How the Ear Works

The ear consists of three main parts:  

  • Outer Ear  
  • Middle Ear  
  • Inner Ear  

It seems so effortless to be able to hear the sounds around us, but in reality the process of hearing is complex and requires a lot of pieces to work together. 

The outer part of the ear, called the pinna, acts as a collection plate for sound waves and channels them into the ear canal. The amplified sound waves make their way through the canal and when they reach your tympanic membrane (eardrum), it vibrates. 

Three small bones in the middle ear begin to move from the vibrations in the eardrum. Named the malleus, incus, and stapes (hammer, anvil, and stirrup), they play a huge role in our ability to hear. These vibrations then travel through to the inner part of the ear called the cochlea. 

Filled with nerve endings, the cochlea transmits the vibrations to the brain in the form of electrical impulses. Once the brain interprets these impulses, we can hear the sounds around us.