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Rinne Test: Procedure & Results Explained

The Rinne Test is a hearing test. As with any other hearing tests, it is designed to help people identify hearing loss.

We will guide you through everything you need to know about the Rinne Test including the procedure and outlining results.

What Is A Rinne Test?

The Rinne Test is a popular form of hearing test. Named after German otologist, Heinrich Adolf Rinne, the primary purpose of this screening is to identify hearing losses in one ear. Unilateral hearing loss (a loss in one ear) is one of the most common types of impairments and the likes of the Rinne Test can better determine if a hearing loss is in fact present.

Test your hearing online for free here.

How Does The Rinne Test Check For Hearing Loss

The Rinne Test procedure involves the use of vibrating tuning forks and can be split into two stages. It compares how sound is transmitted via air conduction again bone conduction to determine hearing loss.

  • Stage 1: These forks are placed against the mastoid bone and the testee is asked to inform the tester when they can no longer hear a sound.
  • Stage 2: When you cannot hear the sound of stage 1, the tuning fork is placed just behind the auditory canal. This step continues again until the sounds can no longer be heard.

The assessment should not replace professional hearing screenings. Having completed a Rinne Test, you should seek further medical tests.

What Will Rinne Test Results Reveal?

Results will highlight potential signs of hearing loss. A follow-up test with an audiologist would confirm a hearing impairment, as well as identify the root cause.

If a normal hearing is present, sounds from the tuning fork should be heard after it is no longer held against the mastoid bone.

If a hearing loss is, in fact, present, the testee should be unable to hear the fork once removed from the mastoid bone. This means that the person's bone conduction is greater than air conduction suggesting there may be an issue with sounds reaching the inner ear. Therefore, asserting a possible hearing loss.

What's The Difference Between Air & Bone Conducted Hearing Loss?

Ultimately, this is the testing of how sounds are transmitted to the ear, depicting our ability to hear properly.

Air conduction focuses on the air around the middle ear (eardrum) and can help identify a conductive hearing loss. On-the-other-hand, bone conduction relates to the vibrations felt by the inner ear. If sensorineural hearing loss is present in one ear, then both air conduction and bone conduction will be equal, but those with SHL should feel the sounds top earlier than someone with normal hearing.

Combining the Rinne & Weber Test 

It is always recommended that the Weber Test accompany the Rinne Test.

The Weber Test, as with the Rinne, is another type of quick hearing screening. They complement one another by both testing for unilateral hearing loss. The Weber assessment can be taken to access a more profound overview of our ability to hear by testing for other types of losses. This includes conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

As with any hearing check, it is strongly advised that you should have any worries about your hearing, that you visit an audiologist or healthcare professional for proper audiometric tests.

Test Your Hearing For Free

Should you have any concerns about your hearing, take our free online hearing test.

rinne test

Just enter some details, plug in some headphones and you're ready to make a start. The check takes three minutes and you'll receive your results instantly. Results will indicate if you need to take further action to prevent hearing loss.

Please note: Our hearing test should not be regarded as clinical data. It is advised that you consult a medical professional for a full audiometric assessment. 

How To Properly Manage Hearing Loss

Hearing aids are the essential instrument to effectively managing hearing loss. At Hearing Direct, you will find a comprehensive collection of affordable devices suited for mild to moderate hearing losses.

Depending on your hearing impairment, certain digital hearing aids may be more preferential. For example, you may require a more sophisticated device with a larger set of features to manage a more severe loss. Again, style, shape, and price will be fundamental factors to consider when seeking out a device.

Crucially, the likes of amplified telephones improve communication for the hard of hearing.

About Us

Hearing Direct is one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. We are dedicated to the provision of amplified items with the intention of improving the quality of life for the hard of hearing.


If you have questions regarding the Rinne Test or any other hearing-related matters, do get in touch and our expert team will do their best to get you the answers you need.