How Hearing Works
The auditory system is very simple yet very complex. External sounds are picked up by the outer ear (pinna) sent down the ear canal (external auditory meatus) to the ear drum (tympanicmembrane). Sound then travels through the middle ear on the hammer, anvil, and stirrup (malleus, incus, stapes).
This is where the auditory system becomes more complex. Movement of the stapes in the oval window creates waves in the inner fluids that produce vibrations in the basilar membrane that are changed by hair cells into nerve impulses that are sent on to the brain for interpretation.
In the most basic form the auditory system is a transmission that sends sound to the brain for understanding and gives sounds their meaning. When the transmission is not working properly it interferes with communication. Commonly referred to as a hearing loss.