The best online hearing tests of 2024, according to audiologists

Our team of audiologists weigh in on the best online hearing tests, how they work, and how long you can expect them to take.

Despite being incredibly common, hearing loss often goes untreated. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, and people wait an average of seven years before seeking help.

Online hearing tests offer a quick and easy way to gauge whether you are experiencing hearing loss and would benefit from hearing aids. The online hearing tests we reviewed:

  • Are free to try. We choose comprehensive hearing tests that are free of charge for users, providing immediate results on-screen or email follow-up with recommended next steps.
  • Take less than 10 minutes. Everyone should periodically check in on their hearing health. With these online hearing tests, it takes less than 10 minutes to get results.
  • Can be completed from home. Take your test in a quiet environment and use high-quality headphones for the best results.

Let’s take a look at the best online hearing tests of 2024, according to our team of audiologists.

The best online hearing tests of 2024, according to audiologists

Brand Jabra Enhance MDHearing Signia Phonak Soundly
Test time 5 minutes 8 minutes 5 minutes 3 minutes 3.5 minutes
Type of test Tone Tone Tone and speech Tone Tone
Equipment needed Computer or smartphone, headphones Computer or smartphone, headphones Computer or smartphone, headphones Computer or smartphone, headphones Computer or smartphone, headphones
Results delivery Immediately within the test (must provide email/phone to access it) Immediately within the test (must make a profile with email) Immediately within the test Immediately via email Immediately within the test (must provide email)
Follow-up Yes, by email and phone call Yes, free offer to schedule 30-minute consultation Free trial to Signia consultation service Yes, by email Yes, by email

 

Best follow-up: Jabra Enhance

 

Jabra logo

 

The Jabra Enhance online hearing test was simple to use and offers a clear breakdown of your results for each tone frequency played. Although signing up for a mailing list isn’t ideal, we valued the prompt follow-up from the company to discuss the results and steps to move forward.

  • Test time: 5 minutes (claims to take 3 minutes)
  • Type of test: Tone
  • Equipment needed: Computer or smartphone, headphones
  • Results delivery: Immediately via website (must enter phone and email to access)
  • Follow-up: Yes, by email and phone call

 

How Jabra Enhance’s online hearing test works

The Jabra Enhance online hearing test starts by making sure your headphones are connected properly. How does it do that? By playing a snippet of the famous 1996 rock ballad For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield.

With your headphones set to full volume, you’ll click buttons numbered 1-12 and stop at the one where you can just barely hear the sound being played. You’ll repeat this process in each ear for low-frequency tones (500-1,000 Hz), mid-frequency tones (1,000-2,000 Hz), and high-frequency tones (3,000-4,000 Hz).

Starting the Jabra Enhance online hearing test.

 

Once completed, you must enter your email and phone number to see the results. You’ll receive an email immediately and a follow-up call from a Jabra Enhance representative 10-15 minutes later.

Results from the Jabra Enhance online hearing test.

 

Pros & cons of Jabra Enhance’s online hearing test

Pros Cons
Simple test Required to provide email and phone to get results and be added to their mailing list
Clear results The test took longer than 3 minutes advertised on their landing page
Quick to follow up

 

What our audiologists say about Jabra Enhance’s test

Dr. Jessica Hinson, AuD noted that the Jabra Enhance online hearing test is “quick and easy to use.” She likes that the test “gives hearing aid recommendations on the results screen,” providing users with helpful next steps.

Take the Test

 

Most detailed results: MDHearing

 

MDHeading logo

 

The MDHearing online hearing test is a smooth process that lets you immediately schedule a consultation to go over your results according to your own schedule. The audiogram graphic displayed in the results is detailed without being too complex to understand.

  • Test time: 8 minutes
  • Type of test: Tone
  • Equipment needed: Computer or smartphone, headphones
  • Results delivery: Immediately within the test
  • Follow-up: Yes, offer to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with an audiologist

 

How MDHearing’s online hearing test works

The MDHearing online hearing test skips over the usual survey questions at the beginning and goes right into the tone test, where individuals are played six different frequencies per ear.

Starting the online MDHearing test.

 

Plus and minus buttons to the left and right of a waveform diagram indicate whether you want the tone to be louder or softer. Once you’ve reached the softest volume where you can hear the tone, you move ahead to the next frequency.

The results appear immediately within the test and offer a detailed but simple-to-follow breakdown of your audiogram, along with an offer to schedule one free 30-minute audiologist appointment.

MDHearing online hearing test results.

 

Pros & cons of MDHearing’s online hearing test

Pros Cons
No survey questions Longest test on this list
Detailed audiogram results Must create a profile and provide an email
Easy to schedule follow-up No email of results

 

What our audiologists say about MDHearing’s test

Dr. Jessica Hinson, AuD says MDHearing’s test is “easy and fast.” One slight drawback — Dr. Hinson and Dr. Ruth Reisman, AuD noted that the test requires users to set up a profile before taking it. Remember to opt out of this setting If you don’t want marketing emails.

Take the Test

 

Easiest to follow: Signia

Signia logo

Signia’s online hearing test provides clear instructions throughout the test with a user-friendly interface. The results were equally comprehensive, with a clear recommendation on how to move forward, which is why it made the top of our list.

  • Test time: 5 minutes
  • Type of test: Tone and speech
  • Equipment needed: Computer or smartphone, headphones
  • Results delivery: Immediately within the test
  • Follow-up: Free trial to Signia consultation service

How Signia’s online hearing test works

After answering basic questions about your experience with hearing loss, Signia’s free online test assesses both your right and left ear’s ability to hear low-frequency tones and spoken words. The hearing aid brand recommends performing the test in a quiet environment with headphones or AirPods.

Afterward, your test results will immediately appear on the website, so no email or phone number needs to be provided.

Results from Signia’s online hearing test.

Pros & cons of Signia’s online hearing test

Pros Cons
User-friendly Results not very detailed
Simple instructions Unclear how opening questions are worked into results
No sign up required

 

What our audiologists say about Signia’s test

Dr. Jessica Hinson, AuD and Dr. Ruth Reisman, AuD spoke highly about Signia’s online hearing test. Dr. Reisman said it “actually assesses hearing and lifestyle and provides results without asking for biodata.” Our audiologists also liked that the test didn’t require an email to see results.

Take the Test

 

Shortest test time: Phonak

Phonak logo

The Phonak online hearing test is quick and easy with simple results, which may be all you need for an initial assessment. The service is also the only one we found that utilizes a background noise test to ensure you’re in an optimal environment for accurate results.

  • Test time: 3 minutes
  • Type of test: Tone
  • Equipment needed: Computer or smartphone, headphones
  • Results delivery: Immediately via email
  • Follow-up: Yes, by email

 

How Phonak’s online hearing test works

The Phonak online hearing test starts by assessing background noise level in the room you’re in to make sure the conditions are ideal for the test. You’ll then hear a series of tones in your right and left ears that you’ll adjust with plus and minus icons until it’s the softest you can hear it.

Starting the Phonak online hearing test.

 

At the end, you’ll need to enter your email address to have the results sent to you. For a more detailed report, click a link in the email that sends you back to the website.

Results from the Phonak online hearing test.

 

Pros & cons of Phonak’s online hearing test

Pros Cons
Easy to follow along Required to provide email to get results and be added to their mailing list
Quick to complete Results not very detailed
Includes optional background noise test

 

What our audiologists say about Phonak’s test

Dr. Jessica Hinson, AuD said, “My result [from Phonak’s test] was accurate…and they include a recommendations section on the results screen with really good information.” Dr. Ruth Reisman, AuD also recommends Phonak’s online hearing test, but notes that users will need to provide their email to see results.

Take the Test

 

Best calibration: Soundly

Soundly logo

The Soundly online hearing test is the only one that calibrates your headphones to best fit the test. We also appreciated the simplicity of the audiogram chart in the results, even if it wasn’t very detailed.

  • Test time: 3.5 minutes
  • Type of test: Tone
  • Equipment needed: Computer or smartphone, headphones
  • Results delivery: Immediately within the test
  • Follow-up: Yes, by email

 

How Soundly’s online hearing test works

The Soundly online hearing test starts by calibrating your headphones. To do so, the service records a small soundbite of you rubbing your hands in front of your face, then plays it back to you as you adjust the volume accordingly. Users then have to toggle six sliding bars to the softest level where the tone can be heard.

Starting Soundly’s online hearing test.

 

The results appear immediately, accompanied by a video on how to properly interpret your results.

Results from Soundly’s online hearing test.

Pros & cons of Soundly’s online hearing test

Pros Cons
Calibrates your headphones Must provide email with consent to join the mailing list
Easy to understand The follow-up email comes 12 hours after taking the test
Results have an accompanying video

 

What our audiologists say about Soundly’s test

Dr. Ruth Reisman, AuD spoke highly about Soundly’s online hearing test. She liked that their test asks users to complete a medical clearance questionnaire and calibrates the tone for accurate results. Dr. Jessica Hinson, AuD also liked that the test asked users about any medical conditions or symptoms, ensuring the test was safe for them to take.

Take the Test

 

How we chose the best online hearing tests

We consulted with our board of audiologists to learn more about online hearing tests and select the best options on the market. Here’s how we evaluated each test:

  • Ensured a reputable company administers the test. We chose online hearing tests from reputable hearing aid manufacturers and authorities in the industry.
  • Evaluated the user experience. Our team assessed the tests’ user experience and whether the test and results were comprehensive.
  • Verified the test provides comprehensive results from home. Of course, the test’s verified accuracy was also important. We wanted to recommend services that delivered good results in a home environment.
  • Calculated how long the test took. We looked at the time it takes to complete each online hearing test and tried to stick with ones that can be completed within a 10-minute time frame.
  • Took the test ourselves. We tried each of these online hearing tests to provide unique insights for each one.

What is an online hearing test?

Before you dive in, it may help to familiarize yourself with what exactly an online hearing test entails.

These services offer a simple assessment of whether an individual has impaired hearing and would benefit from over-the-counter hearing aids or a more thorough in-person examination.

You can take an online hearing test using a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Users listen to tones or other sounds at multiple frequencies and indicate the lowest volume level at which they can hear each tone.

Online hearing tests should be performed in quiet environments with minimal background noise. Once complete, users will be provided with their test results, which indicate the severity of their hearing loss, if any.

While simple and efficient, keep in mind that online hearing tests don’t offer a proper hearing loss diagnosis. If you have any questions about your results, schedule a visit with a licensed hearing care professional for a more in-depth screening.

 

Online hearing tests vs in-office hearing tests

There are many factors that can skew the results of an online hearing test, such as the quality of the headphones you’re using or the background noise of the environment you’re in.

In-office hearing tests are conducted in a soundproof booth where you hear tones through frequencies played into high-quality headphones that are calibrated for the screening.

An audiologist will also be able to look inside your ear and see if any wax buildup or other conditions may be obstructing your hearing.

🚨If you are experiencing any symptoms like dizziness, ringing, or pain in the ear canal, schedule an in-office consultation right away without taking an online test at home first.

 

What to look for in an online hearing test

With all the different online hearing tests available, finding the right one for you can be overwhelming. Whether you think you may have hearing loss or are just curious about what your results would be, here’s what you should consider:

  • Type of test. The most common types of online hearing tests are tone frequency tests, a speech test, or a combination of the two.
  • Environment. If you work out of a busy office or coffee shop, you should wait until you get home to take an online hearing test. These services work best in quiet settings with minimal background noise.
  • Efficiency. Online hearing tests are just preliminary screeners, not diagnosable examinations, and therefore, shouldn’t take too much time out of your day.
  • Symptoms. Are you experiencing ear ringing, fluid discharge, or tinnitus? If so, you should schedule an appointment with a professional audiologist as soon as possible rather than taking an online hearing test.

When to take an online hearing test

If you’re unsure if the service is right for you, here are some considerations:

  • Do you work in a loud environment? Prolonged exposure to loud noises can damage nerve endings in the ear. An online hearing test can help determine whether you’re experiencing hearing loss and would benefit from hearing aids.
  • Do you have trouble hearing people on the phone? You may have trouble understanding the low frequency of phone calls and should check your hearing.
  • Do you hear better out of one ear than the other? This is symptomatic of a condition known as unilateral hearing loss, one of the common types of hearing loss.
  • Are you experiencing ear ringing or fluid discharge? In these cases, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a professional audiologist rather than take an online hearing test.

How to take an online hearing test

If you’ve decided you’re ready to take an online hearing test, you’ll need to see if you have everything you need (and you probably already do)!

First, check your internet connect — Any device with the internet, like a computer, smartphone, or tablet, should be capable of performing the service.

Use a high-quality pair of headphones — While you can use any headphones that you have on hand, high-quality headphones, such as over-the-ear styles, will provide the best results. You’ll also need to use headphones that, if wireless, should be fully charged for optimal results.

Take the online hearing test — Follow the test’s instructions closely for the best and most accurate results. Many tests require you to enter an email to access your results, so don’t use an old spam email that you no longer have access to.

Pros & cons of online hearing tests

For all their advantages, online hearing tests do come with some drawbacks.

All in all, online hearing tests are good for what they are: an unofficial look into whether you may be experiencing hearing loss with recommendations on what to do next.

Here are the pros and cons of online hearing tests:

Pros Cons
Most are free of charge Not an official diagnosis
Quick and easy to use Might need to sign up for the mailing list
Convenient, can be done in the comfort of your home Doesn’t take health history into account

 

What to do after taking an online hearing test

Once you’ve received the results of your online hearing test, most services will either follow up with you directly, list recommended hearing aids, or offer information on how to seek out professional care on your own.

If you are diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss, you may benefit from over-the-counter hearing aids, which the FDA approved in 2022. There are numerous high-quality OTC devices on the market, and most of them are much more affordable than prescription hearing aids.

But, if you’re unsure about your results, a second opinion never hurts. If you have any questions about your online hearing test, schedule an in-person appointment with an audiologist for a more thorough hearing examination. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of OTC or prescription devices and recommend the best device to treat your level of hearing loss.

Frequently asked questions

How often should you take an online hearing test?

Professional hearing tests are recommended every couple of years. With the simplicity of online hearing tests, you can take them even more frequently. Individuals should take an online hearing test whenever they’re concerned or curious about their hearing capabilities.

Who should take an online hearing test? 

Online hearing tests are a good fit for anyone concerned they have hearing loss or curious about their hearing abilities.

Who should not take an online hearing test? 

If you have acute symptoms like ear pain, tinnitus, or ringing, seek professional care immediately instead of taking an online hearing test.

Should you trust an online hearing test? 

Online hearing tests should be treated as initial assessments of one’s hearing and not an official diagnosis, which can only be done by a professional audiologist.

Which online hearing test is the best? 

Our audiologists recommend the Signia, Jabra Enhance, Phonak, MDHearing, and Soundly online hearing tests.

What is the most accurate test for assessing hearing loss?

The most accurate test for assessing hearing loss is an in-office test conducted by a hearing professional. Learn more about the different types of hearing tests.

Are online hearing tests free? 

Most online hearing tests are free and can be performed from the comfort of your home with any computer or smartphone and headphones.