Smart Bimodal Solution

If you're finding that your hearing aids are no longer enough, you may need to consider a more effective solution. To help you hear your best, you might consider getting a cochlear implant.

What is bimodal hearing?

If you have hearing loss in both ears and find yourself struggling with your hearing aids, there may come a time when you need a more effective solution. To improve your hearing performance and help you understand conversations more clearly, you might need to consider a solution that helps you hear your best with both ears.

A cochlear implant in one ear and continued use of a hearing aid in the other can provide enhanced hearing performance1. This combination is referred to as bimodal hearing.

Who can benefit from a bimodal solution?

A bimodal hearing solution can help people with a cochlear implant in one ear and enough hearing in the other ear to benefit from wearing a hearing aid.

The cochlear implant improves hearing in the ear where a hearing aid no longer benefits, and support is provided by the continued use of the hearing aid in the other ear.

Better hearing with a bimodal solution

Switching from a hearing aid to a cochlear implant offers a great leap in hearing performance2.

Hearing performance with two hearing aids

Hearing performance with a bimodal hearing solution

How do hearing aids and cochlear implants work together?

In a bimodal hearing solution, a hearing aid and a cochlear implant system work together to provide you with a richer and more natural hearing experience.

How bimodal hearing works

1. Cochlear implant system
provides clarity and crispness3

2. Your brain combines the signals
from both ears, resulting in a
clearer, richer and more natural
hearing experience

3. Hearing aids amplifies
sound to provide balance4

A bimodal hearing system can provide many benefits:

  • Greater clarity and improved speech understanding, especially in noise4, 5
  • Better determination of where sounds are coming from6.
  • Sounds are easier to hear and speech is easier to understand6, 7, 8.
  • Enjoy your favourite music again with better sound appreciation9.

These combined benefits help to build your speech and language understanding and is particularly beneficial for children's learning and development4.

What else should I know?

Bimodal hearing versus bilateral cochlear implants

When bimodal hearing is no longer enough or not an option due to the severity of your hearing loss, your hearing specialist may recommend two cochlear implants as another option. This is known as bilateral implantation. Your hearing health professional can help determine if bilateral implants are the best solution for your specific needs.


  1. Sammeth CA, Bundy MBM, D. A. (2011) Bimodal Hearing or Bilateral Cochlear Implants: A Review of the Research Literature. Semin Hear 32:3-31.
  2. Gifford RH, Dorman MF, McKarns SA, Spahr AJ. Combined electric and contralateral acoustic hearing: Word and sentence recognition with bimodal hearing. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 2007 Aug 1;50(4):835-43.
  3. Litovsky R, Parkinson A, Arcaroli J, Sammeth C. Simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation in adults: a multicenter clinical study. Ear and hearing. 2006 Dec;27(6):714.
  4. Balkany TJ, Hodges AV, Eshraghi AA, Butts S, Bricker K, Lingvai J, Polak M, King J. Cochlear implants in children--a review. Acta oto-laryngologica. 2002 Jan 1;122(4):356-62.
  5. Gottermeier L, De Filippo C, Clark C. Trials of a Contralateral Hearing Aid After Long-Term Unilateral Cochlear Implant Use in Early-Onset Deafness. American journal of audiology. 2016 Jun 1;25(2):85-99.
  6. Potts LG, Skinner MW, Litovsky RA, Strube MJ, Kuk F. Recognition and localization of speech by adult cochlear implant recipients wearing a digital hearing aid in the nonimplanted ear (bimodal hearing). Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2009 Jun 1;20(6):353-73.
  7. Ching TY, Psarros C, Hill M, Dillon H, Incerti P. Should children who use cochlear implants wear hearing aids in the opposite ear?. Ear and hearing. 2001 Oct 1;22(5):365-80.
  8. Cullington HE, Zeng FG. Bimodal hearing benefit for speech recognition with competing voice in cochlear implant subject with normal hearing in contralateral ear. Ear and hearing. 2010 Feb;31(1):70.
  9. Sucher CM, McDermott HJ. Bimodal stimulation: benefits for music perception and sound quality. Cochlear Implants International. 2009 Jan 1;10(S1):96-9.


The information on this website is for educational purposes, and is not intended to replace medical advice. Please consult a hearing healthcare professional to diagnose or treat a hearing or health problem.

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