What Cochlear Implant Reliability Really Means

It’s one of the most important questions you can ask before choosing a cochlear implant brand: what are its cochlear implant reliability stats?

Because you’ll have to go through surgery to get a cochlear implant, you can’t just switch to a new one like you would change clothes. It’ll likely be a part of you for decades to come.

This question might be especially pressing if you’ve used hearing aids. You might be used to a hearing aid that only lasts 4-5 years. Your cochlear implant better last for lots longer than that—right?

MED-EL Cochlear Implants are Durable

The good news is, yes: we’ve designed our cochlear implants to last much, much longer than a few years. MED-EL recipients are still hearing with implants they got more than 20 years ago!

MED-EL implants are built with titanium, which is one of the strongest and lightest metals. That means that they’re even stronger than your skull!

The evidence is in our reliability reporting: it’s transparent and complete. Here are the reliability statistics on our three most recent cochlear implants:

  • SYNCHRONY is 100% reliable since we introduced it in June, 2014. That means not a single SYNCHRONY has had an implant-related issue.
  • CONCERTO PIN is 99.86% reliable, and CONCERTO is 99.88%, after 5 years.
  • SONATA is 99.84% reliable after 8 years.

For the complete report visit the reliability page on

But it’s no use having a robust implant if its technology is outdated in just a few years.

That’s why every MED-EL cochlear implant is built to work with sound technology that doesn’t even exist today. If you get an implant now, future audio processors can unlock more and more of its full potential. If you’ve received your cochlear implant in the past, that won’t keep you from hearing even better because you get the chance to use the newest sound technologies.

Everything’s Compatible with Everything

Thinking about just the implant doesn’t give you the full story. After all, an implant isn’t useful without an audio processor.

Processing technology moves fast. The audio processor you have today might not have the most advanced technology in a few years. Upgrading to a new audio processor can have a big impact on improving your hearing quality.

But that’s only true if you can use the newest audio processing technology. All MED-EL cochlear implant audio processors and multichannel cochlear implants speak the same language. For example, the new SONNET is compatible with all MED-EL cochlear implants made in the last 20 years.

Choosing the Right Cochlear Implant

If you’re in the process of deciding for a cochlear implant, we know it’s not always easy. There are lots of different factors you’ve got to consider. Reliability is one of them, and it’s one of the most important. If you’ve got any questions about implant reliability just let us know in a comment below, or by contacting your local MED-EL representative.


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