A listener with a cochlear implant sets off on a quest to hear Boléro again

Fascinating first-person insight.

About a year after I received the implant, I asked one implant engineer how much of the device’s hardware capacity was being used. "Five percent, maybe." He shrugged. "Ten, tops."


I was determined to use that other 90 percent. I set out on a crusade to explore the edges of auditory science. For two years tugging on the sleeves of scientists and engineers around the country, offering myself as a guinea pig for their experiments. I wanted to hear Boléro again.