The design, size, fit and weight of the speech processor

For a cochlear implant speech processor, there is no ear mould. Instead there is a transmitting coil which holds on to your head, either under or over your hair as you choose, using a magnet. Most of the devices hook behind your ear like a hearing aid. Some have options for clipping on to clothes or to the headrest of your wheelchair.

If you can wear your hearing aid with your glasses without one getting in the way of the other, you’ll probably find it the same with a speech processor.

Wearing Options for Babies and Small Children

Cochlear MED-EL
Nucleus 7 CP1000 Kanso SONNET 2 RONDO 2
SONNET black
Colours available    
kanso colours sonnet colours

Coil cover colours (examples only)

Hair colours and patterns available (examples only)

Weight of processor   
9.8g 13.9g 10.6g 14.5g

As we are trying to be green and economical, all of our patients use rechargeable batteries wherever possible. We supply all batteries, chargers, spares and replacements, and a small supply of zinc-air recyclable batteries for emergencies. The manufacturers’ websites tend to give a generous estimated battery life; since the battery life depends on your individual maps and programmes (and these are different for everyone), you should take those numbers with a pinch of salt.

behind the earMost of the processors are designed so that they can be worn in different ways to fit most comfortably for the user. Typically, there is a top part (the processor itself) which has an ear hook at the front, and a battery compartment which twists onto the bottom. There is a cable coming out of the back of the processor with a short wire attaching to the transmitting coil. Most adults wear the processor hooked behind their ear like a hearing aid, and this style is called Behind The Ear (BTE).

Small children usually start off with just the processor hooked behind their ear, and the battery compartment clipped to their clothes. It might look something like this:

baby battery packRef_84_CP900_User_Guide

For babies, or for people who cannot wear anything behind their ears, the processors can be configured so that all of the equipment is clipped to their clothes (or their wheelchair), and just the transmitting coil is attached, using a long cable. This style is called Off The Ear (OTE). Some processors, like the AB Neptune, only come with the OTE arrangement and so the child might change to a different processor when they are old enough to wear the equipment behind their ears.


Don’t forget to check which accessories and options are included in the offer packages, and which are available as additional purchases. Not all of the colour choices may be available.