Compact Revolution: The First Single-Unit Processor for Cochlear Implants


Off the ears, convenient and almost invisible when worn under the hair: The new RONDO® single-unit processor.


With the introduction of the RONDO, MED-EL offers the world‘s first ever integrated audio processor for cochlear implants (CI). This technical innovation combines coil, control unit and battery into one compact and fully integrated unit, thus allowing for a device with convenient wearing comfort and continued high MED-EL performance.

Integrated design

The RONDO is very lightweight weighing a mere 18.5 grams. Given its compact dimensions of 44.1 mm by 37.2 mm with a thickness of 11.8 mm, it can be concealed behind the hair. The compact processor fastens simply to the head via magnetic attraction by a magnet which is available in three different strengths. The absence of a separate coil, ear hook and cable makes the RONDO the ideal audio processor for all CI-users especially those who wear glasses.

The innovative design of the processor is based on established technologies from MED-EL. Most important for experienced CI users is that the RONDO is compatible with all MED-EL cochlear implants and all sound coding strategies such as FSP (Fine Structure Processing, typically up to 350 Hz over two apical channels) and HD-CIS (High Definition CIS). Naturally, compatibility with future coding strategies has also been factored into the development of this new device so it will always be future ready. Assistive listening devices can be connected via telecoil or the Mini Battery Pack and a connection cable. The life span of the three high-performance zinc-air batteries is expected to last up to five days.

Innovative technology

Because of its position on the head and the integrated omnidirectional microphone the RONDO allows CI users to keep the ear completely free. The technology of the RONDO audio processor continues to provide high performance for cochlear implant users. By transmitting even the finest sound details, the FineHearing technology allows a completely new quality of sound, which is important not only for speech but is especially important for perceiving music. By employing established functions such as Automatic Sound Management, the RONDO further ensures optimum hearing even in difficult situations and environments where this technology automatically detects changes in the hearing situation and adapts the settings accordingly.

Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO of MED-EL explains with enthusiasm: “We are very happy that with the RONDO we are able to present our users an entirely new class of audio processor for cochlear implants. For the first time, the ear remains free, opening up an entirely new dimension of wearing comfort and flexibility. Thanks to the proven MED-EL technology, the RONDO provides superior hearing performance.”

A new life with cochlear implant

Kirsten Keppler
Kirsten Keppler

Dr. Kirsten Keppler, is a MED-EL CI user who has worn the RONDO processor for almost one year. “At the beginning I thought I forgot to put on my audio processor because my ear was completely free and I didn’t feel any pressure on my head. It is really comfortable that the RONDO is just one single piece as I can put my hair behind my ear again”, describes an excited Kirsten. The 39 year old dentist has been hearing impaired since the age of five. Initially, the hearing loss was compensated with classical hearing aids, however the residual hearing disappeared over the time.

After many years without hearing, Kirsten heard about the possibilities of cochlear implantation from an ENT physician. After initial concerns about the procedure she had the chance to talk to another cochlear implant user. Convinced of the user’s positive feedback she made the decision to get a hearing implant herself – a decision she has never regretted. “Already two weeks after the first adjustment I was able to hear like never before. I was overwhelmed”, says Kirsten enthusiastically. “With classical hearing aids I never had the chance to hear natural sounds. The real hearing just started with the cochlear implants. I am now a communicative and happy person and I can practice my profession better than ever.”

The RONDO processor is just as easy to handle as its predecessor models. Unlike processors worn behind the ear, this processor is built in only one piece, making it less likely to require servicing. The RONDO is available in the colours anthracite, Nordic grey, cream and ivory.

This article was brought to you by MED-EL

Photos: MED-EL,Thomas Zigann