How to swim with YOUR CI processor

Recent advances in cochlear implants have enabled some of us to go swimming with our ears on.  Advanced Bionics’ Neptune is the only waterproof processor. But not everybody has one, or is in a position to get one.

Cochlear’s Aqua Accessory is a single-use plastic bag designed for the Nucleus 5 processor.  Usable for up to one or two hours, depending on your location, “Your Nucleus Global Limited Warranty will not be void in circumstances where the Aqua Accessory is used in water with a CP800 series sound processor only, in accordance with the Aqua Accessory instructions.”

The Aqua Accessory’s position on the ear makes sense for a BTE processor, but may not be the best location for water activities.  Because it is a big flap extending behind your ear, it can come off when you jump in the water.  It’s certainly a good idea to use a tether at a minimum, and a swim cap and goggles are even better.

The aLOKSAK bag from LOKSAK is hermetic and certified waterproof up to 200 feet (60 meters) depth.  You can put your processor in a reusable aLOKSAK bag, and tuck the bag under a Nammu swim hat.  Dive, jump, surf, and splash all day long!

Because this solution doesn’t come from the cochlear implant manufacturers, use it at your own risk.  However, we have tested this in lots of situations, including on the incredible FlowRider.


Surf until you wipe out, then 35,000 gallons of water per minute carries you to the top of the ramp and over the lip, where you hit the padded wall.  And the Nammu swim hat never comes off!

The aLOKSAK/Nammu combination works with any BTE processor, and also MED-EL’s one-piece RONDO.  The smallest bag, aLOK3-3X6, is large enough to hold any recent BTE processor and headpiece.

William Demant Acquires Neurelec

In the latest move in the cochlear implant industry, William Demant Holding Group has acquired French cochlear implant manufacturer Neurelec.

William Demant is the parent company of Oticon, known for hearing aids, and more recently, bone-anchored hearing aids.

New Product Announcements?

With Advanced Bionics, Cochlear, and MED-EL all preparing to announce new processors, a room full of professionals is always a good place to watch.  There aren’t many cochlear implant conferences coming up, so the British Cochlear Implant Group conference on March 21st and 22nd bears close scrutiny.

The programme includes time for AB, Cochlear, MED-EL and Neurelec to provide manufacturer’s updates.  While has no specific product introduction information, we have been reporting on the upcoming devices.

Advanced Bionics:


AB is readying a new processor with wireless capabilities and features from Phonak.  You can stream the phone audio from one ear to the other (another AB implant or a Phonak hearing aid).  Connect to phones, music players, etc. via BlueTooth through the ComPilot.  More information is available in this brochure.



The Nucleus 6 processor will be available in two sizes – with or without an accessory port.  The processor may offer wireless capabilities using the remote as a gateway device.  And it may be possible to program the processor remotely!  The Nucleus 6 will also be able to act as a hybrid hearing aid / cochlear implant, using the Acoustic Component.

Acoustic Component



MED-EL has been busy as well, preparing the RONDO one-piece processor.  This is the world’s first processor to be completely self-contained. The batteries, processor, and headpiece are all one unit.  Nothing sits on the ear at all!


saphyrThis French cochlear implant manufacturer has a time slot to provide an update at the conference as well.  The current system from Neurelec is very creative – one implant has two arrays, one for each cochlea!  Externally, the Saphyr processor sits on one ear, and a wired microphone is on the other ear.  This system provides true stereo sound.

App Review: Rehabilitation Game

Tina Childress, Audiologist

Tina Childress

Rehabilitation Game, Neurelec

For iPad, iPhone

Rehabilitation Game by Neurelec is a great FREE app and was developed to work on auditory skills in either French or English, in either Adult mode or Child mode (they use the same stimuli but the interface is a little different) and at different levels that get progressively more difficult.

You will be working on the following skills:
1.   Detection  – tap on the screen when you hear the stimulus
2.   Discrimination – tap on the screen when you hear the stimulus that is different…this one was HARD and towards the end, even if you are in English mode, I noticed some stimuli with funny looking accents. 🙂  Methinks there is a bug.
3.   Identification – tap on the item that you hear…this is across a variety of environments like a bathroom, kitchen, backyard, on a street

One feature that I always appreciate is that it will keep track of your progress over time.

Happy Hearing!
Tina Childress, M.A., CCC-A
Educational Audiologist, late-deafened adult, bilateral cochlear implant recipient, techno-geek


iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 3
iPhone Screenshot 4

Nammu Swim Hat


Use the Nammu Swim Hat to go swimming with your cochlear implant processor!

The Aqua Accessory from Cochlear, and the aLOKSAK bag from, well, LOKSAK, are waterproof bags that can protect your BTE cochlear implant processor from water damage. Unfortunately, the bags can come off pretty easily if you jump in the pool or do just about anything at a water park.

The Nammu Swim Hat is a stylish way to secure your processor to your head. Our resourceful friend Ben demonstrates how to use the Nammu Swim Hat.

  • The Nammu Hat is comfortable!  It’s easy to put on, and doesn’t tug at your hair when you take it off.
  • While the Aqua Accessory is designed to sit on your ear, it can be rotated up so that it is completely under the Nammu Hat.  Just make sure to keep the headpiece magnet in the correct location.  This prevents water from getting underneath it and pulling the whole assembly off.
  • The aLOKSAK bag doesn’t sit on your ear at all, so it has to go under the Nammu Swim Hat.

The hats used in the video were generously provided by Nammu.

Many thanks to the Leventhal-Sidman JCC for the use of the pool to create the video.