent speech understanding when compared to a range of other Nucleus 5 and Nucleus 6 programs.
SCAN was found to automatically select technologies that gave improved speech understanding compared to
the user preferred Nucleus 5 noise program. All subjects successfully upgraded to the Nucleus 6 system, and
accepted the new automated default SmartSound iQ settings.