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How Does a Hearing Test Work?

3 min read

Taking a hearing test is easy, but it is important to understand the different types of hearing tests available and what they actually tell you about your hearing. In many cases, an audiologist or hearing care practitioner will offer hearing screenings and hearing evaluations in their offices, but there are other options, too.

What Is a Hearing Screening?

A hearing screening is a simple pass or fail check of your hearing and will let you know if any sign of hearing loss is present, but it won’t tell you what type or degree of hearing loss you have. While this is helpful, if a screening does indicate a loss, you’ll still need to get a comprehensive hearing test to help determine the next best steps you can take to preserve your hearing.


What Happens During a Hearing Exam?

  • The test will most likely be conducted in a soundproof room
  • Headphones will be given to you to wear inside the soundproof room, and are connected to a machine that will send tones and sounds through the headphones to each ear at a time
  • If you hear a sound from your right or left ear, the audiologist will ask you to provide a signal. Oftentimes, they will ask you to raise your hand.

How Should I Prepare for a Hearing Exam?

  • Ensure that your ears are cleaned at least two days prior to your hearing exam. You can clean your ears by taking a warm, damp washcloth and using your fingers to clean the inside of your ears.
  • Be sure to provide relevant information regarding your medical history and any medications that you are currently taking. This information can have an affect on your hearing exam and ability to perform.
  • Make sure that you avoid loud noises prior to your exam as loud sounds like music, construction sites, etc. can damage your hearing.
  • If you are sick, be sure to reschedule your hearing exam. Colds, allergies, and ear infections can alter the fluid in your ears, making it difficult to hear. 

Hearing Evaluations and Hearing Exams

A hearing evaluation or hearing exam is thorough and will give you a comprehensive understanding of your personal hearing profile – what you’re hearing well and what you’re not. Knowing the exact nature of your hearing loss makes it possible to recommend the best solution for you.


What Are the Different Types of Hearing Tests?

  • Air Conduction Test
  • Bone Conduction Test
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
  • Speech Testing
  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)

Online Hearing Tests

Several companies offer online hearing tests to check your hearing.While many of these online hearing tests can provide you with directional information on your hearing, they do not provide an actual diagnosis, nor are they a substitute for a comprehensive hearing test. This means you still need to visit a hearing care professional for a confirmation of your hearing profile before a recommendation can be made. Soundwave offers a free online hearing test on our website to help you decide if the Sontro™  Hearing Aids might be a good hearing solution for you. 


What Is an At-Home Hearing Test?

There is another option – an at home hearing test. Paired with Soundwave's Sontro® Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aids, Soundwave's otoTune® app offers the only patented 2-button hearing test that can be taken in the comfort of your own home and automatically tests both ears at the same time. This at-home hearing test delivers quick, accurate, and clinically-verified results on par with a test you would receive in your doctor’s office. The test results provide you with next step recommendations, including the option of convenient, affordable, self-fitting hearing aids if a mild to moderate hearing loss is discovered.

You can also take our free online hearing test on your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop – and with your headphones, as an initial step to understand your hearing loss. Whichever route you choose, getting your hearing tested should be a priority…and part of your overall healthcare routine. There are many benefits to good hearing, including being connected to friends and family, staying socially active and performing well at work, just to name a few. In fact, medical professionals recommend getting a baseline hearing screening starting at the age of 50, followed by annual hearing tests to ensure you’re always hearing your best.