Cochlear is testing a single-unit external processor similar in form factor to the MED-EL RONDO. With a code name, or perhaps eventual market name of Kanso, the processor operates on 2 675P high-power zinc-air batteries. And like the RONDO, a tether is available to help retain the processor if it falls off.
Unlike the RONDO, the Kanso has a multi-function button which enables a small set of adjustments. In child mode, the button is used to change programs. To change volume or sensitivity, the audiologist must enable the features to be adjusted by the CR210 Remote Control or the CR230 Remote Assistant.
Combinations of long and short presses on the button allow the user to select external inputs, including a built-in telecoil and a sequence of any paired wireless accessories. The wireless capability is a substantial difference between the Kanso and the RONDO.
The two microphone ports allude to some implementation of a zoom feature, which is helpful in noisy situations. Like the RONDO, the processor sits directly over the implant magnet, which may not be the ideal location. A zoom program is likely to be very useful.
The Kanso is programmed to work with only one implant, so it won’t work if you are bilateral and put it on the wrong side. It does not seem to have the capability of recognizing which ear it is on and loading the appropriate programs.
To learn more about the Cochlear Kanso, read the draft User Guide.