Submitted by minnesotajersey t3_11c7qmp in headphones

Random 1AM thought after seeing mention of the Sennheiser hearing test app: Wouldn’t audiologist’s test headphones be very accurate by necessity? Or, would they use a correction curve for the signals going in, so that they all get played at the proper volume relative to each other?

I’d think a sloppy f/r would be a problem when checking hearing accuracy.




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AntOk463 t1_ja28ouz wrote

I don't think they care about the exact frequency you can hear, it's probably more general like "high frequencies" or "sounds over 15k hz." Also they play a single tone and they are only testing the presence of sound and not how loud you hear it. So they do not have to be high quality or have a flat frequency response. They just need headphones that can play the required tones.


minnesotajersey OP t1_ja3i4qs wrote

My thought process is that if you have a headphone with sloppy frequency response, then you are not getting a true idea of what the person can hear. It would be like using a bad microphone to test a “perfect” speaker. The microphone will make it seem like the speaker response is poor. Bad earphones in a hearing test would be the obverse.

I hope I’m saying that in a way that makes sense.


zoinkability t1_ja60slw wrote

Since they are pairing them with software that can presumably compensate for any non-flatness to the frequency response, all that matters is that their FR be well characterized and that it be capable of producing the requisite volume at all frequencies. They probably also have a precise understanding of the amp involved so that they know the exact volume that a certain level signal will produce at any given frequency.


[deleted] t1_ja5moh6 wrote



DavePrivee t1_ja5o3sh wrote

Or more clearly, they care very much about frequency and loudness, but not pleasant musical reproduction.


KingForKings t1_ja262kf wrote

In Germany or where i was years ago firstly use a headphone which was too small. I am someone gifted with the unnoticeable big head problem die headphones… and that headphone was some cheap industrial & medical tank of a headphone. I assume it can only do like one thing and no music


DavePrivee t1_ja5mzps wrote

Older audiometers had record players, cassette players, cd players attached… … and they all sound awful playing music through those headphones.


DavePrivee t1_ja5lpmb wrote

Audiology patient test headphones (as opposed to the clinician monitor headphones) are awful for music, requiring 20+ dB of EQ at low frequencies, 10+ dB at high frequencies. They sound distant, overly sharp, weirdly not musical, seal poorly, and have uncomfortable headbands. The accuracy and correctness is in the audiometer, not the headphones. The headphones only redeeming feature is their similarity- they’re manufactured to a specification and distributed worldwide so a calibrated audiometer (should) yield the same effective results anywhere.


ConsciousNoise5690 t1_ja2ksg0 wrote

One of the tests they use is establishing your hearing threshold for various frequencies (equal loudness contour). You can't do that reliable if you don't know the frequency response of the headphone. I presume it is calibrated just like you use a calibrated mic for measurements.


DavePrivee t1_ja5na9d wrote

Yes. The audiometer is adjusted to calibrate for intensity changes in the system- headphone, cord, jack panel, patch cable, and audiometer.


Muttywango t1_ja3qn16 wrote

My audiologist uses Beyerdynamic DT1770.


DavePrivee t1_ja5nq90 wrote

Sure hope not- it probably violates their professional standards. Audiometers are manufactured for use with specific headphones which are standardized across the medical field.


Muttywango t1_ja5okzw wrote

Not a joke, I recognised them when I entered the room. I saw the labelling on the cup.


DavePrivee t1_ja5qbzx wrote

Audiology practice requires audiometric devices, medical devices are controlled by specifications, those headphones aren’t in the US specifications. Audiologists might use a different headphone, it might even be reasonably accurate, but it’s outside the standards of practice for their profession, possibly not covered by their malpractice insurance. I included the weasel words because the specifications are different elsewhere in the world.


c0ng0pr0 t1_ja3hxiu wrote

The app feels mostly useless