What is a Cochlear Implant? A cochlear implant is a cochlear prosthesis. That is, it is an electronic device designed to provide sound information and improved communication ability to adults and children who have a profound sensorineural hearing loss (“nerve deafness”) in both ears and obtain limited benefit from appropriate binaural hearing aids. Hearing aids make sounds louder and deliver these amplified sounds to the ear. For individuals with a profound hearing loss, even the most powerful hearing aids provide little if any benefit.