How the Nucleus® 6 Implant System Works

There are three primary components to the Nucleus System: the processor, the implant and the remote control assistant.

The Nucleus Sound Processor

In any environment, sound comes at us from every direction. Take a noisy restaurant for example. There’s the bustling kitchen. Music emanating from the speakers. Dishware clanging. Servers serving. And, of course, the conversations happening around the table.

To accommodate whatever setting you find yourself in, the Nucleus Sound Processor, which is positioned right behind the ear, uses two synchronized microphones to continuously capture sounds. The front microphone zooms in on what you want to hear, while the second one identifies surrounding noise. Using our innovative SmartSound® Technology, the Nucleus Sound Processor then processes and filters these noises so you can focus on life’s most important sounds – your loved ones’ voices, regardless of the environment.

The Nucleus Implant

Before the processor can start working for you, a surgeon will place a small implant under the skin behind your ear, completely hidden from view. Once sound is captured by the processor and converted into digital information, it is transmitted to the internal implant which converts that information into electrical signals that are dispersed among 22 active contacts on the electrode array.

These electrodes follow the shape of your cochlea, stimulating the nerve fibers and sending sound signals to your brain. These signals are what ultimately become sounds such as music or speech. Since no two ears are the exact same, it’s important to have a large portfolio of electrodes to choose from. And Cochlear has the largest.1,2

Your surgeon will choose the one that best fits the natural shape of your cochlea and is designed to preserve your delicate inner ear structures.3-6 The implant procedure is an outpatient surgery that is usually done under general anesthesia and lasts only a couple of hours.

All of our new devices and technological breakthroughs are designed to be compatible with the implant you receive today, so you won’t need to have another surgery each time the technology advances. And to provide you added confidence, our Nucleus CI24RE Cochlear Implant is up to 2 times more reliable than any other hearing implant available with the best long-term reliability rating.7-12

The Nucleus Remote Assistant

Cochlear not only lets you hear, but also lets you control what you hear. Although a hearing specialist will customize programs specifically for you, the Nucleus® System lets you manage your hearing settings directly on the processor or with an optional Remote Assistant. Using the Remote Assistant, you can adjust your settings based on what you’re doing at that moment – chatting, listening to music, enjoying a latte in a busy coffee shop

With the Nucleus 6 System, you have a choice of an Advanced Remote Assistant and a simple Remote Control.


Watch Over Your Child’s Hearing

All parents worry about their kids. Especially those whose little ones have a hearing loss. If this is you, you know how it can weigh on your mind. Can they hear the music? How about the birds in the trees? Do they know when other kids get close in hide and seek? The Remote Assistant lets you wirelessly monitor and manage your child’s hearing. And with alerts that notify you of certain situations like a low battery or a sound processor that’s not working properly, you can worry a little less.

And for added peace-of-mind, the Nucleus® 6 features data logging capabilities that allows your audiologist to download key information about how your child’s sound processor is working to help make sure your child’s hearing is the best it can be.

How Cochlear Implant Hearing Works

1. Microphones on the sound processor pick up sounds and the processor converts them into digital information.
2. This information is transferred through the coil to the implant just under the skin.
3. The implant sends electrical signals down the electrode into the cochlea.
4. The hearing nerve fibers in the cochlea pick up the signals and send them to the brain, giving the sensation of sound.




  1. MED-El Website: August 2013.
  2. Advanced Bionics Website: August 2013.
  3. Skarzynski, H., Podskarbi-Fayette, R., A new cochlear implant electrode design for preservation of residual hearing: a temporal bone study. Acta Otolaryngologica, 2010. 130(4): p. 435-442.
  4. Fraysse B, Macias AR, Sterkers O, Burdo S, Ramsden R, Deguine O et al. Residual hearing conservation and electroacoustic stimulation with the nucleus 24 contour advance cochlear implant. Oto Neurotol. 2006 Aug;27(5):624-33.
  5. Skarzynski, H., Lorens, A ., Matusiak, M., Porowski, M., Skarzynski, P. H., James, C.J., Partial Deafness Treatment with the Nucleus Straight Research Array Cochlear Implant. Audiology and Neurotology, 2012. 17(2): p. 82-91.
  6. Driscoll CL, Carlson ML, Fama AF, Lane JI., Evaluation of the hybrid-L24 electrode using microcomputed tomography. Laryngoscope. 2011 Jul; 121(7):1508-16.
  7. Publication: Nucleus Reliability Report, Vol.11, February 2013.
  8. Publication: Advanced Bionics 2012 Reliability Update, HiRes 90K Supplier A Post-2005 modifications, As of May 1st 2012. 028-M107-03-Rev B.
  9. MED-EL Website: Concert, June 2013.
  10. Battmer RD, O’Donoghue GM, Lenarz T. A multicenter study of device failure in European cochlear implant centres. Ear Hear 2007 Apr;28(2 Suppl): 95S-99S.
  11. Cullen RD, Fayad JN, Luxford WM, et al. Revision cochlear implant surgery in children. Otol Neurotol 2008;29(2):214-20.
  12. Battmer RD, Linz B, Lenarz T. A review of device failure in more than 23 years of clinical experience of a cochlear implant program with more than 3,400 implantees. Otol Neurotol 2009 Jun;30(4):455-63.