We have developed a prototype middle-ear hearing implant which uses a multilayer piezoelectric actuator. Tn this series of experiments the actuator was attached to the medial wall of the attic so that it makes contact with the body of the incus. Initial in vitro evaluation has been carried out using a laser vibrometer (Polytec CLV) to measure stapes velocity. Stapes displacement is calculated by mathematical integration. The device used in this way is particularly effective at transmitting high frequency sound to the stapes. When switched off the actuator impairs the transmission of sound to the ossicular chain at low frequencies, but this effect is only 7 dB at most. The stapes displacements resulting from the action of the implant have a linear relationship with the voltages used to drive the system. The high capacitance of the present actuator means that its power requirements are higher than that of other comparable devices. An optimal method of coupling the device to the incus has yet to be identified.