Is one brand of cochlear implant manufacturers better than others?

Please contact Dr. Ruffin if your question is not addressed below.

Dr. Chad Ruffin

ENT Doc and CI Surgeon

Subscribe for the latest from Dr. Ruffin. You can also meet him and ask questions in a small group virtual meeting.


Is one brand of cochlear implant manufacturers better than others?

Cochlear implant companies advertise many different features. Currently there is no evidence that suggests that one manufacturer has better outcomes than another.

None of the marketing features below significantly improve performance of one manufacturer over another.

  • More electrodes are not better. CIs have 16-24 electrodes. These electrodes provide more information than patients can actually use. Most patients can only perceive about 16 “channels” of sound provided by an implant.
  • Microphones placed near the entrance of the ear canal are convenient for using the telephone, but they provide no greater benefit for hearing in noise.
  • One company advertises its long electrode that “covers more of the cochlea.” There is no consistent or great evidence supporting this claim in independent studies.
  • Speech processing strategies convert sound to electricity. There are a variety of different speech processing strategies such as “HiRes,” “ACE,” and “Fine Structure Processing.” None have been shown to be superior to others.

As a scientist and technology innovator, Dr. Ruffin has been in the cochlear implant research field for over 15 years. He is intimately familiar with all aspects of implant technology.

To date, all cochlear implant manufacturers include the key components known to improve performance:

  • Atraumatic electrodes to preserve inner ear structures
  • A sufficient number of electrodes to support the full range of cochlear implant hearing
  • Robust speech processing strategies

The best brand is the one that fits into your lifestyle. Some lifestyle issues are, for example, batteries and battery life, the ability to seamlessly use hearing assistive technology, to work with remote controls or smartphones, and waterproofing of the external processor for very active individuals. This is not an exhaustive list. Be sure to talk with other patients to get a better idea of the features that might be important to you.

More FAQs

Which cochlear implant brand should I get?

Read Full article

How long is the incision or cochlear implant scar?

Read Full article

Getting back to work after cochlear implant surgery

Read Full article

When does the robotic sound of a cochlear implant go away?

Read Full article

Is one brand of cochlear implant manufacturers better than others?

Read Full article

Patient Reviews of Chad Ruffin, MD

Dr. Ruffin is committed to providing every patient with outstanding care. Hear what patients of Dr. Ruffin have to say about their experience with him.

See all reviews

Dr. Ruffin was the first person in over 10 years to actually take the time to really listen to me. He took the time to figure out what’s actually going on without chalking it up to something simple and sending me on my way.

Liz H.

I really appreciated Chad's honesty with options, having surgery being a last result and most of all explaining everything in layman's terms. I couldn't be happier with my experience and really appreciate him getting to the bottom of my ear issue and making it feel better than it ever has!

Mathew M.

Dr. Ruffin was incredibly knowledgeable, thorough and compassionate. He took the time to fully understand the issues and was able to provide immediate relief. Nothing short of a miracle here. Furthermore, the entire team was very kind and professional. One of the best medical experiences I have had!

Brian F.