This study was done to examine the short-term and long-term effects of multichannel cochlear implantation on speech perception in Finnish-speaking adults. The subjects comprise 20 adults. Pure-tone thresholds (0.125-8kHz), discrimination of phoneme quantity, sentence recognition, word recognition, phoneme recognition and listening performance were studied before and after implantation. After switch-on of the implant, the median pure-tone threshold values in the sound field were comparable to the level of mild hearing impairment. Most improvement in sentence recognition took place during the 6 months after the switch-on (mean score 74%). In word recognition, most improvement took place during the 12 months after the switch-on (mean score 66%), and clear improvement was noted even thereafter. In phoneme recognition, the performance of the subjects improved over the entire follow-up period, and 24 months after the switch-on the mean score was 52%. Individual variation was seen in the performance of the subjects. With 3 months of listening experience, all subjects were able to recognize some speech without speechreading, and they gained good functional benefit from the implant. The use of speech recognition tests with different degrees of difficulty is essential for the follow-up of adult cochlear implant subjects.