What you'll find on this page
- Understand the difference between behind-the-ear and off-the-ear sound processors.
- Get to know the different sound processors in the Nucleus® range.
What’s the difference between behind-the-ear and off-the-ear sound processors?
Behind-the-ear sound processors, such as the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 8 Sound Processor, sit behind individual's ear, with an earhook to keep them in place. A cable and circular coil connect to the sound processor and the coil is held on the head by a magnet.
Off-the-ear sound processors, such as the Cochlear Nucleus Kanso® 2 Sound Processor, sit on the side of the head. The Nucleus Kanso 2 Sound Processor is an all-in-one device that contains a processing unit, microphones, magnet and battery.
Learn how they compare
Compare the features of our latest sound processors.
We recommend that an individual talks to their hearing healthcare clinician about the right Cochlear sound processor for their hearing needs and lifestyle.
Sound Processor type
Nucleus® 8 Sound Processor
Nucleus® Kanso® 2 Sound Processor
|A BTE sound processor is worn on the ear and a small coil is held in place against the head with a magnet. The Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is our smallest, lightest and most advanced BTE sound processor.1,* It features SmartSound® iQ 2 with SCAN 2 and improved ForwardFocus† . Ready for next-generation Bluetooth® LE Audio technology¥, it will be easy to bring sound to the recipients – in more places and from more devices than ever before.2-4
|An OTE sound processor provides a comfortable, discreet hearing solution with similar hearing performance as a BTE sound processor. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is worn off the ear as a single unit and features our SmartSound iQ, True Wireless™ Devices, rechargeable in-built battery, and coil into a single, easy-to-use unit without compromising hearing performance.
|Hybrid Hearing solutions can enhance individual's natural low-frequency hearing before or after surgery, while providing access to the sounds they're missing.
|Sound processing technology
SmartSound® iQ 2 with SCAN 2
SmartSound iQ with SCAN
|SmartSound iQ 2 is Cochlear's latest sound processing technology. Designed to optimise individual's hearing experience and focus on sounds that are most important to them, it works to filter out background noise and automatically adapts their listening settings.5-9 SCAN 2 is Cochlear’s industry leading automatic scene classifier - designed to detect the unique features of sound and use them to determine the listening environment. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor features our earlier generation SmartSound iQ with SCAN technology.
|Background noise reduction technology
|Hear better in noisy listening environments with ForwardFocus† technology. Featured in the Kanso 2 Sound Processor, it reduces distracting noise coming from behind, so adults and children can more easily enjoy face-to-face conversations. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor features an improved ForwardFocus to further enhance the clarity of speech coming from in front of individual.‡ It can be user-controlled or automated to help them focus on what's important in any situation.5
|Nucleus Smart App
|Adults have convenient control of their sound processor using the Nucleus Smart App.^ Developed exclusively for our latest range of sound processors, it is available for compatible Apple and Android™ devices. Parents may find the the Nucleus Smart App especially useful to manage their child's hearing.
|Adults can fine tune their or their child's hearing settings to best suit their listening preferences. With mySmartSound™ technology, it is possible adjust bass, treble and master volume. This feature is clinician-enabled and can be accessed via the Nucleus Smart App.
|Understand speech more easily in noisy surroundings with the help of dual microphones, which work to reduce background noise.6
|Individuals can manage their hearing in a discreet way using the Remote Control (CR310), which features a handy display screen for changing simple settings.
|Apple and Android compatible
|Adults and children can stream their favourite entertainment directly to their sound processor. Using technology built into their sound processor, they can stream sound directly to the Nucleus 8 or Kanso 2 sound processor from a compatible Apple or Android device* - without the need for any accessories.
Next-generation Bluetooth LE Audio¥
Bluetooth Low Energy
|The Kanso 2 Sound Processor allows to stream sound directly from any Bluetooth Low Energy compatible devices, such as mobile phones. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is ready for next-generation Bluetooth LE Audio connectivity.¥ Individuals will be able to bring sound to them – from more places and more devices than ever before and connect directly to what’s being broadcast at public venues such as airports, conference centres, sports clubs and gyms which support Bluetooth Auracast™.2-4
Optimised for room loops
Via the Cochlear Wireless Mini Microphone 2+
|Connect to hearing loop systems for everyday convenience. A telecoil picks up electromagnetic signals and turns them into sound.
|Compatible with Cochlear True Wireless devices
|Adults and children stream clear audio directly to their sound processor using True Wireless Devices. They can leave their phone in their pocket and enjoy clearer conversations with the Phone Clip and set their own personal volume and stream sound from their favourite movie straight to their sound processor using the TV Streamer. And whether they're in class, at an office meeting or on the sporting field, the Mini Microphone 2+ transmits sound to their sound processor to make listening easier.
|Cochlear sound processors can be worn with any hearing aid, so no matter what hearing aid individuals are using, they'll get the benefits of hearing with both ears. If they have a Nucleus 8 or Kanso 2 Sound Processor and a compatible ReSound hearing aid#, they can take advantage of our smart bimodal solution which enables them to stream directly to both ears from a compatible Apple or Android device+.
|Having options for better hearing in school is important for academic success and social development. Being able to connect to FM systems can be important for children, especially at school. The Mini Microphone 2+ is an affordable and portable alternative to FM systems and can be used in and out of the classroom.
|The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor turns on automatically when a battery is connected. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor turns on automatically when it is placed on adult's or child's head for convenient, button free control.
|Smallest BTE sound processor
|Smallest OTE sound processor
|The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is the world's smallest behind-the-ear sound processor and the Kanso 2 Sound Processor is the smallest off-the-ear sound processor available.1
|Lightest BTE sound processor
|Lightest rechargable OTE sound processor
|Designed for comfort, the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is the world’s lightest BTE processor and the Kanso 2 Sound Processor is the lightest rechargeable off-the-ear sound processor available.1
|6 colour options
|5 colour options
|A range of colours are available, based on preference and lifestyle. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor is available in silver, black, brown, grey, white and sand. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is available in black, chocolate brown, sandy blonde, silver and slate grey.
|Water and dust resistance ratings
Water and dust resistant (IP68)
Water and dust resistant (IP68)
|The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor and Kanso 2 Sound Processor are splash-proof and dust-proof, with the highest available water-resistance rating in a sound processor (IP68).10
|For added peace of mind, add the Aqua+, a soft, flexible silicone sleeve that fits over the sound processor. Whether a recipient is in salty, fresh, soapy or chlorinated water, it offers enhanced protection so they can enjoy their favourite water-based activities.
|P2i is a water-resistant nano coating which is designed to protect against the effects of corrosion from sweat, humidity and general water damage.
One button design
|The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor has a one button interface for basic control functionality. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor has a unique button-free design.
|Disposable batteries typically last several days depending on a recipient's power usage needs. The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor offers a typical battery life of 35 hours using zinc air disposable batteries.12,±,§
Compact and Power Extend options
Built-in rechargeable battery
|The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor has a Compact Battery Module which offers a typical battery life of 10 hours and a Power Extend Battery Module which offers a typical battery life of 20 hours.12,±,§ The Kanso 2 Sound Processor has a built-in rechargeable battery.
|Typical battery life of 35 hours.12,±,§,**
|Up to 18 hours
|Cochlear sound processors are designed with efficiency in mind, to deliver long-lasting battery performance.
|Rechargeable battery charger
|The Nucleus 8 Sound Processor features an additional USB charging option, allowing recipients charge from a PC, or in the car. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor uses a new all-in-one Home Charger that charges, stores and dries the device at the same time. A Portable Charger is also available.
|For added safety, Nucleus 8 Sound Processors have tamper-resistant battery modules and the Kanso 2 Sound Processor's battery is built into the sound processor unit. Helps prevent children from opening the battery cover.
|LED status monitoring
|An easy way to quickly and easily assess the status of a child's sound processor.
|Monitor sound quality
Compatible with monitor earphones
Sound Check in the Nucleus Smart App
|Enables parents and carers to check the sound quality of the input from a loved one's sound processor or accessories.
Wearing and retention options
|Comfortably secures the sound processor to the ear.
|Earhooks with additional tamper resistance.
|Helps keep the sound processor securely in place, especially for active adults and children.
|Helps keep the sound processor securely in place, especially designed for smaller ears.
|Helps keep the Nucleus 8 Sound Processor secured on the ear when used with an earmould or the earmould adaptor.
|Clip-on retention device for babies and younger children.
|Provides additional security when taking part in activities where recipients risk losing your sound processor.
|Clips onto the hair, reducing the risk of losing the sound processor.
|Kanso Halo accessory
|Clips onto the sound processor and is secured to the head with two Hair Clips, reducing the risk of losing the sound processor.
|Attaches to an earmould to help keep the sound processor securely in place.
|For temporary use only. Holds the sound processor and coil together in place on the side of the head.
|Optional accessories that hold either a, Nucleus 8 or Kanso 2 Sound Processor in place. Useful for children and during physical activity.
|Compatible with all Nucleus implants except Nucleus 22 implants
|Compatible with all Nucleus implants except Nucleus 22 implants
Cochlear Nucleus comparison flyer
Download a full copy of our Nucleus comparison flyer. This document provides a comparative overview of the different features available in our Nucleus sound processor portfolio.
Nucleus comparison flyer
628 KB | PDF
This material is intended for health professionals. If you are a consumer, please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.
Apple, the Apple logo, Apple Watch, FaceTime, Made for iPad logo, Made for iPhone logo, Made for iPod logo, iPhone, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
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* Compared to Nucleus 6 and Nucleus 7 sound processors.
† ForwardFocus is a clinician-enabled feature that can be user-controlled or automated.
‡ Compared to Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor with ForwardFocus on.
^ The Cochlear Nucleus Smart App is available on App Store and Google Play. For compatibility information visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
+ The Cochlear Nucleus 8 and Kanso 2 Sound Processors are compatible with Apple, Android and True Wireless Devices. For compatibility information visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
# For compatibility information and devices visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility and www.resound.com/compatibility.
~ The Nucleus 8 and Kanso 2 sound processors are dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Nucleus 8 and Kanso 2 Sound Processor with Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 metres for up to 2 hours. Refer to the relevant User Guide for more information.
± Battery life varies for every user, according to the age of the battery, the programs used each day, your implant type, the thickness of skin covering your implant, and the size and type of battery used. Streaming from compatible devices, True Wireless Devices or FM may decrease sound processor battery life depending on how often and for how long streaming is engaged.
** When using zinc air batteries.
§ Typical expected battery life is calculated using default map settings used with a CI600 Series or CI500 Series implant.
¥ When the technology becomes available for the Cochlear Nucleus 8 Sound Processor, a firmware update to your sound processor will allow you to connect to Bluetooth LE Audio compatible devices.
- Cochlear Limited. D1190805, Processor Size Comparison. 2022, May.
- Hunn N. Introducing Bluetooth® LE Audio [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jan]. Available from: https://www.bluetooth.com/learn-about-bluetooth/recent-enhancements/le-audio/
- Cochlear Limited. D1631375 Nucleus 8 Sound Processor Product Definition. 2022, Oct.
- A Technical Overview of LC3 [Internet]. Bluetooth® Technology Website. [cited 2022 Feb 28]. Available from: https://www.bluetooth.com/blog/a-technical-overview-of-lc3
- Cochlear Limited D1964109 CLTD5804 Clinical Investigation Report. 2022, Feb.
- Mauger SJ, et al. Clinical outcomes with the Kanso off-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor. Int J Audiol. (2017, Apr); 56(4): 267-276. [Sponsored by Cochlear].
- Mauger SJ, Warren C, Knight M, Goorevich M, Nel E. Clinical evaluation of the Nucleus 6 cochlear implant system: performance improvements with SmartSound iQ. International Journal Of Audiology. (2014, Aug); 53(8): 564-576. [Sponsored by Cochlear]
- Wolfe J, Neumann S, Marsh M, Schafer E, Lianos L, Gilden J, O'Neill L, Arkis P, Menapace C, Nel E, Jones M. Benefits of Adaptive Signal Processing in a Commercially Available Cochlear Implant Sound Processor. Otol Neurotol. 2015 Aug; 36(7):1181-90. [Sponsored by Cochlear]
- Cochlear Limited. D1864200 SCAN 2 Design Description. 2022, Apr.
- Cochlear Limited. D1980144 CP1110 IEC60529 IP68 Certificate & Test Report. 2022, Feb.
- Cochlear Limited. D1376556.CLTD5709 Acceptance and Performance with the Nucleus 7 Cochlear Implant System with Adult Recipients. 2018, Jan.
- Cochlear Limited D1990593, Nucleus 8 Sound Processor Battery Estimations with CI500 and CI600 Implants. 2022, Sept.