Nature sounds as test tones: the fun hearing test
Simply enjoy the sound of this summer night ambience, or dig a little further: behind this soundscape, hides a valuable tool that will challenge your hearing!
Don't be fooled by the fun factor of this noise generator, and by the fact that we use natural sounds instead of synthetic test tones. The whole challenge was to find in nature the exact sounds needed to build a serious hearing test. This is not a classic hearing test though. Regular audiograms - as those produced by audiologists - do not cover these frequencies, which are considered too high to care about in a strict medical point of view. This is exactly what makes this soundscape special: it relies on these "useless" frequencies that we only hear when we are young and in good health. If you are interested in a classic ENT hearing test, try HearingTest.online, an online hearing test, with an audiogram printout.
Have kids around you when you are playing this noise, and let them proudly describe the sounds that remain inaudible to you. Looking at your nearby pets can give you interesting clues too.
WARNING: you will be tempted to increase the volume on your computer, trying to hear sounds that will remain inaudible to you anyway. DON'T DO THAT or you may end up in deafening people around you - especially younger kids - or your pets; and, there is a risk of damaging your speakers' tweeters too. SERIOUSLY.
Let's now review each slider separately. The three first sliders test broad frequency ranges; the next ones are centered around given frequencies.
Click the first slider link, then set your computer’s volume level so that the sound plays comfortably loud, then, DON'T CHANGE YOUR COMPUTER’S VOLUME ANYMORE - see the warning above – and start exploring the other sounds.
• Slider 1 - the upper range of the classic hearing test: 4-8kHz
• Slider 2 - at the verge of the classic hearing test: 8-12kHz
• Slider 3 - beyond the classic hearing test: 10-16kHz
• Slider 4 - various cicadas with one particularly active around 12kHz
• Slider 5 - one particular around 14kHz
• Slider 6 - one particular around 15kHz
• Slider 7 - one particular around 16kHz
• Slider 8 - cicadas around 16-19kHz
• Slider 9 - a bat sonar (isolated chirps) around 17k-20k
• Slider 10 - cicada around 20-21kHz
Testimonials - write yours here
Click the blue hearts to load their associated settings
20 year old, I can hear 1-10, but only if ten is cranked to the highest volume. The sound is torturous and awful but I'm glad I can hear it.
18 years old, can hear sliders 1-9 comfortably. Slider 10 is felt more than heard, also requires decent tweeters to notice it. You won't hear anything through basic computer or cell phone speakers.
30 years old, female. Can hear all of them but Slider 10.
Female, 27 y.o. - I can hear them all except for no. 10 :)
This needs soundcard set to 96khz at least to hear. I can hear up to 16khz, but due to the usb soundcard built into the headphones, I can hear just a subtle 15khz whistling.
54 year old female. Can hear 1-5 very well. Cannot hear slider 6 at all, but can definitely hear the cicada on slider 7. Not as loud as 1-5, but can hear it. Makes no sense to me that I can hear 7 but not 6. Zip above 7.
Male, 52y (tinnitus) : 1-5 can hear on normal volume, 6 hear only on high volume, 7-10 can't hear anymore.
46f here - can hear 1-5 well. 6 and 7 if I turn the volume all the way up.
Walking through a field in the countryside at night, watching bats fly past in the light of the moon.
46 male, 1-2-4-5-6 very clear. All others are very faint but I can hear them with the volume turned up.
Female 46. I hear 1-5 very clear, then 6 is.... well nothing that I can hear.
Female, 26 years old -- I can hear through slider 8, and slider 9 I can easily feel in my head as intermittent sharp pulses. Nothing from slider 10, although as others have said, that could also be due to my system's capabilities.
Male 19y/o here, thought my hearing wouldn't be up to par from many years of headphone use but hey, reaching up till 9 just fine! Also, love your work here a ton! :D
Note that this doesn't necessarily say your hearing is bad - it could also be a limitation of your computer. If you suspect your hearing is bad, go see a doctor instead of freaking out over here. Love this site as always!
One thing this Summer Night soundscape does do quite well is to mask my high frequency tinnitus. Not sure how that works, but it does. A big thank you!
The 10 is a lie! lol No I have to pump the volume up on my laptop and headphones amplifier to "hear" something but not sure it's not buzz on the line. I guess this test is really dependent on your setup as well and especially your headphones frequency range and how well they redistribute. Great sound as always. Merci beaucoup.
I am 26, female, but I have hearing issues, I can barely hear 1-6, but still sounds beautiful :)
Male, 34, can hear clearly up until 7, then 8 and 9 sound very quiet, and 10 is imperceptible. The setting as I have it saved for this comment I use combined with Cave Water, which almost completely blocks all background noise (barking dogs, alarms etc) and I have used it all day long every day for 7 years to write a Masters, PhD and currently a book. I cannot thank Stephane enough for this site.
19, female, can hear clearly up to 9, but 10...
17, female, can clearly hear 1-7. I think I also hear 8-9, but cannot really tell, since there is a natural source of ultrasonic noise in my room, and it confuses me.
♥ Hi! I am 39, female, no tinnitus or anything, but a notoriously loud office. I can hear up to slider 7. Then I only get a weird "feeling", but can't really hear it. Excellent site, thank you so much!
♥ This site is wonderful! :) I can't hear quite a few of these on my devices at home, but tried at work and could hear all, so if you're wondering, like I was, how your hearing seems to be worse than you thought, try this generator on a few other devices before you start worrying ;)
♥ Wow. This has become my favorite. It sounds exactly like when I have the windows open at night in the summer. I also use Distant Thunder with it, as someone else had mentioned. Simply amazing.
♥ I did not realize about the cicadas and insects until I clicked on Summer Night. This has become a real favorite, the upper registers completely override my annoying tinnitus. I add Distant Thunder to the mix and go to sleep thinking the cicadas and other insects in their various frequencies are harbingers of the coming storm - they sense something we don't!
♥ Hmm, I can only hear sounds to slider 6... and I'm only 27 and female. wearing over-ear Bluetooth headphones. I tried with and without noise cancelling. Hearing loss runs in my family, but I'm the only female that I know of that has shown distinct symptoms of hearing loss that's noticeable to other people. I did grow up working in a music venue and just going to a lot of concerts in general.
♥ Through my on-ear headphones, I can hear up to slider 5. With my in-ear phones (iPhone), I can hear up to slider 6, but only if I crank the volume. I'm 54 and female. Looking forward to attempting to re-train my hearing!
♥ I am 62 and can hear 1-5 but 3 is only just audible for me.
♥ For my perfect sleep inducer, I used the Stack feature to stack Summer Night at about mid-volume with Northern Lights at low volume. The result is an all's-right-with-the-world. Good night, world! See you in the morning!
♥ Chose the Starry Night preset and I love it! It sounds so nice and I love listening to it in the background.
♥ 25 female. I can clearly hear everything up to the 9th slider, but the 10th is only audible when I turn the volume on my computer to the maximum... I hope it means my hearing is quite alright. :)
♥ Just tried this with Huu Chant (two tabs at the same time) mind blowing, soooooooo calming ! A must for stressed minds everywhere!
♥ ← This particular setting actually sounds like a Virginia field in the early morning when the sun would hit the tall grass, years ago when we still had fireflies at night. Sometimes I'd hear this in the shade on a quiet summer day. I've been looking for the sound associated with the "insects" slider for ages.
♥ Very cool. I'm 28 and I can hear slides 1-9. I think I can hear 10 but I'm not sure. The funny thing is that on my phone speakers I can only hear until slide 5. From 6 onwards I have to put the phone right next to my ear to be able to hear the sounds. That or headphones, so I'm not sure if I'd be able to hear the sounds in the middle of nature as this is supposed to be about.
♥ 18 Male: I can hear 1-8 but I can feel 7-9. 9 especially feels like a bump at the back of my throat at irregular intervals.
♥ I am 61 and can hear Sliders 1 & 2 clearly. Very faint hearing or perhaps "sensing" of sounds on Slider 3. Nothing above that. Yikes.
♥ I'm 28, hear bats in real live, and I can hear slider 1-8 at low to medium settings (those cicadas are so annoying I had to set them pretty low!), #9 at about 90