Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care
Vocal Health for Music Educators - Music and Medicine on Monday - April 2024Click Here

Cochlear Implant (CI) and Music: Listening to Music

last modified on: Tue, 01/11/2022 - 17:11

See also: Articles on Music, Hearing Loss, and Hearing DevicesPages for CI users


As you read this website, keep in mind the following:

  • People with hearing loss can differ in many ways.  

  • ​Some information may be more similar to your situation. 

  • Pick and choose the information most useful for you.



Cochlear Implant (CI) and Music: Listening to Music

Music sounds through a Cochlear Implant

1, 2  

Listening to Music Through a Cochlear Implant (CI)

(NOTE: making music is covered in another section). 

Cochlear implants have been designed for understanding speech, not music. 

  • Music does not sound like it did prior to hearing loss.

  • Some CI users learn to enjoy music again, others do not. 

Many factors can affect music listening (see Figure 1):  

Each factor is described on other pages of this website. 

These factors interact with one another and change over time. 

     For example, CI users may enjoy one piece of music in a quiet listening environment when they are feeling rested and alert. That same music may be more difficult to understand in a noisy room, or if they feel tired. Figure 1 illustrates these factors. 


Figure 1. Factors that interact to affect music listening 

Factors affecting music listening

Find more information about individual differences and music enjoyment on CI users and music by clicking on the following links: 


Click here to review references used in preparation of this website. 


1. All images on this website are used under Creative Commons or other licenses or have been created by the website developers.

2. Click here to access the sources of images on this page.