People often ask if a Cochlear Implant enables people to hear sound normally. Here is some information, a link and an interesting sound file to give you some idea of different levels of hearing achieved with a cochlear implant.
An implant produces a perception of sound which differs from “normal” hearing. Cochlear implant users often describe this as a “mechanical” or “electronic” sound. Most patients eventually get used to this and it becomes ‘normal’ for them.
Listen to this. Please note that the last part of the clip is normal human speech.
Rehabilitation is required after implantation to allow users to gain maximum benefit from their implant. Over time the vast majority show very significant improvements in their ability to understand speech without lip-reading and distinguish between environmental sounds. Over time, many implantees have been able to use telephones in certain circumstances and some can listen to the radio and enjoy music.
If you want a more technical description, more examples of different levels of hearing with a cochlear implant, go to the University of Dallas in Texas’ webite.