Are you struggling to hear properly and want to get a hearing test done? An online hearing test is the most convenient and easy option you can take advantage of while sitting at home. It is a screening test using a set of calibrated sounds and tones to measure how well you hear.
In this article, we will show you some of the best online hearing tests without breaking your wallet!
Hearing Aid Loss Fact
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 15% of adults aged 18 and over, i.e., 37.5 million, in the United States report hearing issues.
With the advancements in technology, it has been possible to take hearing tests on your own with the help of websites and mobile apps available out there.
Though online hearing aid tests are not meant to replace a professional evaluation from hearing healthcare professionals, they can be a quick and easy way to find out if someone might be losing their hearing and encourage them to get more testing. They serve as the best starting point to address hearing issues.
You can find multiple options in the market for testing your hearing online. In this article, we will discuss some of the best online hearing test apps. Before that, let us know the prerequisites and pros and cons of online hearing tests.
Prerequisites for an Online Hearing Test
As already mentioned, online hearing tests are not complete replacements for in-person tests, which are known as audiometry. However, they offer significant information about your hearing. You can take action accordingly based on the test results.
Here are a few prerequisites you need to conduct an online hearing test:
- A high-quality pair of headphones or earbuds in working condition.
- A working computer or laptop to which earbuds or headphones must be connected.
- Look for a place with minimal background noise to ensure you take a proper test. Ensure not to have traffic, appliances, air conditioners, or similar noise.
Pros and Cons of Online Hearing Tests
Before we dive deep into the list, let us go through a few advantages and disadvantages of taking an online hearing test.
- Convenience: You can test your hearing from the comfort of your own home or on the go. It is an extremely convenient way.
- Accessibility: Online tests are easily accessible, and many are free. This makes it easier for people to get an initial assessment of their hearing health, especially those living in remote areas or having limited access to audiology services.
- Cost-effective: They are typically more affordable than in-person hearing tests. This can be particularly beneficial for people who may need insurance coverage for audiology services.
- Quick results: They provide quick results, usually within a few minutes. This is helpful to quickly assess hearing health and determine if further testing is necessary.
- Limited accuracy: Online hearing tests may not be as accurate as in-person ones. Various factors may affect the accuracy, such as the user’s headphones or speakers, background noise, and internet connection quality.
- Not comprehensive: They do not provide a comprehensive hearing health assessment. In-person hearing tests typically include a complete ear evaluation, which consists of a physical examination of your ears and additional tests beyond pure-tone hearing sensitivity, including speech recognition and bone-conduction hearing sensitivity.
- No professional guidance: They do not provide professional guidance from an audiologist. This means that users may not receive personalized advice on managing their hearing health or recommendations for hearing aids or other assistive devices.
- False reassurance: They may provide false reassurance if the user’s hearing is not accurately assessed. This can lead to a delay in seeking necessary audiology services and potentially worsen the user’s hearing health over time.
10+ Best Online Hearing Tests To Detect Hearing Impairment
Soundly offers a user-friendly hearing test online, which also comes with an app compatible with iOS and Android devices to test and detect hearing problems. It has several features to help users improve their hearing and deal with the effects of tinnitus.
With the help of audiologists and sound engineers, Soundly has created a simple hearing screener that just takes 5 minutes. It is based on pure-tone audiometry.
The test measures the user’s hearing ability at different frequencies and volumes. Based on the results, a personalized sound therapy program is made for the tester. The app also has a hearing age assessment, which compares the user’s hearing ability to that of people their age.
Soundly offers a variety of sound therapy options in addition to hearing tests. These include white noise, pink noise, and nature sounds, as well as a selection of music tracks made to help with tinnitus symptoms. Users can choose the sounds and frequencies that work best for them in their sound therapy programs. The test has also been featured in the LA Times, Forbes, and CNET.
Mimi Hearing Technologies has a variety of hearing tests to help people know how well they can hear and detect whether they have hearing loss or other problems. These tests are simple, accurate, and available to people worldwide.
Mimi is among the best hearing test apps you can download on Android and iOS devices. Simply download and use it; no registration is required.
The best feature of this app is personalized sound profiles for hearing tests. Before taking the test, you have the flexibility to create a personal sound profile by listening to a series of tones at different volumes and frequencies. With this sound profile, you can take the hearing test, ensuring the results are accurate and show how well you can hear.
Mimi’s hearing test leverages two different testing techniques. One is the audiological Pure Tone Threshold (PTT) test. The other is Mimi’s groundbreaking Masked Threshold (MT) suprathreshold test based on their research into audio masking.
The Pure Tone Threshold (PTT) test is ideal for calibrated devices and headphones and tests the lowest intensity sound that a person can hear in a silent environment. On the flip side, the Masked Threshold (MT) is ideal for uncalibrated devices. It tests the quietest level of a pure tone a person can detect in the presence of a masker (noise).
A popular manufacturer of earbuds, Jabra Enhance Plus also offers an online hearing test. It works with all types of headphones and requires less than five minutes to complete. However, you must remember that it is not a substitute for in-person hearing tests.
When you start taking the test, you must answer a few questions, such as your gender, date of birth, the level of your hearing ability, and where you face difficulties in hearing clearly.
Further, set your headphones to their maximum volume, test whether they are in good condition, and enter into the test. You get the test results as soon as you complete them.
Eargo is a company that specializes in providing direct-to-consumer hearing aids. It provides high-tech hearing devices with all the support of traditional hearing aids at lower prices. These devices feature high performance, professional support, and adaptable sound while being virtually invisible, easily accessible, and affordable.
Furthermore, these hearing aid devices’ battery is long-lasting and works continuously for 16 hours on a single charge.
In addition to selling hearing aids, Eargo offers an online hearing test you can take from home. It is a quick and easy way to assess your hearing ability. It will instruct you to rub your hands together and calibrate the sound in your headphones before starting the test. This step ensures that your volume is at the appropriate level.
Further, the test asks a series of questions to understand your overall hearing loss. It involves listening to a series of tones at different volumes and frequencies. The result is in the form of a chart that indicates your hearing loss in three parts – mild, severe, and profound. It is then used to provide a personalized hearing profile that can be used to determine if you may benefit from hearing aids.
The Audicus hearing test is simple and quick to assess your hearing ability. It is specially designed by Neuroscientists and provides accurate results. It is a free test that involves testing both ears with a multitude of sound frequencies at decibel volumes.
More interestingly, Audicus was the first to offer an online hearing test accurately that provided custom hearing aids from the test results. However, before taking the test, it requires you to fill in a few personal details, such as name, age, gender, etc. The test duration is 5 to 10 minutes.
The Audicus hearing test recommends testers use earbuds rather than headphones for better accuracy. After completing the test, you get an immediate email containing results and offers a free online consultation.
SHOEBOX offers a hearing test allowing individuals to test their hearing from the comfort of their homes. You can take this test on a computer or mobile device, and it lasts for approximately 10 minutes.
The test begins with 10 basic questions on hearing loss and situations where you face difficulty in hearing. Following this, there is a tone test. This uses calibrated sounds and tones to measure the user’s hearing thresholds, which are the softest sounds they can hear at different frequencies, typically ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 Hertz.
The user listens to a series of sounds at varying frequencies and volumes and responds by indicating when they can hear each sound. Generally, tones used in this test are called warble tones or amplitude-modulated frequency tones.
After completing the test, the user receives a personalized report showing their hearing thresholds at different frequencies. If the test results suggest hearing loss, the report includes recommendations for the next steps, such as seeking a professional audiology evaluation.
Check your hearing within 5 minutes with Signia for free. Signia offers a 5-minute online frequency hearing test that helps you find out whether you have hearing loss. It checks your right and left ear’s hearing ability with high and low-frequency tones and spoken words. You can take this test from a computer or mobile device.
The test is based on scientifically validated methods and uses advanced algorithms to analyze your responses. It includes a series of questions and tone tests to assess your hearing ability. At the end of the test, you will receive a report that indicates if you have hearing loss and to what degree.
It is an iPhone hearing test app easily available in the Apple Store. You can download and install the app and get started with an online hearing test on iPhones.
The test uses pulse tones of frequency ranging from 125 and 8,000 Hertz to determine your various hearing threshold, which is pretty analogous to in-person audiograms.
After the test, you get the results categorized into various groups – normal, mild, moderate, and severe. If your result falls under the severe category, you get a helpful disclaimer to seek medical or in-person hearing aid.
Stéphane Pigeon, a professional engineer and sound designer, created this website. It offers the fastest, easiest hearing test online. There is no need to create an account or submit an email address. You can directly visit the website and start your hearing test.
Initially, the test requires you to use headphones to listen to the calibration sound file. Lanter, remove your headphones, rub your hands close to your nose, and try producing the same sound. If you don’t hear the sound of your rubbing hands, it indicates you have severe hearing loss.
However, if you could hear the sound of rubbing hands, the test moves further. The next part is to hear sound files individually. Start listening to files from top to bottom and continue until you hear sound. Stop at the file where you hear the sound. After that, you get your personal hearing thresholds.
Phonak offers a five-minute online free hearing test. You can complete it in your own comfort from home. The first step of the test involves determining how well you can hear at different frequency levels. It requires you to listen to tones at different frequency levels. You need to adjust the volume until you hear the sound.
Further, the next step involves responding to questions. These questions are based on your hearing ability in challenging situations. The final step includes providing you with the test results and the essential guidance you need if there is hearing loss.
Phonak also offers award-winning hearing aids and has grabbed many awards for the same.
ReSound offers a quick way to test your hearing ability online. It is a 3-minute test that validates your ability to distinguish between certain words and numbers in a noisy environment.
Initially, the test involves hearing different combinations of words and numbers in a group of three, while the background noise may vary each time. Next, choose those three things you could determine while hearing and press the corresponding icons on the screen.
You can hear the words or numbers again if you miss out on something. Simply click the Replay button. With the help of headphones, it is possible to test your left and right ears.
If you use any hearing aid while taking the test, it is recommended to remove it.
Are Online Hearing Tests Accurate?
Experts recommend considering online hearing tests as the first step in addressing hearing issues. They should not be considered a replacement for in-person hearing assessments that hearing healthcare professionals conduct.
While online hearing test developers continue to work on improving accuracy, three sources of variability keep us from trusting online test results as a diagnostic tool:
- Lack of control over external noise
- Volume setting of your device
- The sound quality of your headphones/earbuds
External Noise: You can minimize the effect of external noise by taking the test in the quietest environment available – you won’t likely reach the sound insulation of an audiological testing booth, but the less external noise you have, the more accurate your results will be.
Volume Setting: To minimize the impact that your adjustment of the volume settings can have on the results, make sure to follow the test instructions closely.
Headphones/Earbuds Output Quality: Use the best headphones/earbuds available to you. A branded set that is relatively new will likely allow for more accurate results than a pair of earbuds you got free from an airline a few years ago.
Remember, taking an online test is an excellent first step to addressing a potential perceived hearing loss. Suppose your test results show that you don’t have hearing loss but still have difficulty hearing some sounds or understanding some people. In that case, you should book an in-person hearing evaluation with a hearing healthcare provider.
If, on the other hand, your online test results show that you may have a hearing loss, the more reason to see a professional and promptly get an accurate diagnosis.
These are some of the best online hearing test tools to assess your hearing loss quickly at home. It is essential to note that these online tests are not replacements for in-person tests.
When choosing the best online hearing test tool, you may get overwhelmed with multiple options. However, it is essential to consider your needs and the tool’s features. The first factor to consider while choosing is how reputable they are. Further, some tools simply provide screening tests and determine whether you need an in-person consultation or proper treatment. On the flip side, some tools provide detailed information.
One of your best courses of action is to try a few of them, at least two or three, and see if there is a pattern in the results you get
In addition to being the Founder and Editor-in Chief at HearingPeople.com, Luis Zuluaga is the founder and CEO of Florida Hearing Institute, an innovative hearing health enterprise in South Florida, focused on bringing high-tech hearing devices at affordable prices to people with hearing loss. Before his latest hearing healthcare endeavors, Luis served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Zounds Hearing Inc., a US-based hearing aid manufacturer that introduced many technical innovations to the hearing aid market.