University of Edinburgh

Trouble-shooting Cochlear Implants Day-to-day Management, including FM Systems

Presented on 27 February 2008

Generic trouble-shooting of a cochlear implant system

Richard Hughes,
Advanced Bionics

External sound processors

external processors


Check components of a cochlear implant

  • Batteries
  • Processor microphone
  • Processor electronics
  • Cable between processor and transmitting coil
  • Transmitting coil

Be systematic in checking
There may by more than one faulty component


  • Have they got usable charge?
  • Look at the visual display/lights on the processor.
  • Audible alarm
  • Use a battery tester.
  • Have they have been put in properly?
  • Is there any corrosion on the battery contacts?


  • Is the microphone working?
  • Use device specific listening earphones.
  • Check lights/visual display on processor.
  • Does using the auxiliary/lapel microphone solve the problem?

Processor electronics

  • Check lights/visual display on processor.
  • Check processor settings are correct; program location, volume, sensitivity.


  • If BW processor, use listening earphones, move cable – listen for cracking or broken sound.
  • Inspect cable to see if it’s twisted, frayed or broken.
  • Change lead.

Transmitting coil

  • Use device specific signal check accessory.
  • Check lights/visual display on processor.