and Test Tones
Audiologists are interested in frequencies that are important for clear understanding of speech, not the frequencies that make high-fidelity audio recordings enjoyable. Their target frequencies reside in the 125-8,000 Hz range, generally not above that. This page's hearing test assesses the same frequency range.
Sound level calibration is a prerequisite to properly measuring hearing loss. Our hearing test is the only online hearing test we know of that offers you a way to calibrate your headphones or speakers, giving you the opportunity to reliably estimate your hearing loss. Use our test with confidence to confirm normal hearing, or a mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss. This test - like any other hearing test - requires a decent pair of headphones (good speakers will work too, although headphones are preferred), and a quiet environment.
Levels are expressed in deciBels Hearing Level (dBHL). dBHL are not absolute but represent the difference between your hearing and the 'normal'.
If you score 0 dBHL, your hearing exactly matches the norm; higher values are signs of hearing loss. There are tolerances though: normal hearing is defined by thresholds lower than 15 dBHL at all frequencies, not strictly at 0 dBHL.
Although headphones for this test are highly recommended, they must be taken off when listening to the reference sound made by your hands.
Due to restrictions in the dynamic recorded by the .wav file format, hearing tests in the lowest frequency range and/or above 80 dBHL cannot be performed online.
In a silent environment, play back these files one by one, vertically, from top to bottom (this is very important, see the warning below), starting from the first column. When the tones become audible, your hearing threshold level has been reached.
Always start with the top files first. The bottom files are for severe hearing loss, and will play very loud for a normal hearing person!
Interpret your results as follows:
0-10 dBHL: Normal Hearing
20-30 dbHL: Mild Hearing Loss
40-60 dBHL: Moderate Loss
70-80 dBHL: Severe Hearing Loss
If you have trouble hearing any of the higher dbHL files, confirm these results by visiting an audiologist.
This hearing test uses pure tone stimuli. To confirm your results, check out myHearingTest.net: it relies on the same calibration protocol, but uses wable tones instead, and offers a neat audiogram printout feature!