Being able to take a hearing test online using your smartphone, computer, or tablet is a convenient way to get an idea of your current hearing status. There are several options available for testing your hearing online and we will cover the four best online hearing tests available in 2023.
For each online hearing test, one of Treble Health’s board-certified audiologists went through the user experience in detail, assessing each test according to a variety of factors. The primary factors we focused on were
- Test type
- Test accessibility
- Test objective
- Test results
Before diving into our results, it’s important to note that online hearing tests are never intended to be complete replacements for in-person hearing tests (known as audiograms). Treble Health requires audiograms for all telehealth patients requesting remote hearing aid fittings, in order to rule out any red flags or medical conditions (like ear infections or anything that might necessitate consulting an ENT doctor).
What Do You Need For An Online Hearing Test?
Even though online hearing tests aren’t intended to be comprehensive replacements, they can still offer helpful information to patients. Whatever online hearing test you end up taking, remember that you will need a good pair of headphones or earbuds as well as a smartphone or computer. Additionally, you will need to take the test from a location with minimal background noise in order to ensure that you can respond and engage with the test properly.
Dr. Ben Thompson provides detailed information on some of the best online hearing tests available.
#1 Mimi Health Hearing Test
Mimi Health’s hearing test is one of the most popular due to its user-friendly interface. The Mimi hearing test offers patients very specific details about their hearing loss, and is thus useful for those patients who want the most information from an online test.
Mimi’s hearing test is considered a hearing screening tool, which is used to support medical diagnosis. Thus, patients are encouraged to consult with an audiologist for a comprehensive diagnosis of their hearing loss. The test is accessible via a mobile app available for iOS and Android. The free app currently averages a 4.7 star rating across 13,000 reviews.
Mimi’s hearing test takes approximately 6 minutes to complete. It uses beeping tones across low to high frequencies to determine levels of hearing loss. The test also has a sound level meter to help determine if patients are in an adequately quiet environment. Finally, the test allows for masking for those patients with hearing loss in one ear. Our audiologist who took the test reported that the masking—accomplished by playing white noise in the ear without hearing loss—was effective.
Mimi’s hearing test has been thoroughly tested by both scientists and audiologists. We love that it offers an individualized user experience, and our audiologist reported that the results were very accurate when compared with an in-person audiogram.
#2 SHOEBOX Online Hearing Test
At the time of publication, Treble Health is using SHOEBOX as its online hearing test. Thus far, our team of audiologists has been satisfied with SHOEBOX’s test, which provides simple and comprehensible results to patients while also offering audiologists more detailed results, including specific pitch thresholds.
SHOEBOX’s test begins with 10 questions, including basic questions about hearing loss and situations that may pose difficulty hearing. Following this section is a tone test, where the patient signals the softest sounds that can be heard across various pitches (the specific frequency range tested is 1,000 to 6,000 Hertz). The tones used in this part of the test are called warble tones, also known as amplitude modulated frequency tones.
SHOEBOX’s online test is very easy to use, and takes between 5-10 minutes to complete. From an audiologist’s perspective, the test provides crucial information that can help with making referrals for in-person audiograms.
#3 hearX hearDigits
HearDigits, from the company hearX, works to determine the speech recognition threshold (measured in decibels), which reflects patients’ ability to understand speech in the presence of background noise. According to hearX, hearDigits is scientifically validated with an accuracy rate over 90%, and it’s compatible across smartphones and computers.
HearDigits uses speech and noise testing, a type of functional test where patients are asked to identify words that are presented with background noise. From this, hearDigits outputs a speech recognition threshold in decibels, which reflects the patient’s ability to understand speech in the presence of background noise. The test typically takes under five minutes, and our audiologist reported accurate results.
#4 Hearing Test & Ear Age Test
The Hearing Test & Ear Age Test is an iPhone app with an average rating of 3.6 stars across 37 reviews. This app uses pulsed tones between 125 and 8,000 Hertz to determine various hearing thresholds, in a similar manner to in-person audiograms.
The app is simple and accessible, sorting results across a spectrum that includes normal, mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss. The severe hearing loss results profile included a helpful disclaimer to seek further medical help. That said, those in the mild and moderate hearing loss results profiles could also benefit from in-person medical consultation. Our audiologist received in her results a “hearing age” metric of 50 years old, which is not a standardized metric and may point to possible inaccuracies in the test.
Our #1 Pick
Overall, the best test we assessed was the Mimi Health hearing test. It was the most convenient and user friendly, offering results similar to what you might get from an in-person audiogram. If you are looking for further guidance on how to treat hearing loss, then sign up for a free telehealth consultation through Treble Health. We would love to connect you with one of our audiologists and talk more about your hearing needs.