An online hearing test is available via various websites. However, it must be borne in mind that it is not a diagnostic test and it is always better to get your hearing tested by a qualified audiologist. This is because they will have the appropriate skills and specialized equipment to conduct the tests and evaluate the results. In addition, the audiologist will be able to accurately diagnose, recommend and provide information on the most appropriate treatment or decisions regarding hearing aids.
Some online hearing tests will require you to conduct a questionnaire about daily situations, to determine the amount of problems you may experience due to hearing loss. These questionnaires are often used when listening tests for soft tones cannot be conducted. It must be noted that these tests are only used as screening tools and are not a substitute for professional advice.
Other online hearing tests will require you to hear tones with a wide range of frequencies, ranging from 20 Hz to 16,000 Hz. The human ear is able to detect frequencies from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and speech normally occurs between 250 Hz to 8,000 Hz. When the tone is heard through the headphones, you will normally have to press a button and the results recorded.
Headphones used should be of good quality and the best choices are closed-type headphones, as this can reduce outside noise. However, if you have ear-bud headphones, then wearing ear-muffs may help. This type of hearing test should be conducted in a quiet environment to minimize background noise; however, testing away from professional clinics, this may sometimes prove to be difficult.
It is always important to perform an aural volume calibration by a person with good hearing and if during any time of the online hearing test, you feel uncomfortable or the volume is too high, stop the test immediately. It must also be noted that due to the nature of the calibration, this online hearing test is not as accurate as those performed professionally by an audiologist.