Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA)

Pure tone audiometry (PTA) is the key hearing test used to identify hearing threshold levels of an individual, enabling determination of the degree, type, and configuration of a person’s hearing loss. PTA is a subjective, behavioural measurement of a hearing threshold, as it relies on patient responses to pure tone stimuli. PTA only measures audibility thresholds (what is the softest sound you can hear?), rather than other aspects of hearing, like sound localization and speech recognition. However, the results also allow us to see if there is any asymmetry in your hearing loss. PTA provides ear specific thresholds, and uses frequency specific pure tones to give place specific responses in order to identify the configuration. Because PTA uses air and bone conduction audiometry, the type of hearing loss can be identified via the air-bone gap.

Audiogram showing hearing loss in testee.
An audiogram showing hearing loss.

Speech Audiometry

Speech audiometry is done to check how loud speech must be for someone to hear it, as well as how clearly you can actually hear and distinguish different words when spoken. It may be conducted using a recording, or the tester may read the words aloud to the person completing the test. First, a test is to determine your speech reception threshold (SRT), which is the lowest volume at which you can hear and determine speech. The audiologist will ask you to repeat the list of words to do so. Then, a second test measures your level of speech discrimination or word recognition ability. Again, you’ll be asked to repeat a list of words, but this time at a comfortable listening level.


Above all, these tests are conducted to measure your level of hearing, and which hearing aid would be most appropriate for you, or if you’d be better off using another hearing instrument. For example, in the case your level of speech discrimination is very poor, you may be better suited to get a cochlear implant, as even upping the volume of a very powerful hearing aid might not be enough to help you understand what’s being said.


Here at Life Hearing Solutions, we offer free pure tone and speech recognition hearing tests. Visit https://www.lifehearingsolutions.com/en/life-hearing-solutions-clinics/, or just call 289-755-0295 today to book an appointment!


Works Cited:

Audiogram [An audiogram showing hearing loss.]. (n.d.). Retrieved August 16, 2019, from https://www.connecthearing.ca/expertise/audiogram/


Cooling, G. (n.d.). Hearing Tests in the UK & Ireland. Retrieved on July 26, 2019 from https://www.hearingaidknow.com/hearing-test.


Cooling, G. (September 23, 2018). What Do You Do When Hearing Aids Aren’t Enough? Retrieved on August 7, 2019 from https://www.hearingaidknow.com/when-hearing-aids-are-not-enough.


John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Speech Audiometry. Retrieved on August 14, 2019 from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hearing-loss/speech-audiometry.


Pure tone audiometry. (April 25, 2019). Retrieved on July 25, 2019 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pure_tone_audiometry.

3 thoughts on “Audiometry (diagnostic hearing tests)”

  1. I find it interesting when you talk about speech audiometry tests which can help identify how loud the speech has to be for somewhere to hear them and how clearly it can be heard. I think I need to undergo that kind of hearing evaluation test because my husband said that he thinks I have a problem with my ears. And it is not just him who noticed it, because my parents also mentioned about it a couple of weeks ago when I saw them in had lunch with them.

    1. Hi Mia!

      It is always good to take feedback from others on things of this nature as others are often the people who notice it vs. the person experiencing it. This is because most hearing loss is gradual. It definitely sounds like you do need a hearing evaluation. Call 289.755.0295 today to book one! We would be more than happy to provide an assessment 🙂

  2. Its like you read my mind You appear to know a lot about this like you wrote the book in it or something I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit but instead of that this is fantastic blog An excellent read I will certainly be back

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