A. Calibrate your sound levels
- Using headphones, listen to the calibration audio file.
- Then, without your headphones on, rub your hands together closely in front of your nose, quickly and firmly, and try producing the same sound.
- If you have trouble hearing the sound of your hands rubbing, the test is already completed: you likely suffer from a severe hearing loss!
- Adjust your computer’s volume so that both levels match:
the calibration file through your headphones, and
your hands rubbing, without headphones.
- Once matched, do not change your levels anymore during the rest of the hearing test.
B. Listen to the individual test files
- In a silent environment, starting from the top row, move down until you hear a tone. Do this for each column.
- Always start with files on top of the table. The bottom files are for severe hearing losses, and will play very loudly for a normal hearing person!
- Stop with the file whose tone becomes just audible – not the file above or below – before switching to the next column.
C. Review your personal audiogram
- After finishing working with the audio files, click the STOP button to get your test results.
This graph is similar to what your audiologist's system would produce during a hearing test, and plots the softest sounds you can hear across the different frequencies tested. Ideally, the six markers should be located on the top of the graph, around the zero range. The next section explains the audiogram in detail.
Click the 'Overlay' button to add information on top of your audiogram.
The first overlay outlines the area related to conversational speech. It is in the shape of a banana and is often referred to as the “speech banana.” Vowels are located on the left side of the banana (the green area), and consonants are to the right (the blue area). Remember, all the sounds located above your individual hearing thresholds will be inaudible to you. If your personal markers are located inside (or worse, below) the speech banana, it means that your hearing will be missing part of the conversation, requiring your brain to compensate for this deficiency, by guessing words, for example.
The second overlay depicts some familiar sounds of our everyday life, such as rustling leaves, birds chirping, water dripping and other common sounds.