Needing to make a decision between Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Americas. So far I’m leaning towards Advanced Bionics, because I had decided on that back on March 13, 2005…So, as a result of the information that I’ve gathered (correct me if I’m wrong on anything)
HiResolution BionicEar System – PROS
– has one electrode array without a positioner (Freedom has a positioner…and the CDC has talked about an increased risk of meningitis in children post-implant with positioners, but this was in reference to pre-2002 implants made by AB)
– fires multiple electrodes at once (Freedom fires one at a time)
– reportedly better with music quality/tones (super important to me)
– batteries are the most-cost effective ones in the industry, and I’m a bit of an environmentalist, so this makes me happy.
– if i go river rafting or away from civilization, I can switch to an AA-battery which will provide power for 1.5 days (with the Power-Pak). For me, AA batteries are cheaper and easier to find than hearing aid batteries.
HiResolution Bionic Ear System – CONS
– the one major con is that the reliability can be of some issue as compared to Cochlear (~1% of implants fail)…but if it fails, AB will pay for replacement.
– not splash-proof (big negative, i love water!)
– not as many “extras” in terms of accessories (in my opinion)
– Cochlear seems more deaf-centric than AB (as in they understand their needs better)
– battery life is short compared to Freedom (will have to recharge it daily, and change battery twice a day with the 8-hour batteries)
The major reason I think I am going to go with AB – the sound quality. It seems like the audiologists/doctors that I have seen/talked to in both states have suggested that Advanced Bionics would be a better match for me.
Another important thing to note, Advanced Bionics has a new 120-channel processor coming out in November 2006 (hopefully). I did a search on this and found a beta tester’s journal about their experience with the 120-channel processor as compared to the Auria. They said that they were sad they had to give it back, and couldn’t wait for it to come out.
However, there is something to be said for the company (Cochlear) that was one of the pioneers of the cochlear implant, and also has the highest-number of implantees in the United States. They really laid the groundwork for all of it, so I give applause to them, and thanks for getting the ball rolling.
There is a third implant company called Med-El, but it is not for me.
Everybody has to do their own research and make their own decisions, but I think Advanced Bionics is going to be mine for sure.