NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research

Hearing aids versus a cochlear implant – which is better for adults with severe hearing loss?

Dr Adele Horobin would like the help of cochlear implant users, and anybody you might know of who is severely hearing impaired, in the design of a trial to attempt to answer the question above.Adele explains as follows.

Well, for people who have hearing loss equal to or greater than 80dB, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) advise that a cochlear implant is better. But what about people who just miss out on this cut-off point? People with hearing loss between 70dB and 80dB? Well, the evidence isn’t clear.

Here in Nottingham, we want to find out which is better. Researchers from the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and the University of Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit are working with audiologists, surgeons and members of the public with severe hearing loss to design and deliver the national COACH trial – a randomised controlled trial comparing hearing aids to a cochlear implant.

We need your help!

Please share your views about cochlear implantation and the proposed trial by completing a short survey. Please go to:

Places available to join the COACH trial steering committee. Find out more at:

Open until 16 April. Thank you!

We are not recruiting participants yet, but you can keep in touch with the latest developments by joining our mailing list at:

SOUND Lab at Cambridge (based at Addenbrookes Hospital).  A cochlear implant research team led by Dr Debi Vickers.


As COVID restrictions are lifted, and we have our COVID secure procedures in place we are hoping to start recruiting some research participants to help us understand ways that sounds are heard by cochlear implant users.  In our research we will use some sound and speech games as well as asking for comments and feedback on the sounds that we play. We are also measuring brain responses to these sounds which ultimately means that we can use these responses to help a wide range of individuals regardless of communication skills.  The first stage is for six appointments in total (timings are flexible) and then afterwards there are different options to continue (or not) with four-appointment experiments.  We pay an hourly rate for taking part and cover travel expenses.  If you are interested in taking part please contact Debi Vickers ( who can send you more information and also discuss the details of what we do to see if you are interested.  For this very first stage we are asking for help from people with Cochlear (Nucleus) devices.22


Do you or do you not enjoy listening to music with a cochlear implant?

Please help us to understand whether your hearing experiences before getting your cochlear implant affect this.  We want to understand how your hearing experiences before receiving a cochlear implant affect whether you enjoy listening to music or not. We want to hear from people who do not like to listen to music as well as from people who do. The results will help us to understand and make recommendations, provide training, and look at ways to set up cochlear implants to help people who would like to listen to music with their cochlear implant.

Please can you help with this short experiment that involves completing a questionnaire and playing a quick pitch game. This will take approximately 30 minutes in total.


Experiment Details:

We have set up the experiment online using a secure system called Gorilla. You can choose to remain completely anonymous or give us your name and contact email.

Upon completion of the experiment, a token payment of £10 will be given to participants (UK citizens only), and if you are happy to give us your email address, we can send you a summary of the results. If there are any questions, or if you would like further information about our lab and research projects, feel free to email Cynthia Lam ( for more information.


3. Online test: Investigating technological solutions to improve online communication for people with hearing loss (CI users). 

The study aims to better understand which technological solutions (such as live transcriptions) may help to alleviate the challenges experienced by individuals who use a cochlear implant and/or a hearing aid during online conversations.

We are looking for adults (age 18 or over), who use at least one cochlear-implant, speak English fluently (able to read and understand the questions), with normal or corrected -to-normal vision (e.g. glasses), and with no cognitive impairments (e.g. dementia).

If you meet the inclusion criteria, we would like you to complete the online test that consists of some questionnaires and listening tests. It will take you about 30 minutes in total, however, you can take as much time as you need. You shall receive a £5 gift voucher for your participation in the study.

If you are interested in taking part in the study, please review this information sheet.

You can take the test by clicking on this link —

Please make sure you click “Finish” at the end of the test for your responses to be recorded.
We recommend using large screen devices such as computers or tablets to take the test. (Apple devices might not be able to display the test properly)

If you have any questions about the study, please do not hesitate to contact the main researcher:

Francisca Perea:


Kings College London Research

Amelia Ralph-Lewis would like your help by participating in a research project to investigate the inner language of deaf and hearing impaired people.
Amelia who is a cochlear implant user herself, is looking for deaf or hard of hearing participants who are:

  • •Over 18 years of age
  • •Born deaf or became deaf later in life with any level of hearing loss (e.g. moderate, severe, profound, HoH, etc.)
  • •using one or more communication preference (e.g. Spoken English, Sign Supported English, British Sign Language, learnt sign language later in life, a combination, other)

Participation will take place one-to-one online via Zoom and the task should take approximately 1-2  hours to complete. You will be asked to sort a set of statements related to inner speech or
signing. You will also be given a chance to discuss your choices with the experimenter and ask any questions.

Amelia is carrying out doctoral research towards her qualification as a clinical psychologist.
Further details are given in this information sheet or may be obtained by contacting Amelia at or text/WhatsApp: 07795462878.


University of Nottingham

Rebecca Dewey is conducting research trying to improve how MRI scans are performed

Applicable only to UK CI users who have Advanced Bionic processors and HiRes Ultra 3D electrode electrodes.
Would you like to have an MRI like to have an MRI scan?

For full details go to
Please contact Rebecca for further information by email mail at


University of Cambridge

The SOUND lab has conducted studies in sound perception and music enjoyment study for adult cochlear implant listeners.

The last study focused on the relationship between hearing and music-related variables and chord discrimination abilities.

A new study will examine the more fundamental parts of sounds, and its impact on music enjoyment for adult cochlear implant users.
Participation in this study will help us to understand how cochlear implant listeners hear different sounds and how that affects music enjoyment and appreciation.
With this understanding we might be able to change how implants are set up to make it easier to understand sounds.

The study will involve two, two-hour sessions at the SOUND Lab research booths which are in the cochlear implant department (Emmeline Centre) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. As a participant, you will be reimbursed for your travel expenses, and participants will be paid £12 per hour.

Please note that participation is entirely voluntary, and you may withdraw from the study at any time. Your personal information will be kept confidential, and your data will be anonymized to ensure your privacy.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please reply to this email, and we will provide you with further details. If you know anyone who may be interested in participating, please feel free to forward this email to them as well!

We look forward to hearing from you at

Cynthia Lam

PhD Researcher

SOUND Laboratory

Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge