Hearing Blog

What Do Cochlear Implants Sound Like Part II

What Do Cochlear Implants Sound Like Part II

A few months ago, we shared a blog post on cochlear implant sound quality. Since then, many of our cochlear implant support group attendees have shared more details about their hearing journey with cochlear implants for our blog. We asked them to describe what they remember their CI sounding like the day of activation, how the CI sounds currently, how long they have had their CI, and whether they had normal hearing prior to becoming a cochlear implant candidate. Here is what they shared:

CI user #1, who had normal hearing until he was 30 years old and has had his CI for 5 weeks, replied: (At activation) I was able to hear the spoken words (there was) no “Mickey Mouse” sounds, no “tones”. It was an awesome experience! Life changing! (Currently) I have better hearing than with a hearing aid. It’s better in group settings and more like normal hearing.

CI user #2, who lost her hearing to meningitis at 1 year of age and had her latest CI (second ear) for 1 year, replied: (At activation) It sounded like a traffic jam with beeps and honks constantly! (Currently) Loud! Hearing so much better! I don’t have to strain to hear what others are saying. CI user #3, who had normal hearing early on and has had his cochlear implant for 5 years, replied: (At activation) It sounded like a robot. (Currently)It sounds like a human voice.

CI user #4, who was born with no hearing in the ear he had implanted (as an adult) and has had his cochlear implant for 19 years, replied: I remember when it was first turned on, it sounded like “Mickey Mouse”. (Currently) It sounds like my old hearing aid, but better. I am able to pick up more sounds than my old hearing aid.

As audiologists, we never get tired of hearing the wonderful stories of people gaining better hearing. Every person’s hearing journey is unique with some adapting quickly and others needing more time. Cochlear implant technology is giving recipients more benefits than ever before, and we are fortunate to help our patients through the process. Follow our Facebook page for video testimonials and look for more joyful hearing stories to come.