Speech Testing
January 13, 2021

When left untreated, hearing loss can be a harmful health issue, not only leading to worsening hearing loss but also to a poor quality of life. Serious hearing loss is linked to depression, isolation, and stress. For these reasons, it is crucial to get your hearing tested as soon as you begin to develop hearing loss symptoms. There are seven different types of hearing tests and the tests that will work for you depend on your personal hearing situation. 

Speech testing is used to measure how you are able to comprehend what you hear. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about speech testing from what it is to what your results will mean for you. 

What is Speech Testing?

Woman receiving speech testing from healthcare provider

Speech testing is used to measure the Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) of each ear. In other words, it tests how you are able to listen to and repeat words; recording the faintest speech you can hear half the time. This type of test is typically performed on older children and adults that are capable of adequately following the speech testing instructions. This test is usually used to confirm the results of a pure tone test. Therefore, the results of pure tone and speech tests will often be cross examined to determine a diagnosis for your hearing loss.

How Does Speech Testing Work?

Elderly patient receiving speech testing for hearing loss

Unlike most hearing tests, speech testing can be done in either a quiet or noisy environment. The reason for this being that most individuals find it more difficult to hear and distinguish words in loud environments. Thus, it is beneficial to test your Speech Reception Threshold in loud places to examine how well you can hear amid other noises. You will be placed in a testing room in which a hearing care professional will speak to you through headphones. You will be instructed to repeat back each word that you can hear, testing your word recognition abilities. The softest level of speech you can hear will then be recorded in your results. 

What Will the Results from a Speech Test Tell Me?

Infographic of results from speech testing

A hearing care professional, such as an audiologist, will be able to examine your results to determine the type and degree of hearing loss you have. Sometimes the professional will decide to perform multiple different types of hearing tests to really pinpoint the underlying cause of your hearing loss. From there, your hearing care professional can suggest a treatment plan that works for your situation. The treatment plan can range anywhere from hearing aids to ear surgery, depending on the level of severity of your case. 


Audien Hearing Aids

Speech testing is a relatively quick and noninvasive way to test your word recognition abilities. From your results, a hearing care professional will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and treatment plan that will better your hearing. If you are experiencing hearing loss symptoms, find a hearing care professional and get your hearing tested as soon as possible. 

At Audien Hearing, we strive to make your hearing journey as simple as possible. So, if you find that you are in need of hearing aids, be sure to check out our quality and affordable hearing products!

Thank you for reading this article,

Kathleen Williams

Senior Editor, Audien Hearing

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Drew Sutton M.D.

Drew Sutton, MD is a board-certified otolaryngologist. He has extensive experience and training in sinus and respiratory diseases, ear and skull base surgery, and pulmonary disorders. He has served as a Clinical Instructor at Grady Hospital Emory University for more than 12 years.

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