Glad you asked. Digital and direct-to-consumer health testing is on the rise. From prescription checks to fertility, to DNA testing, health tech companies are finding easier, more affordable ways to do health tests. This increases access to health care but not all digital health testing is equal. When it comes to hearing tests, this is especially true. We looked at what sets the Audicus Online Hearing Test apart and why ours is the best online hearing test for you.

What is the Audicus Online Hearing Test

Audicus wanted to create an accurate online hearing test to help those learning about their hearing loss. The test was designed over two years, overseen by a and neuroscience engineer, testing hundreds of individuals over multiple trials. In May 2017, the current version was launched. It was the first online test accurate enough to program custom hearing aids from the results.

Taking the Online Hearing Test

After opening the Audicus Online Hearing Test in any web browser, users fill out information about their hearing needs and a bit of personal information. The test requires headphones or earbuds for accuracy and takes under 20 minutes to complete. Once it begins, it tests each ear at five frequencies twice by playing a series of tones. If you’ve been to the audiologist, this will feel familiar. Once completed, the user gets a full overview of their unique hearing loss.

Online Hearing Test results

Online hearing test results
Test results from the Online Hearing Test

The results give a number out of 5, rating from a 1, which is “Your hearing needs help,” to number 5, “You have hearing happiness.” The results then break down further by the left and right ear at five frequencies and provide a recommendation for the hearing aid will cover your hearing loss and provides next steps for customizing a device.

Programming hearing aids to the test

In August 2017, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act was signed, enabling Americans to purchase hearing aids without a clinical audiogram. This allowed Audicus to program hearing aids to the Online Hearing Test without needing customers without an audiogram. For the first time, someone could take a hearing test and order custom hearing aids in under 20 minutes from home. After a user takes the test, the hearing aids can be programmed by Audicus’ in-house audiology team who consult the taker to personalize the features.

Other online hearing checkers

Beltone

In Beltone’s hearing checker, the user listens to words and numbers and chooses the images that match what they hear. In each round, the background noise gets louder. This is one of the most interactive checkers but the voice does remain the same frequency throughout.

Miracle-Ear

Miracle-Ear Their online hearing checker plays snippets of conversations in different environments like a train station, park, and restaurant then asks you to answer a question from each conversation. Once completed, you get a score out of 10 points.

Phonak

Phonak three-minute hearing health check plays three tones then asks you to self-report when you have trouble hearing such as hearing high pitched sounds like birds singing or conversation in noisy environments.

Better Hearing

Better Hearing Institute Hearing Screening does not play any sounds. This one asks the user questions about where you have the most trouble hearing and what sounds you would typically miss.

Healthy Hearing

Healthy Hearing also offers a self-reported questionnaire that asks you about where you have difficulty and past noise exposure.

Audicus Online Hearing Test vs other online tools

Accuracy

Audicus’ Online Hearing Test remains the only hearing test that is thorough and accurate enough to program custom hearing aids. It takes the longest amount of time. Other checkers take less than five minutes while Audicus’ takes up to 20, testing each ear twice at five frequencies each.

At the end of the other online checkers, you will be told whether or not you may have hearing loss and next steps. With the Online Hearing Test, you’ll get an interactive hearing loss profile with each ear rated on a scale of one to five covering low to high tones.

Breakdown of the hearing loss profile
Hearing loss profile right ear results

Audicus’ test employs error detecting algorithms that will check for red flags like asymmetrical hearing loss. In these instances, the user will be prompted to see an audiologist when the results suggest an underlying health concern.

Access

Most notably, the Online Hearing Test is giving access to those without insurance, mobility, or access to a specialist to get custom hearing aids from home. Of the 48 million Americans with hearing loss, less than 20% get hearing aids due to cost and access. This test has been enabling people to more easily and affordably treat their hearing loss.

If you’d like to test your hearing, click here to take our online hearing test for free.

By: Diana Michel

Sources: Scientific American, Hearing Health Foundation, NPR


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