In this prospective multicenter study, tinnitus loudness and tinnitus-related distress were investigated in 174 cochlear implant (CI) candidates who underwent CI surgery at a Swiss cochlear implant center. All subjects participated in two session, one preoperatively and one 6 months after device activation. In both sessions, tinnitus loudness was assessed using a visual analogue scale and tinnitus distress using a standardized tinnitus questionnaire. The data were compared with unaided pre- and postoperative pure tone thresholds, and postoperative speech reception scores. 71.8% of the subjects reported tinnitus preoperatively. Six months after CI surgery 20.0% of these reported abolition of their tinnitus, 51.2% a subjective improvement, 21.6% no change and 7.2% a deterioration. Of the 49 (28.2%) subjects with no tinnitus preoperatively, 5 developed tinnitus 6 months after CI. These 5 had poorer speech understanding after CI surgery with their device than the group who remained tinnitus free. We found no correlation between tinnitus improvement, age, duration of tinnitus, or change in unaided hearing thresholds between the two sessions.