Online hearing tests can be a helpful preliminary tool in learning more about any hearing loss you, or someone in your life, is experiencing. They aren’t a replacement for a medical examination by a hearing health professional — but they can be a way to confirm some preliminary concerns about hearing issues.
If there’s a suspicion that there’s a problem, using an online tool can confirm it — or maybe even help you realize that it was a false alarm, a momentary issue related to something like allergies or illness.
They can also be used at regular intervals to track your level of hearing. This long-term approach could help identify issues very early in the process (which is always the best time to seek out professional treatment).
In the case of short-term exposure to extreme sound — such as at a concert or in the workplace — testing online over the course of a few days might confirm that any hearing degradation was a temporary event. Or not.
One thing to keep in mind is the difference between calibrated and non-calibrated tests.
Calibrated tests are more precise — measuring from a baseline across frequencies, resulting in an audiogram — while non-calibrated tests depend on altering the volume level of the device you’re using, resulting in a less detailed result. Both are available online.
But even non-calibrated tests can accurately measure issues with hearing in noisy environments and speech recognition.