Mark Fairhead, a U.K. Cycling Club Breckland champion, shares why he loves his Medtronic magnetic bone-anchored hearing system.


Mark Fairhead Racing

I wear my Medtronic Sophono™ Alpha 2 MPO about 14 hours a day — it is comfortable and secure, and I hardly realize it’s there. (The Sophono Alpha series was a previous generation to the current Alpha 2 MPO ePlus™ system.) With this Medtronic hearing aid, everything is louder and clearer. 

I was born with microtia and aural atresia in my right ear, meaning the external ear and ear canal were both atypical. I had some level of hearing until I was later diagnosed with tinnitus. I used a dynalog processor on a headband, though it was not very cool looking. I found about bone-conduction hearing devices and the improvements these can make to one’s life.

My audiologist originally offered me a bone-anchored hearing aid. That was direction I was going to go, until I heard about the Medtronic magnetic bone-anchored hearing system. From the start the Alpha 2 MPO ePlus™ was a great experience — it was so emotional hearing in my “deaf” ear for the first time in decades. I even jumped at noises and was able to identify the direction of a sound.

I chose the Medtronic bone conduction hearing system for several reason: First of all, I preferred the mounting method. Instead of an open site abutment, it has magnets that are set into the skull and under the skin. The processor then attaches through the skin with another magnet. There is no abutment needed. Secondly, I have very good bone conductivity that allows the system to work especially well for me.

I had the surgery for the hearing implant and healed in only two weeks. The surgery wasn’t traumatic. I recovered quickly and discovered how easy it was to take care of the implant site.

In terms of hearing:  Wow! What a difference! Everything seems so much louder and clearer. I recently went to my cycling club where I used to struggle with conversation as there are usually many things happening at the same time in this environment. With the Medtronic Alpha 2 MPO ePlus™, I was not only able to listen and participate, but I also found the other conversations were less distracting. Another bonus is that I can wear the processor with my bike helmet!

I’ve also been to the cinema and was amazed by how much louder it is — it was an action-packed film, and I could pick up on sounds coming from the left and right. I guess that’s what’s called stereo!

—Mark Fairhead of the United Kingdom (2017)


Claire’s bone conduction hearing aid allows her to excel in school and connect with her sisters.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.