How cochlear implants work

Cochlear implants are designed to mimic natural hearing and replace the function of the inner ear (cochlea). Learn more about how they work and process sound.

Kids in a laborotory experimenting

How do cochlear implants work?

Cochlear implants are designed to mimic the function of a healthy inner ear (or cochlea). They replace the function of damaged sensory hair cells inside the inner ear to help provide clearer sound than what hearing aids can provide. 

A cochlear implant system, like the industry-leading Cochlear™ Nucleus® System, has two parts:

  • The external sound processor

  • The implant that is surgically placed under the skin and attached to an electrode array that is placed in the inner ear.

Together, these parts bypass the part of the ear that isn’t working, sending sound straight to the hearing nerve. Watch the video below to learn more about how cochlear implants work.

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A good next step is to visit a hearing health professional who specializes in hearing technology that will be able to advise if you may benefit from a cochlear implant.

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You can search for clinics in a different location, or contact Cochlear to understand what the next steps for you would be.