Discover The Best Online Hearing Test
So what makes one online hearing test better than the other? 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.
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This increases access to health care but not all digital health testing is equal. When it comes to hearing tests, this is especially true.
Here’s what sets the Audicus Online Hearing Test apart and why it’s considered best in class.
What is the Best 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 one of the first online hearing tests accurate enough to program custom hearing aids from the results.
The test was designed to make getting hearing tested accessible for everyone. Since launching, anyone with a computer can go online and take the test for free.
How to Take the Best Online Hearing Test and Get Accurate Results
After opening the Audicus Online Hearing Test in any web browser, users fill out info 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.
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 that will cover your hearing loss and provide the next steps for customizing a device.
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Using the Top-Rated Online Hearing Test to Program Your Hearing Aids
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.
8 of the Best Online Hearing Tests You Can Take For Free
Of course, we’re a bit biased here. Audicus was the first company to offer online hearing tests able to match the accuracy and reliability of traditional tests. Since launching, we’ve only continued to develop our test and improve upon the science. Our test is free to take and takes under 10 minutes.
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 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 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 Popular Online Tests That Check Your Hearing
When comparing different hearing assessment tools, you’ll want to start with the basics. What exactly makes an online hearing screening “good”? While the answer may be different from one person to the next, most clinical professionals can agree that accuracy is fundamental. Ideally, clinical tests should have high reliability and high validity. These two elements are what make assessments scientific. In other words, accuracy makes testing trustworthy.
Why is the Online Hearing Test considered Best-in-class?
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.
1) It’s Considered the Most Accurate Online Hearing Test
Other checkers take less than five minutes while Audicus’ takes up to 20, testing each ear twice at five frequencies each. While the amount of time a test takes to complete doesn’t always indicate increased test validity or reliability, in this case, the assessment requires more time because it’s intended to reduce the potential of error.
The Audicus hearing test is longer because we want to deliver accurate results, which means it’s designed to eliminate unintentional false positives. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to implement a test and re-test feature, which Audicus’ Online Hearing Test has.
2) You Can Test for Asymmetrical Hearing Loss Online
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.
At the end of the other online checkers, you will be told whether or not you may have hearing loss and provided the next steps. In other words, these screeners mostly just provide basic-level information on whether or not hearing loss is present.
3) It Tests Whether or Not You Can Hear at Low and High Tones
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.
As you can see from the picture above, you’re provided detailed information regarding your hearing abilities. While the assessment is still a screener and not a clinical audiogram, it has much greater depths than other existing screeners, which tend to be much more surface level and may not use advanced algorithms.
Why It’s One of the Most Accessible Free Online Hearing Tests
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. Accessibility is part of Audicus’ core mission and the foundation on which the company is built.
Of the 48 million Americans with hearing loss, less than 20% get hearing aids due to cost and access. If you’re anything like us, you can’t read this statistic without understanding that the system itself is broken.
The Online Hearing Test enables people to easily and affordably identify and treat their hearing loss. Providing access to hearing testing aligns with the overarching Audicus belief that hearing shouldn’t be a privilege. Instead, it should be a right that is easy to exercise.
By: Diana Michel, updated in 2021 by Kimberly Smith
Sources: Scientific American, Hearing Health Foundation, NPR