Cochlear Implant Speech Processors

Hearing Australia receives a fixed allocation to provide services to eligible cochlear implant recipients. Our Cochlear Implant Support Program for children, teens and young adults has two components:

  1. Repairs and maintenance for all eligible clients who have a cochlear implant

  2. Replacement and upgrade of speech processors 

We support one speech processor per ear.

The first priority of the cochlear implant support program is to ensure that clients who use a cochlear implant are kept “on-air” by:

  • Providing repairs, replacement parts and batteries necessary to keep the speech processor working.

  • Replacing speech processors that are lost or no longer able to be repaired (clients under 26 years only).

The second priority is to provide access to newer technology, when this technology provides improved understanding of speech for the listener.  New speech processor technology may also offer a range of features that may improve comfort, convenience, or ease of use; however, the focus of the upgrade program is on improving access to spoken language.  


Speech processor upgrade

All requests for replacement and upgrade speech processors should be submitted via your cochlear implant clinic.

If you have a working speech processor, you may apply for an upgrade if: 

  • you are an eligible client under the CSO Program, under 26 years of age; and

  • you consistently use your current speech processor; and 

  • your processor meets one of the criteria listed below.

 Current processor model Age of processor Can upgrade to…
 Cochlear Nucleus 6 or older model >5.5 years old Nucleus 7
Kanso 2*
 MED-EL Sonnet or earlier model >5.5 years old Sonnet 2 
Rondo 3
 AB Naida Q70 or earlier model >5.5 years old  Naida Q90
*Before applying for Kanso 2, you will need to complete a trial, as recommended by Cochlear.


Replacement processors

Your cochlear implant clinic manages replacement processor requests.  If your speech processor has been lost or needs to be sent away for repair, your clinic will discuss arrangements for a loan speech processor while you wait for a replacement or for your processor to be fixed.

We will provide a replacement speech processor if your device has been lost or damaged beyond repair.  The replacement speech processor will be the same model as the one that was lost or damaged unless the lost/damaged processor also meets the criteria for an upgrade.

*Conditions apply under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program.