Learn about the proven benefits of streaming

How streaming sound helps you hear more clearly

Do you use direct streaming with your sound processor? Recipients often tell us they find it helps in many circumstances, including at work and at school – from joining work calls to watching videos.

As well as helping you enjoy more types of entertainment, work and study, studies show that streaming is also proven to offer benefits in hearing with a sound processor.1-3

How direct streaming helps you hear more clearly

Much research has been done on how direct streaming can deliver benefits to those who use cochlear implants and hearing aids.4 Essentially it comes down to two factors: Noise and distance.

Cutting through the noise

Direct streaming is all about delivering high quality sound straight to your sound processor from your compatible device. This means the audio signals are less influenced by the environment giving you a clearer, crisper listening experience.

For example, if you’re talking on the phone in a crowded place, it can be hard to hear clearly. Direct streaming would send the sound straight to your sound processor without the outside interference.

One study found that recipients who used streaming to talk on the phone showed improved word recognition in quiet and in noise, compared to talking on the phone normally.1

Up close and personal

It might sound obvious, but it’s an important factor with hearing; as you move further away from a sound, the more the sound quality will drop.

When you use streaming to watch TV, listen to music, attend a lecture or a conference, you’ll hear more clearly than just using your sound processors alone.

Streaming also allows you to hear at your own personal volume level. Being able to hear more easily in more situations can help you connect with friends and family socially.

Things to try with direct streaming

Here are three ideas to try using direct streaming to your advantage.

  1. Direct stream music, from live concerts to playing instruments and singing. It’s best to start with simpler songs and tunes and gradually move to more complex music, trying to distinguish instruments and voices over time.
  2. Stream audiobooks. Start by reading along in the book if possible to pick up any words that were unclear or misheard. Begin with short or familiar texts, and gradually move to longer or more complicated plots as you improve. 
  3. Talk to friends and family on phone calls or video calls using direct streaming. For video calls, build your confidence talking to a close friend or family member, then increase the number of people you can communicate with for group video calls.

The availability of technology for direct streaming is going to evolve over time to include more devices and more opportunities for you to enjoy life with clearer sound. Once you get started, you can adapt these ideas to suit your listening skills. And remember that practising regularly is your best bet to see improvements.

New to direct streaming? See what devices are compatible to connect with Cochlear® sound processors at www.cochlear.com/compatibility


  1. Wolfe J, et al. Evaluation of a wireless audio streaming accessory to improve mobile telephone performance of cochlear implant users. International Journal of Audiology. 2016;55(2):75-82.
  2. Wolfe J, et al. Improving hearing performance for cochlear implant recipients with use of a digital, wireless, remote-microphone, audio-streaming accessory. J Am Acad Audiol. 2015 Jun;26(6):532-9.
  3. Warren C, Nel E, and Boyd P. Controlled comparative clinical trial of hearing benefit outcomes for users of the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor with mobile connectivity. Cochlear Implants International (2019 Feb); 20(3).
  4. Jespersen, Charlotte T. “A review of wireless hearing aid advantages.” The Hearing Review, vol. 19, no. 2, Feb. 2012, pp. 48-54.

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