Listening to Music

Music is something which is going to sound different with a cochlear implant compared with hearing aids.  For some patients, music becomes accessible and enjoyable over time.  For others, they can recognise and join in with familiar songs like Happy Birthday or Christmas carols, but they don’t really enjoy the way music sounds through a processor.  It’s impossible to tell who is likely to enjoy music with their cochlear implant and who isn’t, but we try and support and encourage everyone to explore music over time.

We are lucky enough to have world-class researchers into music and cochlear implants here at the University of Southampton, and among the resources which they have created is the Interactive Music Appreciation Programme, which you can access on the web here:

More from music: IMAP

In addition, the manufacturers have some solutions to help with listening to music:

 Advanced Bionics  Cochlear MED-EL

Naida Q90

Naida CI black



Nucleus 7 CP1000



SONNET black


Listening to music with Naida Q90 or Neptune. Listening to music with a Cochlear processor Listening to music with SONNET or RONDO 2.

The Naida Q90 can be connected to any Bluetooth device using a ‘Connect’ accessory. You can stream music from a phone, or Bluetooth stereo to one processor.

The AB Naida and Neptune can also be connected to Bluetooth devices via the Phonak ComPilot.

The Nucleus 7 can stream music directly from a compatible Apple iPhone or Android phone.

Or stream from other Bluetooth devices via the MiniMic or Phone Clip

The Kanso can be connected to audio and Bluetooth devices via the Cochlear wireless MiniMic or Phone Clip. The MED-EL RONDO 2 and  SONNET can be connected to Bluetooth devices using a Bluetooth neckloop (for example the Artone 3)

 Other resources

Baby Beats

Musical Atmospheres


Other resources

‘Music and Implants’ guide

Smart Sound IQ

Other resources

MED-EL cochlear implant users can apply for a music grant.

Audio Leads

All of the processors have the ability to link to music players via an audio cable or wireless accessory. To see what is provided with the processor, go to What’s in the Kit.