Check your hearing. I SAID CHECK YOUR… Oh forget it.

This week is Deaf Awareness Week, run by the RNID.

As part of this, they have released a Hearing Check, available on their website, and an iPhone app. Apparently you can get it over the phone too, but I’ve not tried that yet.

I’ve been a bit worried about my hearing as playing with the band I tend to spend quite a lot of time near rather loud speakers & a drumkit. I have no idea whether the fact I tend to get things in the lower register is likely to cause more or less damage, but am not about to turn down a free test!

I downloaded the free app – just be searching for “RNID” on the app store… it takes you through a set of tests where it plays numbers that you have to type in. Over these numbers various levels of static is heard to test the frequencies you can clearly hear through.

It all seems very clever, and on the face of it, scientific.

After about three minutes of tests – getting worryingly more difficult, then slightly easier, the results were in – and it seems I’m fine! I was told hearing is within the normal range.

The results page of the site says I’d be told where my hearing falls, but I guess this is only on the web version of the test, as the app doesn’t.

Assuming this would be the sort of thing other musicians in Leeds would like to hear about I posted it to Leeds Music Forum, and several people did try it out.

Unfortunately I got the following reply from LMF user gozzo: “I did it with my  hearing aids out, using full volume on the site and on my laptop. It said my hearing is in the normal range. hooray.”

So, I would say that while it might be an interesting awareness raiser to get you thinking about what you do to your poor ears (especially if you go to a lot of gigs) it’s clearly not 100% accurate.

Common sense still stands – if you’re worried, go to your doctor. Don’t trust an app to tell you you’re OK!