Treating hearing loss without having had a hearing test carried out by an audiologist so that you have an official diagnosis can be a difficult thing to do. Knowing exactly what kind of hearing loss you have and how severe it is will enable you to discuss the appropriate treatments, so it makes sense that you should book a hearing test appointment if you think you’re experiencing hearing loss. In that way, you can be sure either way and take the next steps, whatever they might be. 

Hearing tests are something that can feel a little concerning simply because they are not necessarily part of your usual healthcare check-up, and the unknown is always a concern. So that you have a better idea of what the hearing test involves, here are some of the most common types of hearing tests. 

Pure Tone Testing 

Probably the first test that your audiologist will perform is known as the pure tone test, or pure tone audiometry. You will need to wear a pair of headphones and listen for tones to be played through them. When you hear a tone, you will push a button or raise your hand to indicate that you’ve heard it. This test determines the range of your hearing and can tell the audiologist which frequencies you are struggling with. 

Bone Conduction Testing 

Just like the test above, the bone conduction test will help your audiologist understand your hearing loss level. The test measures how your ear responds when it hears certain sounds. The conductor tool will be situated behind your ear. It will send out tiny vibrations directly into your ear through the bones. This is a very accurate test as it doesn’t rely on your reactions to anything; it is a pure reading of how the inner ear is working. 


Tympanometry measures the movement of your eardrum when air pressure is introduced into your ear. The test will determine if there is a build-up of fluid or any excess wax. On top of this, the test will spot any tumors or any other kind of obstruction – in other words, if there is something in your ear that is causing your hearing loss, the tympanometry test will find it. 

Speech Testing 

By seating you in a quiet environment and playing speech or talking to you at various volume levels, the audiologist can determine your speech reception threshold. This essentially means that this test will show the audiologist how well you are able to hear speech in a variety of different situations. 

As you can see, there are several different hearing tests that can be carried out. Which ones your audiologist deems to be most important will depend on your family history, or the visual and physical examination and on whether you have an ear infection or obstruction rather than hereditary hearing loss. Don’t be concerned if you have a hearing test and your audiologist doesn’t use all of these tests; they each give different results and may not all be required.