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What are the differences between hearing aids and cochlear implants?

Hearing aids and cochlear implants are common hearing aids, and many people can’t tell the difference between the two. Below, Xiaobian takes everyone to find out~

Main composition

The main components of the hearing aid are: microphone, amplifier, receiver;

The cochlear implant consists of two parts, in vitro and in vivo. The external part includes: a microphone, a speech processor, a connecting wire, and a transmitting coil; and the internal part includes: a receiving processor and an electrode sequence.

Composition of cochlear implant

Different working principle

Hearing aid: The sound is collected by the microphone and converted into an electrical signal, and then amplified by the amplifier, and finally the electrical signal is converted into an acoustic signal by the receiver to the human ear;

Cochlear implant: The microphone collects the signal and converts the acoustic signal into an electrical signal that is passed to the speech processor. The speech processor analyzes the acoustic signal to stimulate the electrodes implanted in the cochlea, then transmits the instructions to the receiving processor in the body, and directly stimulates the auditory nerve fibers in the cochlea through the electrode sequence in the body, and the auditory nerve receives the electrical signal, and Send them to the auditory center of the brain and finally hear the sound.

Different working principle

Applicable people

Hearing aids: for people with various levels of hearing loss with residual hearing;

Cochlear implants: Suitable for very sensitive and above sensorineural hearing loss, or for hearing loss people who cannot improve their listening needs through hearing aids.

Applicable people

Different ways of wearing

Hearing aids: There are two types of ear-back and custom-made, the ear-back body is worn on the back of the ear, and the earplug is stuffed in the ear. Customized plug directly into the ear. The way to wear is very simple.

Cochlear implant: It is necessary to surgically implant the electrode into the patient’s cochlea, which has certain traumatic and surgical risks. If the implant is damaged or malfunctions, it needs to be re-operated. The speech processor is an external device that is less concealed.

Different ways of wearing

Different feelings about sound

Hearing Aid: Essentially an electroacoustic amplifier, so hearing-impaired patients can regain a familiar sense of hearing. But hearing aids are electronic products after all, and there is still a little electronic sound heard;

Cochlear implant: What you hear is actually a kind of current stimulation, which is very different from the natural sound. (For children who are pre-linguistic, they have not heard the sound before the cochlear implant, and they don’t understand the meaning. Therefore, post-speech rehabilitation training is especially important. Usually, pre-linguistic children need to pass 2 years or more. Rehabilitation training can achieve the desired results.)

Different sense of sound

Different influences on daily life

Hearing aid: easy to wear and pick up, has no obvious impact on daily life;

Cochlear implant: The body implant will cause an alarm when passing through the security door. It is recommended to carry the cochlear implant identification card and the discharge certificate with you when you travel. When the security alarm is given, the security personnel can explain the situation; some extracorporeal machines are sensitive to static electricity and X-rays. It may be interfered by the security door and the X-ray conveyor. It is recommended to turn off the external machine and hand it to the security personnel for inspection to avoid static electricity and X-ray damage. Avoid close to strong magnetic fields, including strong magnets, magnetic therapy machines, and magnetic resonance examination rooms.

Different life impacts


Others such as hearing aids are cheaper, ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands; the cost of cochlear implants includes a single cochlear implant device, surgery, postoperative tuning, speech rehabilitation, and battery repair. It costs 10 million-30 million yuan.

Hearing aids do not damage the human body, and cochlear implants can damage residual hearing. (A history of 3 to 6 months of hearing aids is required before implanting the cochlear implant, so that patients can hear some sounds that are helpful for postoperative speech rehabilitation.)

Link:What are the differences between hearing aids and cochlear implants?

REF: Hearing Aids Supplier Bluetooth Hearing AidsITE hearing aids
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