Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sounds for those with damaged ears, cochlear implants bypass the ear and stimulate the auditory nerve directly, giving profoundly deaf people a new way to experience the world.
But what do voices sound like through a cochlear implant? A new video from researchers at Arizona State University gives us the clearest sense yet:
Professor Michael Dorman says the research was helped tremendously by a patient who lost hearing in both ears, then regained it in one, allowing him to compare what he heard through his implant with the sounds he heard through his ear.
Last summer, doctors went even farther to help a North Carolina boy who still couldn't hear after a cochlear implant, giving him a brain stem implant that allowed him to hear for the first time. Little Grayson's reaction to hearing his dad speak was priceless:
If your heart can handle it, check out these videos of other people enjoying their first sounds: