Triplet Princes and a Princess

Triplet Princes and a Princess

Our journey to hearing with Cormac while living our life with triplet boys and a baby girl.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Cormac received Clearvoice yesterday on his sound processors.  Clearvoice is a new processing strategy that works with already existing HiRes 120 fidelity processing.  Below is a description from Advanced Bionics website:

Clinically Proven to Help You Hear Speech Significantly Better in Noise

Advanced Bionics proudly offers ClearVoice™*, the industry’s first and only sound processing innovation that enhances speech understanding. ClearVoice is also the industry's only sound processing technology that has been clinically proven to deliver superior hearing performance in noise.

The clear choice for confident communication, ClearVoice provides you with the unique opportunity to converse more effortlessly in noisy settings, understand your favorite song lyrics, enjoy the world around you, and hear your best at any moment and any place your day takes you.
Built on AB’s proprietary HiRes Fidelity 120™* technology, ClearVoice has been designed to automatically analyze and adapt to each listening situation that you encounter throughout the day, separating the distracting noises from what you want to hear most—speech.

This sophisticated technology has been developed to help you communicate clearly and easily in challenging listening situations, including restaurants, cars and classrooms—without making adjustments to your sound processor.

What was Cormac's first reaction to Clearvoice after walking out onto First Avenue in Manhattan? (I didn't say anything to him first.  I just wanted to see how he reacted)  He says "Wait, Mommy, I don't hear the cars so loud anymore but I can hear you really good"

I think the best way it was described to me is to use the car as an example. Driving in the car is a noisy experience.  Those of us with typical hearing can even have a hard time hearing in the car with all the competing noise.  The wind, the tires.  What Clearvoice does is analyze the situation.  After three seconds it picks out what constant (static) sounds are taking away from the ability to hear speech.  It suppresses the constant noise so speech is so much easier to hear.  So, in the car it will suppress the noise of the car tires, the window open and Cormac can hear me talking to him.  It does not suppress it completely. 

Normally, in the car I always talk a bit louder than you would think.  With Clearvoice I can just talk in a normal voice!  I drive a Suburban.  (with four kids in car seats you options are limited)  Before Clearvoice I noticed a HUGE difference in how well he could hear me from the second row to the third row.  Now, it's a level playing field wherever he sits!

Our audiologist was very conservative with how she programmed Cormac.  She said sometimes younger kids react strangely to new programming with such dramatic results.  Clearvoice is available in three levels; high, medium and low.  Here is where it gets a little technical and I'm sorry if I lose any of you who are not as familiar with all the programming details.

On a daily basis Cormac wears his T-mic and is on a 100% t-mic program.  What this means is he get 100% of his input from his T-mic microphone and it doesn't use the ear level microphone at all.  This creates the most natural hearing for Cormac.  Our audiologist didn't put Clearvoice on this program.  She wanted to leave him one program without it in case he didn't like it. 

Cormac can have three maps on his processors.  So, we left one in the old program.  Cormac wears a personal FM system when he goes to school.  Our audiologist also didn't put it on his FM program he wears to school.   I wanted her to put it on this program but she said she wanted to see his reaction first.  Since we only have four weeks left of school it's not really an issues.  So, program two is his FM program.

The third program we added Clearvoice medium on a 50/50 spilt.  It' s 50% t-mic and 50% ear level with Clearvoice.  Cormac doesn't usually wear a 50/50 split but this is where she wanted to try it.  I trust my audiologist and went with her recommendations.  We go back in 8 weeks instead of the usual 3-4 months and will make adjustments from there.  I  am pretty sure we will add it to all his programs when we go back. 

I should add this was all on his Harmonies (behind the ear processors).  On his Neptunes he doesn't have the option for a T-mic until it is released this summer.  On his Neptunes es has it on two programs and not on one because he has an FM program on his Neptunes in case he wants to wear them to school.

So far, we have seen I very positive reaction.  The car ride home from NYC was a little over an hour of driving.  Talking with him was much easier.  I didn't have to repeat myself.  He drove with the window down for a while and was able to hear my voice with the window down as well. 

Just a few quick notes.  Even though it suppresses the background noise it does not eliminate it totally.  I think that would seem very unnatural for him.  It only suppresses constant noise so if a car is zooming by or an ambulance he would hear it like normal.  My personal opinion is it will be awesome for school and compliment the FM system.  Classes are noisy.  Most people don't realize how much constant background noise is going on in a classroom. ( a computer running, a fan, the lawnmower outside the window can think of plenty of ideas)  It will not suppress voices of friends in the room since that are not static.  When we go back in a few weeks I will add it to his FM program as long as he continues to like it.  School will be out for the summer but we can start trying it out over the summer is classroom like situations.  (the boys are going to a Mad Science camp for one week. Just mornings.)

So far, this has been my take on Clearvoice.  It's only been less than 24 hours so I am sure I will have more to report as the days go on.


Jennifer said...

So thrilled for Cormac. Hannah's Neptunes were mapped April 20 with Clear Voice. Obviously she can't tell us when she is noticing but what I'm noticing is she can hear me better when I talk to her in the stroller. Even on the busy sidewalks or in restaurants, when I call her name she turns to me. It's so wonderful!

Jui said...

Cool !! Clearvoice seems to be doing great things for Cormac! good to hear!
Aarav is scheduled to get his first implant on this 14th. We have booked the Neptune, but as of now we'll be starting off with psp. (Neptune yet to be approved in India). My knowledge is all only read material no real experience yet.. :-)
You mentioned-"On his Neptunes he doesn't have the option for a T-mic until it is released this summer."
Is a t-Mic any better? Aarav is just 1.5 years old, so we thought of the off the ear option. is the t-mic nicer?
so many queries...