The Whisper Test Song Program

One of the earliest documented "whisper tests" cited is by Frank N. Freeman. Ph.D. in his 1916 book "Experimental Education." In one of his experiments to measure auditory acuity, it is described as a simple, accurate and practical test for detecting hearing impairment. With a few precautions, he suggested: "The whisper test may be made with a fair degree of accuracy and it may be used conveniently in the classroom." This may have contributed to its use in schools.

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Standard Whisper Test
1) Have person place finger on tragus of one ear to block sound.
2) Stand 2-5 feet to the side or behind person to eliminate visual clues or lip reading.
3) Whisper sequence of words, numbers or letters with two distinct syllables towards person's unblocked ear. Avoid using only "s" sounding words & ideally 8 syllables total.
4) Ask person to repeat sequence.
5) Repeat test with the other ear.