Cochlear Aqua+ FAQs

FAQs about Cochlear customer support about the upcoming waterproof sleeve for the Nucleus 5 and Nucleus 6 processors!

Q: What is the Aqua+?
A: The Aqua+ is a soft, flexible silicone sleeve that fits over an existing
CP810 or CP900 series processor. When used with the Aqua+ Coil, it allows
CI recipients to participate in water activities where additional
protection is needed.

Q: Is the Aqua+ waterproof?
A: Yes. The Aqua+ has achieved an IP68 ingress protection rating in 3
metres of still water for 2 hours. Cochlear also performed extensive “real
life” testing to simulate bathing in soapy water and swimming in
chlorinated or salt water.

Q: Which processor(s) is it compatible with?
A: The Aqua+ is designed to work with Nucleus 6 CP910 or CP920 processors
and the Nucleus 5 CP810 processor with rechargeable batteries only.

Q: Can I use my regular coil and coil cable with the Aqua+?
A: No, the Aqua+ should only be used with the specified Aqua+ Coil. This
integrated coil-cable is designed specifically for underwater swimming in
all water types, while your standard coil and coil cable are not.

Q: Can people re-use the Aqua+?
A: Yes, the Aqua+ sleeve is tested for up to 50 reuses. Cochlear recommends
replacing the Aqua+ sleeve every 50 uses or if the Aqua+ sleeve becomes
worn or damaged. The Aqua+ Coil is tested for up to 180 uses. Individual
results will vary depending on frequency, duration and type of use.

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.

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.

Neptune processor has passed additional testing for use in lakes, oceans and rivers




Neptune, the industry’s first and only swimmable sound processor, is now fully warranted for use in oceans, lakes and rivers in addition to pools, baths and showers.

Advanced Bionics (AB), the global leader in cochlear implant technology and a company of the Sonova Group, announced today that Neptune™, the world’s first and only swimmable, waterproof sound processor, has passed rigorous internal testing and is now warranted for use in oceans, lakes and rivers. The award-winning Neptune processor has already been designated for use in pools, baths and showers. Neptune comes compatible with the AquaMic, the industry’s only waterproof headpiece and microphone, which passed the same rigorous testing. All Neptune processors and AquaMic headpieces qualify for this warranted use. Further fulfilling AB’s commitment to delivering the best in quality and durability, AB cochlear implant recipients can now enjoy the opportunity to hear in every water environment.

Recipients using other products on the market remove their processor when they swim or bathe, which means they miss out on important safety instructions and opportunities for language development because they are not hearing during those times. Parents of pediatric recipients using Neptune processors will appreciate the bonding and learning that comes with hearing during bath time, as well as the safety of hearing in pools, oceans, rivers and lakes.

“It’s important to understand the difference between water resistant and waterproof. With our fully submergible technology, recipients can swim under water giving them access to hearing during far more lifestyle activities than products that can only be splashed,” said Hansjuerg Emch, Group Vice President of the Sonova Medical Division within which AB resides. “We are proud to be the only company in the world to offer a truly waterproof sound processor for cochlear implant recipients. It’s incredibly rewarding when our recipients tell us how it changed their lives to hear the waves while surfing or a lifeguard’s whistle while swimming.”

Developed for all weather, terrain, ages and lifestyles, Neptune allows for hearing during robust water and sports activities thanks to its unique waterproof design. Now with the ability to use the Neptune processor in all water environments, recipients can enjoy the peace of mind from hearing while taking part in a wide variety of additional activities beyond swimming and bathing, such as boating, waterskiing, jet-skiing, rafting, fishing, parasailing, wind gliding, surfing and snorkeling.

“I have been going whitewater rafting with friends for the past five years. I always had to sit
directly behind someone and follow them to know how to paddle. This year, I wore one of my Neptune processors and was able to hear the river guide yell out the commands myself!” said AB recipient Steven Hecht. “Not only did I get splashed while going through the class four rapids, I jumped out of the boat into the rapids with my Neptune processor on the entire time. It really made a huge difference to be able to hear while rafting!”

Advanced Bionics was able to develop this industry innovation without compromising hearing performance. Neptune is fully compatible with the most advanced hearing technology, including ClearVoice™*, HiRes Fidelity 120™* and AutoSound™, which are also available from AB.* These sophisticated sound processing strategies are designed to deliver the best hearing performance in real-world environments where recipients would otherwise struggle, such as busy offices, loud playgrounds, music recitals and crowded restaurants.

For more information about Neptune, contact a local Advanced Bionics representative or

Press release from Advanced Bionics November 27, 2012

Cochlear Aqua Accessory Demo

Ben loves to swim with his brother, so he jumped at the chance to try out the new Aqua Accessory from Cochlear!  Ben put the accessory through its paces with his twin processors, and has a bunch of pointers for us at

For gentle water activity, such as bathing, showers, or hot tubs, you can just hang the earhook on your ear.  If you are in a larger body of water, such as a lazy river at the water park, you may want to secure the Aqua Accessory with the straps of swim goggles, or even use a swim cap.  A clip attaching the hole in the Aqua Accessory to a piece of clothing provides extra security.

For active water sports, a swim cap is really important.  You can swim all day long, and maybe dive into the water head first.  But even the swim cap isn’t sufficient to secure the Aqua Accessory if you jump into the pool, or go down a slide feet first at a water park that ends in a splash pool.  Water coming up from below gets under the flaps and tends to pull them away from your head.

Ben demonstrates how to set up the Aqua Accessory, and gives some tips based on his first trial run! Make sure to click on the gear icon at the bottom right and choose the best resolution, and full-screen view for the best experience.

Ben’s extra tips:

  • Don’t try to squeeze all the air out of the bag.  With some air in the bag, it will float.  Test whether it floats before using it.
  • A brightly colored bag would be easier to spot if it comes off.
  • Try putting colored Post-it® notes in the bag.  The bag isn’t very transparent, though.
  • Go swimming at a pool where bathing caps are required!

As of October 2012, the Aqua Accessory is only available in Canada.