The University of Southampton

Listening checks

In the case of young children, it is good practise to be in the habit of regularly listening to the microphone of the processor, particularly if the implant wearer is unable to give very clear feedback of what the problem is or what it sounds like. The manufacturers provide equipment so you can listen to the quality of the microphone. Please note that it is not like listening to hearing aids. You are not hearing any amplification. It is also not what the person wearing it actually hears. When you listen to the microphone this is the sound the processor is using before it does any conversion or processing of the signal.

In order to know when the microphone is not right you need to know what is normal and so regular daily checks are vital. Monitor earphones are issued to patients with their speech processor. Please ask your local Teacher of the Deaf of cochlear implant centre for advice where needed.

  1. When doing daily checks always hold the processor a set distance (approximately 10cm) away from your mouth and repeat a simple phrase listening for any unusual crackles or buzzes. Is the sound quieter than usual?
  2. Then try the same again but moving the lead around to ensure this does not produce a crackle or intermittent signal.
  3. Then perform a listening check when the processor is on the wearer (remember if the wearer has two speech processors, do each ear separately).


The Ling Sounds Check

Carrying out the ling sound check is a quick and simple way of checking on a daily basis that the implant is working and the user is hearing well. A brief video of how to carry out this test is presented below, however please ask your local Teacher of the Deaf of cochlear implant centre for further advice.


Key concepts