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Whether you believe that you have hearing loss or just wish to confirm that your ears are working in the desired manner, booking a hearing test will be essential. However, contrary to what you may assume, not all hearing tests are the same.

There are a number of tests that you may encounter and the audiologists at San Francisco Hearing Center can provide the world-class services you deserve irrespective of which tests are right for you. Here’s all you need to know about the most common hearing tests before booking your appointment.

Why are there different types of hearing test?

When you think about things logically, it should come as little surprise to learn that various tests are used. After all, every person has a unique hearing profile while it’s worth remembering that there are various types of hearing loss including conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing loss.

With this in mind, along with the fact that there are various degrees of severity, it’s understandable that the audiologist may need to try various examinations to provide an accurate diagnosis before finding the right treatment for your specific needs.

The most common hearing tests explained

While the audiologist will know which exams to use depending on your history and individual circumstances. Nonetheless, it’s important to be prepared for the most common types of hearing tests that you may encounter. They are as follows:

Speech testing

A speech test is quite simply an opportunity for the audiologist to test your ability to detect speech and follow a conversation. This will first be conducted in quiet conditions and then repeated in normal conversational conditions. It may also include speech with women and children for pitch purposes.

This should give the audiologist a great chance to analyze your capabilities in both home environments and working environments.

Hearing in noise test (HINT)

HINT testing takes the speech test to another level by replicating noisy environments like the ones which you may find yourself in at various times. In many cases of mild hearing loss, the problems will be most obvious when dealing with these noisy backgrounds.

The HINT test is ideal for people with mild hearing loss who may be worried about any upcoming pre-employment screenings too.

Tone testing

Tone testing allows the audiologist to monitor the highest and lowest frequencies that you are able to hear. By understanding your range, it is possible to make a better decision about your hearing profile and any necessary action.

This is usually completed in a sound booth and the audiologist will ask you to wear headphones before playing the range of sounds and tones.


An inspection of the eardrum and middle ear allows the audiologist to check the reflexes of the eardrum and inspect the cochlea. Many hearing loss problems are due to issues with these two aspects of ear health and should not be underestimated.

The physical inspection is additionally an opportunity for the audiologist to see whether your hearing loss is caused by temporary issues such as wax build ups or infections.

Industrial hearing screenings

Many jobs require good hearing for employees to perform to their best while many situations, including working with music or heavy machinery, can put your ears at risk. Industrial hearing screenings are the perfect way to spot the early signs of hearing loss.

Early detection can help the audiologist find the right type of ear defense and management tools needed to prevent future damage, keeping your ears in far greater health going forward.

What else can the audiologist test for?

The audiologist may also want to run several examinations to find the underlying reasons for tinnitus, if you have it, while they can also test for reasons behind other issues related to your ear health.

If hearing loss is detected, the audiologist can additionally support you through the process of evaluating the different types of hearing aids. Moreover, another appointment for hearing aid fittings can prepare life as a hearing aids user. From ensuring that you have the perfect model and device to learning about maintenance, this appointment is key.

Essentially, then, the audiologists at San Francisco Hearing Center can provide the comprehensive approach to hearing health that you deserve. And it all starts with the hearing test.

Ready to book your hearing test?

Whichever type of hearing test is deemed right for you, our audiologists are perfectly equipped to conduct the examinations to determine whether you have hearing loss and, if so, decide which type of treatment is right for you.

Take the first step by calling our office today. We look forward to seeing you!