Reliability of hearing thresholds: Computer-automated testing with ER-4B Canal Phone™ earphones

James A. Henry, Christopher L. Flick, Alison Gilbert, Roger M. Ellingson, Stephen A. Fausti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to document test-retest reliability of hearing thresholds using our computer-automated tinnitus matching technique and Etymotic ER-4B Canal Phone™ insert earphones. The research design involved repeated threshold measurements both within and between sessions, and testing to evaluate the potential effect of eartip removal and reinsertion. Twenty normal-hearing subjects were evaluated over two testing sessions with the use of a fully automated protocol for determining thresholds with 1-dB precision. Thresholds were first obtained at 0.5-16.0 kHz, in one-third octave frequency steps (16 test frequencies). The octave frequencies were then retested, first without removing the eartips, then after eartip removal and replacement. Responses between sessions differed by an average of 2.5 dB across all 16 test frequencies, and 91.5 percent of the repeated thresholds varied within ±5 dB (98.1 percent within ±10 dB). Reliability of within-sessions thresholds was also good, and there was no effect of eartip removal and replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-581
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Auditory threshold
  • Hearing
  • Reliability of results

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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