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Dazert, Stefan; Thomas, Jan Peter; Büchner, Andreas; Müller, Joachim; Hempel, John Martin; Löwenheim, Hubert; Mlynski, Robert (2017): Off the ear with no loss in speech understanding: comparing the RONDO and the OPUS 2 cochlear implant audio processors. In: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Vol. 274, No. 3: pp. 1391-1395
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The RONDO is a single-unit cochlear implant audio processor, which omits the need for a behind-the-ear (BTE) audio processor. The primary aim was to compare speech perception results in quiet and in noise with the RONDO and the OPUS 2, a BTE audio processor. Secondary aims were to determine subjects' self-assessed levels of sound quality and gather subjective feedback on RONDO use. All speech perception tests were performed with the RONDO and the OPUS 2 behind-the-ear audio processor at 3 test intervals. Subjects were required to use the RONDO between test intervals. Subjects were tested at upgrade from the OPUS 2 to the RONDO and at 1 and 6 months after upgrade. Speech perception was determined using the Freiburg Monosyllables in quiet test and the Oldenburg Sentence Test (OLSA) in noise. Subjective perception was determined using the Hearing Implant Sound Quality Index (HISQUI(19)), and a RONDO device-specific questionnaire. 50 subjects participated in the study. Neither speech perception scores nor self-perceived sound quality scores were significantly different at any interval between the RONDO and the OPUS 2. Subjects reported high levels of satisfaction with the RONDO. The RONDO provides comparable speech perception to the OPUS 2 while providing users with high levels of satisfaction and comfort without increasing health risk. The RONDO is a suitable and safe alternative to traditional BTE audio processors.