How accurate are online and mobile hearing tests?

You may have already come across some online or mobile hearing tests and taken them out of concern or curiosity, but you probably don’t want to replace your hearing specialist with a test off the Internet or an app…even if it claims to be “clinically proven.” Here’s why:

The Test Does Not Adjust to the Quality of Your Speakers and Your Computer Processing

Before your hearing test, your hearing specialist will ensure that his or her testing instruments are adjusted to a medical standard. There is no hearing specialist in a mobile or online test to calibrate the test each time it is taken, which can affect your results.

These Tests Can Inaccurately Diagnose You

In a 2008 study conducted by Suzanne H. Kimball, an Assistant Professor of Audiology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, found inconsistencies between online test results and in-clinic test results. Online test results tended to underestimate the levels of hearing loss in test takers.

You may also be solicited to purchase hearing devices after the test is taken. Hearing health varies from person to person and aids must be adjusted accordingly. An inaccurate test result could lead you to spend a lot on a device that is not properly adjusted to your hearing needs. Although online and mobile tests are a great way to raise awareness about hearing health, they should not be used to replace a hearing expert. Make an appointment with a hearing specialist to get the most accurate test results and the most effective solutions.