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Cochlear' Introduces ESPrit' 3G Behind-the-Ear Speech Processor for Nucleus 22 Cochlear Implant Recipiants

A Technical Breakthrough

DENVER, CO May 26, 2004
- Cochlear' Americas announced today that its new state-of-the-art ESPrit' 3G behind-the-ear (BTE) speech processor is now available to all Nucleus 22 recipients. Nearly 18,000 cochlear implant recipients worldwide can benefit from this new speech processor more than 8,000 in the United States alone.

The introduction of the ESPrit 3G for Nucleus 22 recipients exemplifies Cochlears promise of Hear now. And always, said David Williams, President, Cochlear Americas. The ESPrit 3G for Nucleus 22 demonstrates Cochlears continued commitment to provide the latest in BTE technology and improvements in hearing outcomes for all of our recipients.

Through more than 20 years of innovation, Cochlear has improved hearing performance for Nucleus 22 recipients from an average of 13% speech understanding of sentences to nearly 80% today. The ESPrit 3G is Cochlears third generation BTE speech processor, but is the fifth generation speech processor for the Nucleus 22 family of implants.

Since cochlear implant recipients have unique hearing needs, the ESPrit 3G provides a wide range of unique benefits. The ESPrit 3Gs distinctive built-in telecoil provides recipients with wireless access to the telephone without the need for additional adapters or cables. The telecoil also provides access to an array of assistive listening devices, so users can fully experience movies, concerts, plays and hear more clearly in classrooms, meeting rooms, lecture
halls and places of worship. The unique Whisper setting enhances soft sounds not normally heard with standard speech processors, bringing quiet voices closer to the recipient. This feature has been designed to provide significant improvements in speech perception and understanding when used in situations such as soft after-dinner conversations, listening to music or television and small groups of people/meetings.

Battery life averages 62 hours, using standard, disposable hearing aid batteries, making the ESPrit' 3G for Nucleus 22 one of the most power-efficient BTE processors available.

About Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants are a proven medical option for adults and children with severe to profound hearing loss. They are electronic devices, which bypass damaged hair cells in the inner ear, or cochlea, and stimulate the hearing nerve directly. Cochlear implants provide useful hearing and improved communication abilities to those who receive little or no benefit from hearing aids.

Cochlear implant research and technology has evolved from its start in 1957, with a single device and a single electrode (or channel), to the Nucleus 3 system today with up to 22 independent electrodes. The Nucleus 3 system is the latest development in cochlear implant technology from Cochlear', the leader in the cochlear implant industry. The Cochlear Nucleus 3 system is designed to be customized to meet the particular needs of recipients lifestyles and to provide the best hearing in all environments. It is the most widely prescribed cochlear implant system in the world today.

About Cochlear' Americas

For more than 20 years, Cochlear' Americas has been focused on bringing the miracle of sound to those individuals who live in silence. To date, more than 50,000 profoundly deaf individuals have benefited from Cochlear's Nucleus line of cochlear implants. The Company's promise of Hear now. And always. exemplifies its commitment to advancing hearing technology and customer support, which has resulted in numerous awards including the 2001 Medical Design Excellence Award for its design of the Nucleus 24 Contour cochlear implant and the FDA Commissioner's Special Citation for the development and commercialization of the Nucleus 24 Multichannel Auditory Brainstem implant. For more information about Cochlear''s products, call the Cochlear hotline at 800/458-4999 (Voice) or 800/483-3123 (TTY) or visit the Web site at www.cochlear.com.

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