What happened with the “recruitment”?

I got this question from a reader (Candy):

Kim’s post send me here, and I really like your post.  What gets me amazed is that I do have that problem some of the time and I never knew there was a word for it!  😉
Do you have implants now? and, if so, does it helps get rid of recruitment?  If it does, then it would be a good reason for me to get it and stop procrastinating!  😉

Instead of answering Candy directly, I think everybody who has read my original post about the phenomenon called “recruitment”, also deserves to see my response:

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Sound 5 month post-activation + testing binaurality

I know I aired some frustration in my last post two days ago about not being able to track any progress (sound wise). This lack of detecting progress is partly my own fault, I haven’t been up to speed about my listening-training. To my defense I have to say I’ve been swamped in everyday life and taking huge life-changing decisions 🙂

music Well, today is Sunday, and first I sat down with an episode of Fringe, with my new headphones (product link). Today I think the deep raspy voice of “elderly Walter” came through better. And upon this small revelation, I concentrated more on what I really hear, rather than working on understanding the speech. I think small subtle sounds are breaking through easier than before. I’m getting more usable information! I guess this means my brain is becoming better at sorting out the information feed it’s getting.

Then I put on Spotify, while still wearing my headphones, and started playing a re-mastered version of Nina Simone’s “Live at the Town Hall”. Instantly I found her voice accompanied by the piano a pleasant experience :-)  This was a nice CI-moment: Instant enjoyment in music I essentially haven’t heard before (-:

The piano sounds better when played with an accord. The vibrant co-existence of the various tones is also getting closer to becoming like I remember it with my old hearing. Our brain obviously has an ability to combine several tones, thus making the multi-toned sound a unique sound, being bigger than the sum of its parts, so to speak) In short the sound seems to become more natural!

I think not training every day also has its mission: Today I could detect some real progress, and I really needed that experience 🙂

nina simone While Nina Simone plays, I decided I will try on my hearing aid for the first time since re-adjusting them to deliver 20 dB less sound than they used to. I think my left ear is craving for stimulus, and the tinnitus in that ear is really really bothersome.

So, before I put in my hearing aid, I want to remember how it’s like without. I have only faint notions of some bass-sounds. With music, if I crank up the volume a bit, I think the software in my processor automatically reduces the sound energy being delivered to my cochlea-based damaged hair cells. Thus, I can enhance the experience of the deepest bass in my left naked ear.

Most importantly: it’s mono.

Binaural again (stereo)

I tried going binaural a couple of times before, shortly after CI-activation, but the hearing aid was unrealistically, out-of-this-world loud! Hearing aid has now been adjusted to my new reality. I can still understand words being spoken with only my hearing aid, but all other ambient sounds are missing. Nothing. And voices are thick, muddy and muffled. It resembles to mumbling.

Well, show must go on, and I put on the music… Binaural for the first time. I write down the impressions as I listen…

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