The authors aimed to assess timbral cues’ perception of teenagers with cochlear implants and compare it to the respective perception of normally hearing teenagers. Thirty-four teenagers were included in the study, nine Korean adolescents with cochlear implants and 25 adolescents with normal hearing. The procedure included four Western instruments and five traditional Korean instruments. It was not surprising that cochlear implantees recognised instruments significantly less often than the normally hearing teenagers as it is well known that one of the main shortcomings of most speech strategies is moderate music perception. However, no significant differences were found between the two groups with regard to timbre preferences. The authors also concluded that teenagers with implants show potential for detecting salient features in sound information, especially instrumental timbre. Although only a small number of implantees were involved in the study, it is more than evident that cochlear implant strategies should now focus on better music perception, especially in teenagers.