Since cochlear implant microphones sit above the ear, and the user does not hear through their ear canal, users have traditionally been unable to use earbuds. Cipods is a system that allows to attach earbuds to bilateral MED-EL Sonnet cochlear implant processors in such a way as to direct the audio output into the cochlear implant microphones, allowing the wearer to utilize off-the-shelf earbuds. These earbuds are attached to the battery pack cover so they the earbuds can be removed when not in use by switching out the battery pack cover. This makes them small enough to be carried in a pocket unlike over the ear headphones that are more common with CIs. Unlike a direct to audio cable the user can still hear ambient noise and conversation while using their earbuds. If the headphones have a microphone on the cable the user can comfortably talk while wearing the earbuds.



Cameron Taylor, MJ Craig & Kate Thurman



March 2018


  • First prize in the “technical usability” category from AtHack (MIT Assistive Technology Hackathon)

AssistiveTech, Wearable