Summary Cochlear optogenetic stimulation promises to revolutionize the field of hearing restoration by enabling high spatiotemporal stimulation of the auditory nerve. For clinical translation to succeed, optogenetic stimulation needs to closely match the coding properties of the spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) and employ suitable emitters at their optimal operation range. This requires tailoring of channelrhodopsins, emitters and coding strategies. To date, multiple optogenetic actuators were successfully expressed in SGNs and tested for their capacity to activate the auditory pathway. The presentation will focus on the recent progress to identify the optimal optogenetic actuators and how to achieve temporally precise optogenetic stimulation of the SGNs.