Cochlear Implants: About This Life-Changing Technology

Cochlear implants have helped hundreds of thousands of people worldwide hear and understand—even when hearing aids could not. Cochlear implants may be able to help open up the world of sound to you or your loved one.

Cochlear Implants SONNET 2

How Cochlear Implants Differ From Hearing Aids

Hearing aids only amplify sound, but this may not be effective if the inner ear is damaged. Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants bypass damaged parts of the ear to directly stimulate the auditory nerve.

This means a cochlear implant may be able to help restore hearing to you or your loved one—even if a hearing aid cannot.

Our cochlear implants are designed to help people better understand speech and experience the closest to natural hearing.

Benefits of Cochlear Implants

  • Easier to socialise with family and friends
  • Better hearing in noisy settings, like restaurants
  • Improved listening on the phone
How does Cochlear Implants work

How Does a Cochlear Implant Work?

People experience severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss when tiny hair cells in the inner ear are damaged. As a result, they cannot detect sounds properly. Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants bypass damaged parts of the ear to directly stimulate the auditory nerve.

Watch this video to learn how a cochlear implant works.


Is a Cochlear Implant Right for Me?

Cochlear implants are used to treat severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. You or your loved one will need to meet with hearing professionals to find out if a cochlear implant is the right solution.

Based on hearing, physical health, and imaging assessments, hearing professionals will recommend a solution. These services are available at clinics in every state in Australia through both public and private health systems. In New Zealand, they are available through the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme or the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme.

CI System 4c

How Much Does a Cochlear Implant Cost?

Many people are surprised to learn that cochlear implants are available at no or minimum cost within Australia. In fact, a cochlear implant is generally less expensive than a hearing aid. More details on funding are available in our cochlear implants information package.

In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health funds cochlear implant services for people who meet certain criteria.

The Perfect Match

We go further than just offering you the best sound quality—our audio processors have all the features you’re looking for in comfortable designs you’ll love to wear. And our implants are designed to deliver outstanding reliability and MRI safety*, along with a lifetime of better hearing.

Together, they’re made to give you the best possible hearing experience.


Audio Processor

  • Advanced Hearing Performance
  • Easy Connectivity
  • Comfortable Design

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Audio Processor

  • All day hearing
  • Over 30 cover designs
  • Compatible with all hearing aids

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Cochlear Implant

  • Great Sound Quality
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • 3.0 Tesla MRI Without Surgery**

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Cochlear Implant Reliability

A Lifetime of Hearing

Getting a cochlear implant is a big decision. Your implant will be with you for many years to come, so it’s important to think about the impact your implant will have, both now and in the future.

At MED-EL, we design everything with the future in mind. Our implants are built for long-term reliability, so you can experience years of uninterrupted hearing. We make it easy to upgrade to the newest audio processor, letting you benefit from the latest technology. Our SYNCHRONY series of implants have outstanding MRI safety* and are covered by our MRI Guarantee, meaning you’re prepared for whatever life brings.

A cochlear implant is a decision for a lifetime, and MED-EL will be with you all the way.

User Stories

"My quality of life has changed tremendously since my implant"

The Next Steps

What can you expect next? Here’s an outline of the process of receiving a cochlear implant.

1 Assessment

First, you’ll undergo routine assessments to ensure you’re a candidate for a cochlear implant, and if there are any additional factors your cochlear implant team should consider. Your clinical team will walk you and your family through the specifics of what to expect in the following steps.

2 Implantation

To implant a CI, the surgical procedure is straightforward and usually lasts between 1–2 hours under either general or local anesthesia. Recipients are usually back on their feet the next day. Your hospital stay may last one or more days, depending on your individual needs and what’s typical in your area.

3 Activation

About two weeks after implantation, you’ll have your first fitting. This “activation day” is when your audiologist will turn on your audio processor for the first time and you’ll hear your first new sounds. The audio settings of your processor will be adjusted to fit your hearing preferences.

4 Rehabilitation

After activation, it’s important to follow up with a rehabilitation programme so that you can adapt to hearing through your cochlear implant. Rehabilitation is essential to make the most of your implant. It can be done together with speech-language professionals and at-home listening exercises.

* The SYNCHRONY 2 or SYNCHRONY cochlear implants are MR conditional. Recipients with a SYNCHRONY 2 or SYNCHRONY cochlear implant may be safely MRI scanned at 0.2, 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0 Tesla following the conditions detailed in the instructions for use.
** Unless required for diagnostic reasons.

Information Request

Would you like to find out more about cochlear implants? Simply request an information package to learn more about how cochlear implants could help you or a loved one hear.

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