The Melbourne/Cochlear multiple-electrode extracochlear implant is designed for deaf patients who are unsuited to multiple-electrode intracochlear implantation. The implant consists of a receiver-stimulator package connected via a lead wire assembly to six individual stimulating electrodes. There is a choice of two alternative surgical procedures, both of which are via a combined middle ear approach using anterior and posterior tympanotomies. Four active electrodes shaped into compressible platinum-iridium soft-balls are fed through the mastoid cavity and across the facial recess, and placed into cavities that are made over the cochlear turns that project to the medial wall of the middle ear. One hard-ball active electrode is placed into the round window niche. One hard-ball reference electrode is placed into the hypotympanum. An additional electrode wrapped around the lead wire assembly can be used as an alternative reference electrode. A specially designed insertion needle facilitates the placement and the fixation of the soft-ball electrodes.