When to consider an upgrade

Learn how to determine the right time to upgrade to a new sound processor


What you'll find on this page

  • Identify when it’s time to upgrade your sound processor
  • Hear about an upgrade experience from another recipient

Designed for better hearing for life

One of the most exciting things about Cochlear technology is that it continues to evolve. Next-generation sound processors are designed to deliver clearer sound, new connections and capabilities, and work with your existing implant, so there is no need for additional surgery.*


When to consider an upgrade

A demonstrated improvement in technology and hearing performance is a main consideration for upgrading. This enhanced performance may also be a sufficient medical reason to upgrade a new sound processor using your insurance benefits. A replacement sound processor may be considered medically necessary by your insurance company if it achieves a functional improvement in auditory performance, minimizes safety risks, or improves quality of life.


As with all technology, there is a set time period that it is likely to remain in service before newer technology supersedes it. Many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, may authorize the replacement of a sound processor when it has reached or passed a stated period of "useful life," usually five years.

Cochlear technology is constantly evolving. Next-generation sound processors are designed to deliver new capabilities and work with your existing implant. As new technology is developed, older sound processors may become outdated and obsolete. Cochlear may decide to phase out production and support of aging technology, after which time, parts and accessories may no longer be available. Keep in mind, Cochlear has Nucleus® and Kanso® sound processor technology compatible with your current implant so you can continue to have access to the latest technology.


Should you or a loved one lose or irreparably damage your sound processor, your insurance company may permit an upgrade to the latest generation sound processor as a viable replacement.


Soli has had a boost of confidence since she chose two new Kanso® 2 Sound Processors as her new devices. Find out how upgrading to a new sound processor is helping this teen to feel more confident and enjoy a more fulfilling life.


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.

Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.

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*Updated sound processors are designed to work with your existing implant, therefore surgery to access new technology is typically not required.