Background: Since its introduction in 1996, the Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) has been upgraded with several improved generations of processors. As all systems are compatible, implanted patients can benefit from new technologies by upgrading to the newest processor type available. Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the performance of the new (current) SAMBA processor with the previous Amadé processor. Methods: Twenty subjects monaurally implanted with a VSB and the Amadé processor tested the new SAMBA processor for a trial period of 4 weeks. We measured air conduction and bone conduction thresholds, unaided thresholds, and aided free field thresholds with both devices. Speech performance in quiet using the Freiburg monosyllabic test at 65 dB SPL (S0) was compared. The speech intelligibility in noise was determined using the Oldenburg sentence test measured in different listening conditions (S0NVSB/S0Ncontra) and microphone settings (omni/directional vs. adaptive directivity). Results: Word recognition scores in quiet with the SAMBA were still significantly lower than with the Amadé after the 4 weeks trial period but improved over the following year. Speech intelligibility with the SAMBA was significantly better than with the Amadé in omnidirectional mode and comparable with the Amadé in directional mode. Hence, the adaptive directionality provides an advantage in difficult hearing situations such as noisy environments. The subjective benefit was evaluated using the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit and the Speech, Spatial and Qualities-C questionnaire. Results of the questionnaires demonstrate an overall higher level of satisfaction with the new SAMBA speech processor than with the older processor. Conclusion: The SAMBA enables similar speech perception in quiet but more flexible adaptation in acoustically challenging environments compared to the previous Amadé processor.

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