Tips & Tricks For Adults

The Ling Six Sound Test Explained

When you or your child start your rehabilitation journey with a hearing implant, more than likely you will come across the Ling Six Sound Test. It’s a simple way to check if someone can hear the speech sounds that they need to build their listening and speaking skills.

The Ling Six Sound Test was designed to tell us what a person can hear across the full spectrum of sound. It is a diagnostic listening check that can tell us a great deal about a person’s listening access. There are six sounds used for the test. These are familiar speech sounds that can be heard by people of all ages with normal hearing, from infants to adults alike. We encourage you to do the test every day to ensure that your hearing implants are providing you with full access to speech.

Let’s Look At What Each Sound Tells Us About Listening


  • This sound checks that very low sounds can be heard, including all the low vowel sounds. Detection of this sound may help with music appreciation.


  • This sound checks that you can hear low frequency sounds, like vowels in all the words we hear.


  • This sound checks access to all the mid-frequency sounds. If someone cannot detect this sound confidently, they may also struggle to hear words that are not as obvious in conversation. For example: ‘the’ or ‘a’ in phrases, word beginnings like ‘un’ in unhappy, and word endings such as ‘s’ in cats, ‘ed’ in ‘jumped’ or ‘ing’ in ‘dancing’.


  • This is a high frequency sound. A person with severe or profound hearing loss may not be able to hear this sound without their hearing implant.


  • This is a very high frequency sound. A person with severe or profound hearing loss may not hear this sound without their hearing implant. When we listen to someone communicate, many of the speech sounds are located in this high frequency area. So if someone cannot detect this sound, they will have difficulty understanding spoken language and having conversations with others.


  • This sound is actually both a high and a low frequency on the speech spectrum. A person’s imitation of this sound will tell us a lot about what they can hear. If they repeat the sound correctly, we know they have good access at both high and low frequencies. If they say /s/ when imitating the sound, it might mean they have trouble hearing low frequencies. If they say /oo/ when imitating the sound, they may have trouble hearing the high frequencies.

MED-EL Resources To Help With The Test

MED-EL Picture Cards can also be used during the Ling 6 test for children with hearing implants. Your child can learn to associate the sounds they hear to the pictures on the cards. These cards are available as free downloads on the MED-EL website. You might like to introduce these cards to your child’s teacher for them to do the test at school, or bring the cards along with you to your therapy sessions.


Thanks for your message. We will reply as soon as possible.

Send us a message

Field is required

John Doe

Field is required

Field is required

What do you think?

Send Message

© MED-EL Medical Electronics. All rights reserved. The content on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Contact your doctor or hearing specialist to learn what type of hearing solution suits your specific needs. Not all products, features, or indications are approved in all countries.

Processing Comment

Sorry. There was an error. Please try again.

Thanks for your feedback. Your comment will be published after approval.

Leave your comment