Types Of Hearing Tests

A hearing test measures a person’s ability to process sounds of different frequencies and volumes.  Hearing tests provide important information that can help you and your doctor decide on the best hearing aid for you.

Pure-Tone Testing 

In most formal situations, an audiologist performs the hearing test with a device called an audiometer. The patient wears headphones or earbuds to ensure that sound is only heard by each ear individually; the test is conducted in a sound-proof room. The audiometer delivers sounds of different frequencies to the right or left ear separately, and the patient indicates that they have heard the sound by verbally replying, or by pushing a button or lifting the hand or a finger on the corresponding side of the body.

For children who cannot or will not cooperate with standard testing, alternatives like visual reinforcement audiometry (which rewards the child with a desirable image) or conditioned play audiometry (which encourages specific play when the sound is heard) may be used. There are specific hearing aids for children that are available for those with hearing loss.

HINT (Hearing In Noise Test) 

This hearing test gauges how well the patient can detect conversation in quiet and noisy environments, including speech from different directions. The volume of the speech is increased until the person can accurately repeat the phrases about half of the time. This measure is called the speech reception threshold or SRT.

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

Also called auditory evoked potential (AEP), this test is typically used for individuals who may not be able to participate in standard testing like the pure-tone test. Electrodes are placed on the person’s head to measure the brain waves produced in response to hearing the sounds in the test.

Acoustic Reflex

When we hear a sound, a small muscle contained in the inner ear contracts. At what volume level (if at all) this contraction occurs helps the audiologist further determine the extent of hearing impairment.


To check how mobile the person’s eardrum is, this test sends air into the ear canal and measures the movement of the eardrum.  Tympanometry is generally used to test for the presence of wax or fluid in the middle ear, or to see whether the eardrum has been perforated.

How To Get Your Hearing Tested

Please call 212-920-1970 to schedule a hearing test today.