Proven over time

From Professor Graeme Clark’s discovery with a shell and a blade of grass through to today, we remain committed to advancing hearing technology.


What you'll find on this page

  • Professor Graeme Clark’s ambition to bring hearing to those who needed it.
  • Our commitment to advancing hearing technology.
  • Our history and innovations.

Our story

Our story started more than four decades ago when Professor Graeme Clark pioneered the world’s first multi-channel cochlear implant and created an entirely new treatment for hearing loss.

Today, we continue Professor Clark’s work to help people with moderate to profound hearing loss experience a life full of hearing.

“I want to fix ears.”

The story of Cochlear tracks back to one man: Professor Graeme Clark. In 1967 Professor Clark started researching ways to help people hear again, inspired by his father who struggled with hearing loss.

Others said that it couldn’t be done. Undeterred, Professor Clark collaborated with other brilliant minds to create a breakthrough solution. It took nearly a decade but in 1978 he successfully implanted the first multi-channel cochlear implant, inspiring the company we are today.

Continuing Professor Clark’s work

Since then, we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of people all over the world connect to the sounds that give life its vibrancy – whether it’s a word spoken, a bell rung or a note played. Professor Clark’s initial focus on the needs of people remains in our DNA to this day.

People that use our hearing solutions deserve our enduring commitment to advancing hearing technology. From our early days we’ve sourced our inspiration from you and continuously strive to improve the quality and reliability of our products.


Pioneering moments in our history

Cochlear is the first organisation to have a multichannel cochlear implant approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US.1

A Cochlear implant

1978 - Rod Saunders becomes the first person to get a multichannel cochlear implant. "Hello Rod," are the first words he hears.

A multichannel cochlear implant

In 1982, at 37 years old, Graham Carrick becomes the first commercial Cochlear Nucleus® implant recipient.

Cochlear's first commercial Cochlear Nucleus implant recipient Graham Carrick first

At the age of 4, Holly McDonnell was the first paediatric recipient of the Cochlear™ Nucleus® implant.

First Nucleus paediatric recipient Holly McDonnell

More than 40 years ago, Mona Andersson from Sweden becomes the first person to get a Cochlear™ Baha® bone conduction implant.

First Baha implant recipient Mona Andersson from Sweden

At 102 years old, Jack Walley is the oldest cochlear implant recipient to date.

Oldest recipient to date Jack Walley

Cochlear's sound processors were the first to feature dual microphones,2 which allow people to pick up on sound from all around them.

A Cochlear implant with dual microphones

Pictured: the Nucleus® Freedom™ cochlear implant system 2005.

Cochlear implant sound processors are small and light 3 so they're less intrusive and more comfortable for people to wear.

A Cochlear implant

Our bone conduction and cochlear implants were the first to deliver Made for iPhone sound processors4, which allow people to stream music, phone calls and entertainment directly to their sound processor.

A woman with a Cochlear implant uses an iPad


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.

For a full list of Cochlear’s trademarks, please visit our Terms of Use page.

Apple, the Apple logo, Apple Watch, FaceTime, Made for iPad logo, Made for iPhone logo, Made for iPod logo, iPhone, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

For information regarding the compatibility of Cochlear’s Sound Processors with Apple or Android devices, visit


  1. Clark G. Cochlear Implants: Fundamentals and Applications. Springer-Verlag; New York: 2003.
  2. Patrick JF, Busby PA, Gibson PJ. The development of the Nucleus® Freedom™ cochlear implant system. Trends in amplification. 2006 Dec;10(4):175-200.
  3. Cochlear Limited D1190805. CP1000 Processor Size Comparison. 2019, Sept.
  4. Apple Inc. 'Compatible hearing devices' [Internet]. Apple support. 2017 [cited 15 February 2019]. Available from: