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Hearing loss is a widespread problem while treatment is not always accessible, mainly because of the limited availability of hearing care professionals and clinics. In this work, part of the User-Operated Audiometry project, we investigate the acoustic environment of inexpensive non-sound-treated rooms that could be used for unsupervised audiometric testing. Measurements of 10 min of ambient noise were taken from 20 non-sound-treated rooms in libraries and private and public clinics, nine of which were measured twice. Ambient noise was compared against two traditional audiometric sound-treated rooms and Maximum Permissible Ambient noise levels by ISO 8231-1, while factoring for the attenuation by the DD450 circumaural headphones provided. In most non-sound-treated rooms, MPAs were violated only by transient sounds, while the floor-noise level was below MPAs. Non-sound-treated rooms’ ambient noise levels presented with much larger fluctuations compared to sound-treated rooms. Almost all violations occurred at low to mid-low frequencies. Our results suggest that large-scale implementation of user-operated audiometry outside traditional audiometric rooms is possible, at least under some realizable conditions. Circumaural headphones’ attenuation is probably a necessary condition for all cases. Depending on the room, an online system making decisions based on ambient noise might also be included in combination with active attenuation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number889
Issue number6
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 20. Mar 2023


  • user-operated
  • pure-tone audiometry
  • ambient noise
  • sound treated
  • acoustic environment


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