MED-EL takes CI magnet design to the next level with its new S-Vector magnet innovation

Mar 16, 2021

Stronger magnet attraction and optimized retention with the same outstanding MRI conditions for which MED-EL cochlear implants are known

March 16, 2021– (Innsbruck, Austria) – The magnet is one of the most important parts of every cochlear implant (CI) and not only holds the audio processor coil in place, but also determines crucial factors such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) safety* and user comfort. Yet not all cochlear implant magnets are designed the same. As the global innovation leader of hearing solutions, MED-EL has continuously developed innovative magnet designs over the past 20 years. With its visionary CI magnet design for the SYNCHRONY cochlear implant in 2014, MED-EL introduced the world’s first rotatable, self-aligning diametric CI magnet that enabled 3.0 Tesla* MRI without the need for a surgical magnet removal.** 
By introducing a second generation diametric magnet design, MED-EL now takes this outstanding technology to the next level. The unique S-Vector magnet is available for SYNCHRONY 2 cochlear implants.  

The innovative S-Vector magnet design 

As the leader in implant magnet technology we always strive for further improvements. Thus we saw the possibility of reinforcing the implant magnet while keeping the outer dimensions of the magnet housing. A stronger implant magnet results in a stronger holding force, providing outstanding flexibility to always find the ideal fit together with the user’s audio processor. And there are cases which in turn allow using smaller magnets with reduced weight in the outer part. This enables multiple benefits for users and professionals as well.” says Martin Zimmerling, Head of Implant Development at MED-EL. “And although the S-Vector magnet is 25% stronger than the preceding model it still has the same small MRI artifact as the old magnet.” Martin Zimmerling explains. “The S-Vector provides more holding force and gives more flexibility for adapting to the user’s individual needs. This gives users peace of mind knowing their audio processors will stay in place safely while profiting from the outstanding MRI conditions for which MED-EL’s cochlear implants are known.

Unique benefits for users and professionals

With its 25% stronger magnetic force, the S-Vector magnet provides optimized retention for the audio processor which is especially beneficial for implant users with an active lifestyle. In addition, recipients and professionals gain more freedom to choose between a behind-the-ear or single-unit audio processor based on their own preferences, rather than life circumstances or anatomical conditions such as skin flap thickness.
Moreover, the external magnet can in some cases have a reduced magnet strength and size compared to previous models, which then results in a lighter weight of the audio processor. Users with an S-Vector magnet also benefit from an outstanding MRI safety* and the MRI lifetime guarantee*** that is yet unmatched in the industry. As three out of four people will require an MRI scan in the next 10 years ****, CI users may face a challenge if they cannot have an MRI just when its needed, without having a planned magnet removal surgery before or at least have to undergo cumbersome, time consuming preparations to be allowed to near an MRI scanner. 
MED-EL is the only manufacturer to offer its users a global lifetime MRI guarantee*** ensuring that the implant will be replaced in the very unlikely event that it is damaged during an MRI scan.
At MED-EL improving quality of life for people with hearing loss continuously drives our technological 
innovations. Therefore we are very proud of our new S-Vector magnet design that offers CI users decisive advantages – from the everyday handling of their audio processor to the possibility of being able to undergo an MRI without worries.” Martin Zimmerling concludes.
* The SYNCHRONY 2 cochlear implant is MR Conditional. Recipients with a SYNCHRONY 2 Cochlear Implant may be safely MRI scanned at 0.2, 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0 Tesla following the conditions detailed in the Medical Procedures Manual. To avoid imaging difficulties in the immediate vicinity of the implant, it may be advisable to remove the magnets. More information about MRI and Cochlear Implants: 
** Unless required for diagnostic reasons.
*** The terms and conditions of the MRI guarantee can be found at
**** Source: OECD. Magnetic resonance imaging exams 2016-2019.

About MED-EL 

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has grown to more than 2,200 employees from around 75 nations and has 30 locations worldwide.
The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 124 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices. 
More than 95% of the hearing implants are exported and used by more than 4.000 clinics around the world. 


Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair

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