Cochlear Implant Reliability

Find out what makes MED-EL cochlear implants your reliable and trusted choice.

The Reliable Choice

When you choose a cochlear implant, you want to know that it is the right decision. You want the peace of mind knowing that your implant will last for many years. We are committed to providing you and your family with truly reliable cochlear implants.

Every MED-EL cochlear implant is made to provide outstanding long-term safety and reliability.

  • Proven Design
  • No Implant Model Recalls
  • Made in Europe
  • Outstanding MRI Safety*
  • Reliable Audio Processors

Reliability You Can Trust

With implant reliability, it can be hard to understand what all the technical information means. You are making a once-in-a-lifetime decision and you deserve accurate information.

At MED-EL, we have always been committed to honest and transparent reliability reporting. If one of our implants has to be removed or replaced for any reason, we count that against our reliability. You will find our complete and transparent reliability data reported below. This comprehensive reporting is the fair and honest information that you deserve.

Data as of January 2022.

Made in Europe

For almost 30 years, we have proudly made all MED-EL cochlear implants right here at our headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria. We use state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, cutting-edge processes, superior components, and exceptional quality control. This ensures every MED-EL cochlear implant can meet the highest standards of quality and reliability.

We believe this focused oversight and expert craftsmanship is essential for quality. That is why, unlike other companies, MED-EL does not outsource its implant manufacturing.

Safety Capacitors

Safety Capacitors

When it comes to making truly reliable cochlear implants, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. One of the most important safety and reliability mechanisms in MED-EL cochlear implants are independent safety capacitors for every electrode channel. These safety capacitors act as a safeguard to help ensure the implant stimulation is always precisely controlled.

In fact, they’re so important, we dedicate almost half the space inside our cochlear implants to safety capacitors. There’s 14 capacitors total; one for each independent electrode channel, plus two more for the reference electrodes.

This incredibly advanced hardware is also what makes MED-EL cochlear implants ready for the future.

With independent safety capacitors protecting every channel, our implants can safely run much faster and deliver more advanced sound coding for years to come.

Complete Reliability

Our cochlear implants are made for a lifetime of hearing—which means we are thinking about where you will be 5, 10, and 20 years from now. Looking to the future, we know everyone will likely need to have MRI scans at some point in their life because MRI scans are becoming more and more common for diagnosing a wide variety of medical issues.

That is why we created the first cochlear implant that offers outstanding safety, comfort, and security during 1.5 & 3.0 Tesla MRI scans.* Other implants may require surgery to remove the magnet of the implant before an MRI, or risk pain, discomfort, or damage to the implant, which then becomes a reliability issue.1,2

With our SYNCHRONY Cochlear Implant, there is no surgery,^ no discomfort,^^ and no hearing downtime. With MED-EL, you will have peace of mind knowing you are ready for anything life brings.


Great Protection. Guaranteed.

Because of our long and positive experience with MRIs and cochlear implants, we offer a life-long MRI guarantee. We promise to replace your implant in the very unlikely event that it's damaged during an MRI scan.

This life-long MRI guarantee** for cochlear implants is the first and only to be offered by any company and covers all MED-EL cochlear implants from as far back as 1994. So you can feel confident about any future MRI scans. 

Made for Everyday Life

We do not just make reliable cochlear implants—we also design all of our audio processors to deliver outstanding reliablity.3

Our audio processors are designed to be exceptionally reliable. The average monthly service rate shows that less than 1% of our audio processors are sent to us with issues that require service.3

Why is that so important? A reliable audio processor means reliable hearing in everyday life—saving you time, money, and hassle. You will be taking your audio processor everywhere you go, so make sure it is one you can rely on.

A Lifetime of Hearing

From the very beginning through today, MED-EL has been guided by our founders, the inventors of the modern micro-electronic multichannel cochlear implant. Our mission is to overcoming hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life.

To us, reliability is not a percentage on an earnings report for investors. Every recipient is a person, not a number. When you choose MED-EL, we understand you are putting your trust in our hands, so we make sure we are always there for you.

* The SYNCHRONY cochlear implant is MR conditional. Recipients with a SYNCHRONY Cochlear Implant may be safely MRI scanned at 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla following the conditions detailed in the instructions for use.
** The terms and conditions of the MRI guarantee can be found at

^Unless required for diagnostic reasons
^^SYNCHRONY 2 has a self-aligning magnet, so there’s no painful magnetic pulling on the implant during an MRI scan.


1. Kim, B.G., Kim, J.W., Park, J.J., Kim, S.H., Kim, H.N., & Choi, J.Y. (2015). Adverse events and discomfort during magnetic resonance imaging in cochlear implant recipients. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 141(1), 45–52. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2014.2926.
These figures represent the percentage of recipients in the study who experienced discomfort, pain, or other complications during 1.5 T MRI (two 3.0 T scans were excluded from the figure). Kim et al. (2015) is a retrospective study looking at 1.5 T and 3.0 T MRI scans performed on CI recipients between 2003 and 2014. The study included 18 individuals; 5 recipients had Advanced Bionics devices, 11 had Cochlear devices, and 3 had MED-EL implants. Advanced Bionics recipients had 9 total 1.5 T scans; Cochlear recipients had 12 total 1.5 T scans and 2 total 3.0 T scans; and MED-EL recipients had 8 total 1.5 T scans.
2. Todt, I. Tittel, A., Ernst, A., Mittmann, P., & Mutze, S. (2017) Pain Free 3 T MRI scans in cochlear implantees. Otology & Neurotology, Epub ahead of print.
3. Audio processor reliability rate is shown as the inverse of monthly service rate.

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