Hearing Loss Simulation

What does hearing loss sound like? This hearing loss simulation lets you hear a pattern that is typical for mild noise-induced hearing loss.



By reading about hearing loss, you can learn a lot, but to get a more personal understanding of what it means, there's no substitute for hearing it with your own ears. What does hearing loss sound like? You can get an idea by listening to these MP3 voice recordings that demonstrate the difference between normal hearing and impaired hearing.


In a Quiet Environment

Normal hearing.

This gives you a baseline for what the passage should sound like. Adjust your volume so it sounds comfortable to you, then leave the volume alone as you listen to the rest of the tracks.


Mildly impaired hearing.

This is what the same passage sounds like to a person with a 30-dB hearing loss, which is classified as mild hearing loss. (Click here to learn about the different degrees of hearing loss and what they mean.)



In a Noisy Environment

The above recordings demonstrate ideal listening conditions, with no background noise. To get a more realistic idea of the effect of hearing loss in daily life, let's add some background noise.


Normal hearing, with background noise.



Mildly impaired hearing, with background noise.






Simulations courtesy of the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Division. The tracks were generated using their Windows-based Hearing Loss Simulator program. A hearing loss of 30 dB at 4000 Hz was applied, with surrounding frequencies impaired to a lesser degree. This mild, high-frequency hearing loss is a common pattern for hearing loss that is caused by noise.




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