Think you may have hearing loss?
A hearing test is a test whose sole purpose is to assess an individual’s ability to hear. According to experts, you should go for a hearing test as often as you go to the dentist. The main benefit of getting your hearing tested regularly is that it becomes easier for you to track any gradual changes in your ability to hear.
People who work or live in noisy environments are also advised to take hearing tests often.
Thirdly, a hearing test is recommended for people who just recovered from an illness or injury that has the potential of damaging their hearing. Most experts suggest that people under the age of 40 go for hearing tests every five years, those between the age of 40 and 60 every 3 years and seniors above 60 years old every two years.
Luckily, it is now possible to have a hearing test at your convenience through online hearing tests. These online tests can either be calibrated (meaning that they have a precise reference level) or non-calibrated (meaning that they do not have a specific reference level).
However, most experts consider calibrated tests to be more precise and more accurate while non-calibrated tests are considered effective for testing things such as how comprehensible speech is especially during difficult conditions such as noise or how dynamic one’s range of hearing is.
Below is an online hearing tests review of the top 5 tests that can be found online. However, it must be noted that online hearing tests are not meant to replace physical hearing tests, and it is, therefore, important to back your findings up with a visit to the audiologist.
1. Hearing Test Online
This calibrated test is without doubt one of the best online hearing tests. In fact, even NGO’s have used this online test to perform hearing tests in developing countries and more so in the rural areas. It is estimated that this test has an accuracy of 10 dBHL making it one of the most precise online hearing tests.
Despite the great accuracy, however, this hearing test can be quite complicated for the ordinary individual to use especially because it does not have any step-by-step help. Individuals taking the test must also be able to read and correctly interpret an audiogram as the test does not give any textual interpretation.
Nevertheless, once you familiarize yourself with how to use it, you will be surprised at how fast the test is. Some online hearing test reviews also criticise this test for having a user interface that is too worded hence making it less user-friendly.
2. AudioCheck High-Frequency Range Test
This online hearing test is calibrated to speech levels. If you love listening to loud music or taking part in the production of Hi-fi sound, then this is the perfect hearing test for you. The test focuses on determining how well you can hear frequencies that are above 8 kHz and up to 22 kHz which is the highest frequency humans can hear.
The test is also quite easy to use, and all one is required to do is listen to the voice-over tone counts down from 22 kHz to 8 kHz until you hear a frequency sweep on top of the voice over. This point is the highest frequency at which you can hear well.
If the test ends without you hearing the sweep sound, then it means you do not have the ability to hear high frequencies. If this is so, then experts suggest a more precise hearing test like hearing test online.
3. Nessa Online Hearing Test
Although this calibrated hearing test is aimed at the Asian market, it is still considered one of the best online hearing tests. If you are not well versed with reading and interpreting audiograms, then this is definitely the test for you. Firstly, the user interface of this test is aesthetically pleasing and very user-friendly. Secondly, this online hearing test is relatively simpler than most other tests.
This is because the test has detailed step-by-step instructions. The test also considers important variables such as age, gender and even an option of whether to test the left or right ear making it dependable. However, one of the most interesting aspects of this online hearing test is the fact that it uses natural sounds instead of synthetic sounds to test your hearing.
You may be prompted to listen to sounds such as a frog croaking, a cat purring, birds chirping or even dogs barking; this makes the test more fun to take. The results are also quite easy to read and understand as they are in text form. Some people may find the step-by-step instructions a bit too time consuming; nevertheless, it is this feature that makes it so easy to use.
4. Starkey Hearing Test
First and foremost, this test is non-calibrated meaning it is not appropriate for people who have hearing problems in both ears or who have problems hearing all frequencies. Just like the Nessa online hearing test, Starkey also has a user-friendly interface and step-by-step instructions.
What makes the test different is that it starts by attempting to understand your hearing problems by asking questions on your current hearing ability. The test also includes a pure tone test which, as mentioned previously, is not calibrated.
Probably a unique feature of this hearing test is that it also includes a separate speech intelligibility test. The results of the pure tone test and the speech intelligibility test are presented individually in the form of text that is clear and comprehensible.
5. Oticon Speech-in-Noise-Test
Unlike the other online hearing tests listed above, this test only focuses on intelligibility, particularly in noisy conditions. The test is designed is such a way as to simulate a situation where one is trying to focus on what is being said/spoken in a noisy social setting.
Instead of using words, however, the test makes use of numerals which are dictated one after the other under varying degrees of background noise. The Oticon speech-in-noise-test is especially useful for seniors and those approaching their senior years.
The results indicate just how good your hearing ability is; simply put, the more numerals you can hear and correctly transcribe in the noisy conditions, the better your hearing is. This online hearing test can also be used to track changes in the clarity of your hearing from one period to another.