What Tests Do Audiologists Perform?

What tests do audiologists do? When you have a hearing test conducted, your audiologist will carry out a variety of different tests. Each test is created to check the function of a different part of your ear. They are also built to determine how well you can hear different things.

Tests That Audiologists Perform

Here is a list of tests that audiologists perform.

Ear Exam

Your audiologist will typically start by performing a physical exam of your ears, also known as an otoscopy. They will check your outer ear and ear canal to determine if any physical issues are going on. During this exam, they will also see if there are any injuries or blemishes in addition to using an otoscope to look at the ear canal and eardrum. Just by shining a light on your eardrum, an audiologist can determine how the light is reflected, which is an indicator of its health.


This type of test is performed when an audiologist uses various sounds to check how well you can hear. You will wear earphones, headphones, or a bone conduction headband. The sensitivity of your hearing at various frequencies will be tested and the results will be shown on a graph known as an audiogram. You will then be asked to push a button when you hear a sound.

Speech Testing

One of the most important things for your hearing is being able to understand speech. You need to be able to hear yourself and others around you to maintain your quality of speech. Speech testing consists of the patient repeating words played at normal speech levels but without background noise. Just by testing the way you understand speech, your audiologist will be able to have a more accurate image of your hearing and possibly the need for hearing aids.


This test measures the function of your eardrum. This is done by varying the pressure in your ear to see how well your eardrum responds and how it moves. It only takes several minutes to perform, and it doesn’t cause any pain. There is nothing that the patient will need to do. Your audiologist will perform the test and record the results.

Acoustic Reflexes

This test evaluates how well your eardrum protects you from loud noises. When a loud noise occurs, the eardrum should typically stiffen. Acoustic reflex testing looks at how well the stapedius muscle functions and contracts in response to hearing a loud noise. This test is typically performed at the same time as the tympanometry test, with beeps becoming progressively louder.

Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions

This test checks the function of the outer hairs of the cochlea. The hair produces noises known as otoacoustic emissions and are measured by playing clicks into the ear. Various types of hearing loss will mean that these sounds are not heard.

Following your testing, your audiologist will sit down with you and discuss your test results. They will also talk to you about whether you may benefit from hearing aids.