Cyborg Update: Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids Add iPod Input To Your Skull

MP3-Ready Hearing Aids

Surgeon Phillip Chang looks at the hearing implant that he will place in his patient Colin Hughes during surgery at The Hills Private Hospital.Sydney Morning Herald/Kate Geraghty

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today on an Aussie man who traveled all the way to Beverly Hills to receive bone-anchored hearing aids, which are implanted behind the ear and use conductive technology to transmit sound more effectively than regular in-ear aids. But here's the real bonus--these let you plug in your MP3 player or cellphone directly via a standard headphone jack.

The Baha (bone-anchored hearing aid) Divino, made by Cochlear, has been out for a few years now, but you can't help but be impressed with hearing aids that come complete an adapter that lets you plug in virtually any audio source for enjoyment (an MP3 player seems the most logical, but TVs and Stereos are also possible).

The hearing aids work when titanium screws are drilled into the bone behind the ear. Then the aids are attached, which use the natural resonance of the bone to provide hearing that is 25 percent better than standard, amplified hearing aids. A digital signal processor filters noise.

The hearing aid implants cost $6,000 apiece, and last 15 years. Sydney Morning Herald