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When will Nucleus 22 Recipients Receive a Sound Processor Upgrade from Cochlear?

March 27th, 2013 by | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

As many Nucleus® 22 cochlear implant recipients frequently ask, “When will Nucleus® 22 recipients get the Nucleus 5 upgrade?”  Cochlear™ Americas just released a statement on their Facebook page:

Thank you for reaching out to us. We definitely listen to our recipients and hear you. We strive to provide all recipients access to our technology as quickly as possible. Did you know that since the Nucleus 22 (N22) Cochlear Implant was launched, N22 recipients have had the opportunity to upgrade to five different Nucleus Sound Processors up to date?!: Mini Speech Processor (MSP), Spectra, ESPrit 22, ESPrit 3G, and Nucleus Freedom Sound Processor. In keeping our promise to help you achieve your best hearing through forward compatibility, we are still working on the next generation sound processor. We decided to allocate our resources to fast track the next generation sound processor to be compatible with the Nucleus 22 Implant instead of making the Nucleus 5 Sound Processor compatible with the Nucleus 22 Implant, so you can have access to newer technology in a shorter amount of time. The timeframe for the next generation sound processor release depends on research and development timelines, manufacturing processes, and FDA approval processes. We estimate the latest technology for Nucleus 22 Implant recipients to be available in approximately 18-24 months, but it could take longer.

In the meantime, we are excited to extend N22 recipients who still have an obsolete sound processor (ESPrit 3G Sound Processor and older) with an exclusive offer today. To learn more, please watch the aforementioned Nucleus 22 Freedom Sound Processor Upgrade webinar on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 5 PM MT. To register, please visit:

If you have any questions or to learn more about the Nucleus 22 Freedom Sound Processor Upgrade exclusive offer, please do not hesitate to reach our customer service department at or 1-800-483-3123. Or you may send us a direct message here on Facebook to ensure recipient information confidentiality.

As many Nucleus® 22 cochlear implant recipients struggle to understand why they will not receive the Nucleus® 5 upgrade and getting a new technology takes time, here are some answers from Cochlear Europe to help you  better understand the situation in developing a new sound processor for Nucleus® 22 recipients:

As we progress towards smaller and smaller sound processors, the power management issue becomes an increasingly difficult challenge. For many of the older Nucleus 22 users, despite the lower rates of stimulation used, typically less efficient stimulation modes are used and for all recipients a less efficient RF protocol is required (expanded protocol). So this means that a larger proportion of the available power must go into the RF signal than for a CI24M, R or RE devices. This presents an difficulty because the new DSP circuitry in the CP810 consumes a bit more power than the old ESPrit 22.

Overall, these issues are not insurmountable and Cochlear are committed to having a future, smaller processor that works also with the Nucleus 22 devices but for the moment some of the challenges are not yet fully overcome and additional validation effort is required before we are comfortable to bring a new processor to the market that meets the expectations of the Nucleus 22 users.

In the meantime, Cochlear™ is offering a promotion for Nucleus 22 cochlear implant recipients who have not yet upgraded to the Freedom Sound Processor.  If you purchase the Freedom Sound Processor today and pay additional $2,000, you can receive a “technology pass” for the latest technology available.  Please note in the same link, in the footer, “Our research and development teams are working towards making the new technology available to N22 patients as part of the second market release.”  This is saying that the next generation sound processor, CP900, which has just been approved in Canada, won’t be available until after the first release to the newer generation internal cochlear implant recipients, which would likely be the Nucleus® CI500, Nucleus® CI24RE and Nucleus® 24 cochlear implant recipients.

For those who are reading this news and are wondering what is the Nucleus® 22 cochlear implant, the Nucleus® 22 cochlear implant is the first commercial multi-channel cochlear implant released by Cochlear™ in 1982.



March 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Just a question…The Cl tha Cochlear refers to as a next gen is the one which will be available in 18-24 months or the C900


June 13, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Hello All

N5 is longer for N22. There will be N6. It already release for outside of US. N6 will be out 3-6 months, About one year We are waiting for FDA


June 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

hi,i am from small europen country Bulgaria,but in our country have only one cochlear center and they salling everything of a big boy have sound processor nucleus esprit 3g,what is the name of the new processor that i want to buy,and i want to know pure a price.thank you.


June 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Hello dimi,

Are you N22 or N24 ?You have go contact your country as Cochlear . You needed get the updated once ! you have to contact to Contact: Meri Bosseva
Phone: +359 2 958 28
Fax: +359 2 958 28


December 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm

My child is using espirit 3G from last 3 years i was not clearly informed about service in warrenty and now hearing aid is nt respondind wat to do


January 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm

For this, you should contact your audiologist or Cochlear’s customer service. They should be able to help you.


April 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm

My N22 implant was done in 1990 and I upgraded my external processor to the 3G in 2005. I’m excited to see Jonathan say that the N6 processors were approved for N22 outside of the US back on 6/13/13 and that the US should be approved “in 3-6 months” from then <== can anyone post an update regarding N6 for N22 within the US?

Jonathan Soleimani

April 27, 2014 at 3:44 am


As Now the N22 is still under research and coil and programming work, As next update , you should hear close to 2015. I have been following up with them, The N24 came out this spring at least the time the next go backwards to N22 compatibility. The n22 did not come out yet that post seems error. I have been following up. Next post will come out sooner .

jonathan Soleimani

August 3, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Hello Updates i read some where online from April

“The company is working on N22 compatibility, and hopes to submit the update to regulatory agencies by the end of 2014 for approval”

Jonathan Soleimani

June 26, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Cochlear Americas is excited to announce that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approvedNucleus 6 Sound Processor and Controls the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor Upgrade for the Nucleus® 22 Implant. To read a press release on this exciting milestone, click here.

FDA approval is the first of many steps to launch a new upgrade. Cochlear is currently assembling inventory and working diligently with software engineers to release a software update needed for audiologists to program the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor for the Nucleus 22 Implant. We anticipate a full-market release on or around October 1, 2015. Over the next couple of months, we will send you quick educational emails on the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor and the upgrade process if your clinician determines the features will benefit you.

You were one of the first-ever to receive our multichannel cochlear implant and by doing so you paved the way for better hearing. Thank you for trusting us to be your partner in this lifelong journey. We look forward to entering this next chapter with you.