Cochlear unveils hearing implants that work directly with Apple’s iPhone

“Cochlear Ltd said Wednesday it can now stream audio directly from Apple Inc’s iPhone, iPad and iPod to the microchips in its hearing implants without having to use an additional device,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters. “Previously, Cochlear’s sound processors worked with mobile phones, but implant wearers had to connect the sound processor to an intermediate Bluetooth device – usually worn around the neck like a pendant – that would then pair with a phone.”

“‘It’s the first time people with an iPhone will be able to pick up the phone normally, or just listen to music, without any additional devices,’ said Jan Janssen, senior vice president of research and development at Cochlear, in an interview,” Nellis reports. “The iPhone capabilities will come in Cochlear’s newest sound processor that sits outside the ear, the Nucleus 7, expected to be released in September. Users can upgrade the processor without a new implant.”

“Apple has also worked with hearing aide firms such as GN ReSound and Starkey, which can also connect directly to the iPhone,” Nellis reports. “Apple developed the protocols with the firms and licenses it to them for free.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is another fantastic example of Apple leading the way in accessibility!

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iPad app brings Braille keyboard to blind users’ fingertips – January 24, 2015
Apple patent applications reveal In-App features, fingerprint scanning enrollment and accessibility inventions – July 31, 2014
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Can Apple help make hearing aids cool? – March 10, 2014
Apple files new patents relating to haptics, Thunderbolt, iSight and improved accessibility for the hearing impaired – August 23, 2012
Inside Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: New iOS-style Accessibility – July 18, 2012
Stevie Wonder thanks Steve Jobs, praises Apple for iOS accessibility – September 15, 2011
Good news for music fans with vision loss: Apple adds accessibility features to iPod nano and iTunes – September 18, 2008


  1. Congratulations! Your snark over an extremely awesome thing that Apple did earns you the “Asshole of the Day” award. Take it with you when you slime back into your hole.

    1. Hearing aids have had this for a long time. A Cochlear implant is a bit different, intended for largely deaf people.

      FWIW, I have hearing aids and (foolishly) spent the extra $500 for the Bluetooth option. Never use it. I’d far prefer a software solution that lets me load an EQ profile into my iPhone to adjust the frequencies for all audio material to my prescription.

  2. Is anyone doing any studies on the positive or negative effects of the gadgets’ RF signals streaming through a human body’s electrical system?

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