Pure tone test

What is a pure tone test? The hearing health care professional will examine your hearing ability by letting you listen to a number of different pure tones through a pair of headphones or earplugs.

Each ear will be tested individually. When you hear a tone, you press a button or raise your hand. The test results - illustrated as a graph or an audiogram - show your hearing threshold, i.e. the softest sounds you are able to hear at different frequencies (Hz).

In some cases, the hearing health care professional will carry out a bone conduction test to measure your ability to hear pure tones, by placing a small bone conductor behind your ear. Instead of emitting audible sounds, the bone conductor sends tiny vibrations to the inner ear. The results of these vibrations give another indication of your hearing threshold and are also shown as an audiogram.

A comparison of these two test results provides a better indication of which particular parts of the ear are responsible for the hearing loss.