Anyone able to enjoy music with their cochlear implant?


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Apr 27, 2010
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Hello. I have had a cochlear implant as of 2005. It helps a great deal, but still find it hard to function in a hearing world. My family is all hearing, so I am pretty much by myself with my hearing impairment and I barely slide by the way I am now. My biggest disappointment has been that I am unable to enjoy music. Wondering if this is normal for someone with a CI? I am especially curious, since I would have thought music would sound better for me now that 5 years have passed. I have not had an adjustment in 3 years, because of lack of money. Maybe this is part of the problem- I guess it's possible I may never enjoy music, but I don't like to think that, because I loved music so much before I lost my hearing. There are many notes the cochlear implant just doesn't pick up and what it does sounds awful. It doesn't sound the way I remember. I have recently decided to learn sign language, mostly so that I can maybe find some deaf friends to relate to. I feel so lonely most of the time. I was thinking maybe if I found some deaf friends to talk to and spend time with and I could learn to sign, I wouldn't feel so alone. I have felt kind of depressed lately. Even if I learn sign language, though, I know I will always be longing to listen to music. It used to be an outlet for me- it always made me feel better when I was down, when I was angry, etc. Now I have to find another outlet, but I haven't, so I am just falling into depression. I was just wondering what other people's experiences were with music that have also had a cochlear implant?


P.S. I am new to this forum. This is my first post. :)
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

I got my CI just over 5 yrs ago. I had a HA since 3 yrs old before that.

My CI is great with music. I listen all the time. There were some differences I had to get used at first when listening with my CI compared to my HA days. It wasn't so different as to be a big deal. Just subtle things. I don't notice it anymore.
Go back to your audio and get it adjusted to suit music. I 've had my N5 and switched on a week ago. and yes music sounds crap. But i will have to be patient and give myself a month time or so to get used to new sounds and will go back to my audio to adjust the mapping to suit music
Me too I love music. It calms my mind and so relaxing. I'm 34 yrs old.....
You may need to start with simple music so your brain learns to hear the musical notes. I am currently listening to a variety of CDs, 4 days at a time (while driving) thunderstorms, drums, pipes, whale singing. I cannot handle the complicated music yet, but I think I will if I continue this approach.
Cochlear implants are only for simplifying surgery. Also it make surgery more effective and successful. As far as I know one can enjoy music at its best after having cochlear implant. Well I am telling this just because I know some people who already gone through the cochlear implants, but no personal experience.

I have the Cochlear had a tune up Tuesday, next one is three months away. Love music and enjoy very much but have to say it does sound different but I guess I've adjusted? I use ha on left side and CI on right. In a controlled environment I went from about 28% comprehension before CI to 98% Tuesday. Still have problems in noisy environments and Audi said most likely will always have problems in noise? We shall see if maybe I can adapt to that too. People I talk to say I have made a very large improvement and I don't argue with them I can now enjoy talking to others again, even is small to medium groups.
I had C I for 12 yrs. I loved music and love to listen classicals music and some times I listens to R&B. I can understands words. I likes to hear on the phone to talk with my family, playing an games, and listen to radio. So that I really loves music of classicals.
I loved music on the radio or my ipod. I cannot understand words but I able to pick up fewer words. I can hear the drums and guitar etc. Its awesome
Yep!! Before cochlear implant.. I used to wearing the hearing aids on and didn't enjoy music at all.... I am so happy where am i now :)

Ditto... I never enjoyed music pre implant, almost 2 years after implant i turn music on in the house a lot or have the music program/film on the TV.

It's not perfect sounding since i never had auditory memory of musical sounds but I enjoy the rhythm, beats, high and low notes, different intruments etc.
I never enjoyed music pre-cochlear implant. Until I got it. I love it! I am still enjoy the music and learning more rhythms. I have my own IPOD with Itunes. My husband is a MUSIC FREAK! I have been implanted since 1 years.

I am sorry to hear about your life. That is not your faulted. Are you going to learn sign language?? That is good and keep it up and don't give it up.
I never enjoyed music pre-cochlear implant. Until I got it. I love it! I am still enjoy the music and learning more rhythms.
Pinky were you progressively deaf? Could you hear some with HA? Maybe getting a CI "turned up the volumne" so you could have more access to sounds.
I heard music right away after my Implant was activated. I actually went to a singles dances 3 days after. Did you advise the audiologist to check the Mapping forthwith? It is my direct experience that I "speeded up" my brain accepting the Implant. Different sound levels at the same time: loud music/peoples quiet voices.Of course, this fact was unknown to me- I have to many dances over the last 25 years-just continued what I did before.

Advanced Bionics Harmony Atria activated Aug/07.

I am sorry that you are not getting the benefit of music with your implant and it could be that you have not had a new map in three years. Depending on your circumstances a good audiologist can make a big improvement for you.

You have to understand how CIs work. You take "infinitely variable" (lets keep in mind you likely have a 44-48khz source such as a CD which really means the source is really putting out a sound every 1Hz) sound pressure waves (music) and then doing sound processing on the sounds, and then outputting to a cochlear electrode array.

Assuming that you have between 16 and 22 electrodes and a frequency response between 125Hz and 6000Hz, you have to take that 5875hz and divide it up in to the amount of electrodes (lets us 20 electrodes for arguments sake). You have each electrode covering up about 300Hz frequency area. Therefore you stimulate a region that is about equal to 300 Hertz. You likely wont be able to tell notes. To give you an example, a C6 note is 1046Hz, D6 is 1174Hz, and E6 is 1318Hz. As you see, these three notes are all being stimulated by the same electrode.

You will hear music, but it will sound different than the original.