How it works

Cochlear's Nucleus Sound Processors are designed to offer people with moderate to profound hearing loss the best in hearing performance.

Woman working in a lab

With sensorineural hearing loss, sound waves make their way efficiently through the outer and middle ear - just as they do in normal hearing - but then become too soft to detect or too distorted to recognise easily, as a result of damage to the inner ear.

Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants bypass damaged parts of the inner ear to stimulate the hearing nerve, not with sound waves or vibration, but with precise electrical signals.

Cochlear implant recipients who still benefit from hearing aids may be able to benefit from hybrid hearing - a unique combination of cochlear implant and acoustic hearing, is available with the Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor. Here is how it works.

How normal hearing works

  1. Sound waves enter the outer ear and travel through the ear canal to the ear drum, causing it to vibrate.
  2. Vibration of the eardrum sets into motion the three small bones of the middle ear, which in turn, transfer the vibration from the eardrum to the inner ear.
  3. The inner ear, also known as the cochlea, senses the vibration and converts it into electrical signals.
  4. The hearing nerve transmits electrical signals from the cochlea to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.


Demonstration of how hearing works

Hearing with a cochlear implant

  1. Microphones on a sound processor pick up sound waves and the processor converts them into digital information.
  2. This information is transferred through the coil to the implant just under the skin.
  3. The implant sends electrical signals down the electrode into the cochlea.
  4. The hearing nerve fibres in the cochlea pick up the signals and send them to the brain, giving the sensation of sound.


How it works - With a Cochlear implant Nucleus 7


How the acoustic component works

  1. The acoustic component, like a hearing aid, amplifies sounds and sends them via the normal hearing pathway.
  2. At the same time, the processor converts high frequency sounds to digital information which is sent to the implant under the skin.
  3. The implant sends electrical signals down the electrode into the cochlea, stimulating the nerve fibres.
  4. This nerve response is sent to the brain, where it is combined with the response from the amplified sounds from the acoustic component into a perceived sound.


How it works - With a Acoustic Component



Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.