Hearing Tests for Children


Newborn Hearing Screenings


A newborn hearing screening requires that newborn babies have their hearing screened before leaving the hospital. There are two types of newborn hearing screenings, both are painless and can be done while the baby sleeps:


Otoacoustic emission (OAE) screening:


This test records tiny sounds that the inner ear makes in response to clicks or chirps that are delivered through a small, flexible plug placed in the infant's ear. The screening is done on each ear and a passing result confirms that the infant’s inner ears are receiving sounds.


Automated auditory brainstem response (ABR):


This test records activity of the auditory nerve in response to clicks or chirps delivered through a small, flexible plug placed in the infant’s ear. This screening is a more complete test of the auditory system, and it requires small electrodes to be taped to the baby's scalp. The screening is again done for each ear and a passing result confirms that the infant’s brain is receiving sounds.

A significant number of infants fail their first hearing screening due to fluid that may still be present in the ear canal right after birth. If your infant doesn't pass the initial hearing screening, schedule a follow-up screening with a pediatric audiologist within a couple of weeks. The majority of infants will pass the second screening quite easily. For those who do not pass the second newborn screening, a diagnostic hearing test from your pediatric audiologist will investigate further.


Hearing Testing for Infants and Young Children


Visual reinforcement audiometry


Pediatric audiologists can test infants as young as six months of age behaviorally in a sound-treated booth using a test called visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA). VRA takes advantage of an infant’s reflexive head turn toward sound. In this test, a parent will hold their child on their lap while they sit on a chair in the center of the sound booth. The audiologist will play sounds or talk through speakers that are oriented to the left and right of the child.

There are specially-designed tests to assess hearing in babies and toddlers.


When the child hears the sound and looks toward it, he or she is rewarded with a visual reinforcement toy like a flashing light or dancing bear. The infant will usually stay engaged long enough for the audiologist to get a good indication of hearing ability for at least the better hearing ear. The visually-appealing toys lose their ability to hold the child’s attention once they are toddlers. Around the age of two, social praise will work for behavioral testing.


Play Audiometry


A pediatric audiologist will use a method of testing called play audiometry for toddlers and preschool children. It's a hearing test that is made into a game for toddlers. The parent or assistant will sit on the floor in the booth with the child and train them to respond to any sound they hear by doing a certain task, like putting a block in a bucket.


When the child correctly responds to a sound, the parent or assistant sitting with them will cheer with enthusiasm. Like the visual reinforcement described above, this age-appropriate social reinforcement will typically keep the child engaged long enough for the audiologist to get a good indication of hearing ability at least for the better hearing ear. If the toddler will wear earphones, ear-specific information can be obtained.


Once a child is school-aged, he or she can usually sit still, remain quiet and raise a hand in response to speech and tone stimuli in the sound booth. At this point, the child can easily wear headphones for ear-specific measurements and sit still for tympanometry and acoustic reflex tests, as described above for adult hearing tests.

Our Hearing Tests

Hearing test for adults

Adult hearing

Many adults are unsure if they do actually have a hearing problem. Our free online hearing test for adults takes a few minutes to complete and provides a good indication of any possible hearing problem.
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NHS Youth hearing test centre

Youth Hearing

Teenagers often do not recognise, or ignore, symptoms indicating the onset of hearing problems. Nearly all youth hearing issues can be addressed and corrected without surgical intervention if timeously detected.
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NHS Child hearing test

Child Hearing

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The advantage of our online child hearing test is that the parent can perform our free test on the child multiple times over a course of several days, identify if a pattern exists and take the appropriate action.
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Is the child hearing test really free

Yes, the online hearing test for children is completely free of charge. We will not ask you for any form of payment.

What you need to complete the test

You will need a good pair of headphones, or earphones, that connect to your sound enabled computer, laptop or mobile device and internet access.

How You get the test results

The result of your childs online hearing test is available as printable report online and via email immediately after you have completed the test. To receive your test result you will need to provide some personal information.

How reliable is the free child hearing test

Provided that you follow the test instructions, our online hearing test fort children results are very reliable.

What Personal Information Must I Provide

To receive your free child hearing test results you will need to provide your name, post code, email address and a contact telephone number.

Will Anybody Contact Me

Should your childs online hearing test indicate they may have a hearing a problem we will pass your test results and contact details to your nearest physical test centre. Depending on their expert assessment they may invite you for further testing.

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20a High Street, Glastonbury

Somerset, BA6 9DU, U.K.

Phone: +44 (0)208 1230993

Email: help@hearingtest.co.uk

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