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The differences between hearing tests and hearing checks

If you are concerned about your hearing and are considering booking a hearing test or hearing check, it’s important to understand the difference between them.

Many audiology practices advertise ‘Hearing Checks’.  These are usually free and take the form of a short hearing screening, which will determine whether more comprehensive hearing testing is required.  During a hearing check, the patient will be asked to listen to a series of sounds of different volumes and pitches and indicate which sounds they can hear. A hearing check might take 10-20 minutes and can be undertaken by a hearing aid dispenser or a hearing aid assistant.

Comprehensive hearing tests

A Hearing Test is a considerably more comprehensive process, designed to give a detailed analysis of any hearing loss that a patient may have, to establish the cause (or causes) of hearing loss and then evaluate the best way to treat this loss based on the patient’s condition and needs.  This may include onward referral for medical or surgical treatment.

At Kent Hearing, our Hearing Tests will always be taken by a highly experienced audiologist, usually Dr Priya Carling, and will include:

  1. A detailed consultation about your hearing, your lifestyle, and any symptoms of hearing loss that you may have.
  2. A sound-based hearing test during which you will be asked to wear headphones and respond to a range of noises and sounds at different volume levels and pitches.
  3. A speech-based hearing test to determine how well you can hear speech in different situations, for example, with and without background noise.
  4. A thorough examination of your ears, and how they function and checks for any build-up of fluid or earwax in both ears.
  5. A detailed evaluation of your hearing and any hearing loss that you may have.
  6. Discussion and recommendations on the best treatment options for you and recommendations on a personalised, long-term hearing management plan as appropriate.
  7. Onward referral to consultants or other experts may also be made if appropriate.

Hearing Tests and Free Hearing Checks at Kent Hearing.

A full hearing test at Kent Hearing will usually last for 50-60 minutes.  We encourage patients to bring their partner or family member with them, so we can understand how your hearing is perceived by others close to you.

Like many other high-quality audiology practices, Kent Hearing make a charge for Hearing Tests due to the time and level of expertise required to both perform the test and evaluate the results.  This charge will go towards the cost of hearing aids or other devices should a patient require hearing aids and decide to be fitted and managed by us.

We also offer free hearing checks. These are designed for patients who want a quick screening to determine if any hearing loss is present. A hearing check will usually take 10-15 minutes. Should hearing loss be identified a full hearing test will usually be recommended to determine the extent, cause and severity of loss.

Many excellent audiologists are providing high-quality hearing testing in the UK. But if you are concerned about, and want a thorough evaluation of your hearing, make sure you book a full hearing test with an experienced, independent audiologist rather than a quick hearing check or screening.  This will usually give you the best results and the best way forward.

To book a Hearing Test at Kent Hearing, please call us on 01732 525912 or email for more information.