When to 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.


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.


"Some of the things I was excited about with the Nucleus 7 were the smaller size, lighter weight, and the extended battery life as well as having it directly connected to my phone."

— Kenneth, Nucleus® 7 upgrade recipient


Please seek advice from your medical practitioner or health professional about treatments for hearing loss. They will be able to advise on a suitable solution for the hearing loss condition. All products should be used only as directed by your medical practitioner or health professional. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative.

Views expressed by Cochlear recipients and hearing health providers are those of the individual. Consult your hearing health provider to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology. Outcomes and results may vary.

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