Thresholds at 15 dB at 25 years old, normal hearing?

Hello everyone,

I’m a 25 years old musician and I recently took two hearing tests at two different audiologists.

For each test, my thresholds are at 15 dB or 10dB for each frequency tested.

Audiologists told me that my hearing was perfect and that I could not have better results, but I’m a bit suspicious.
Shouldn’t my thresholds be around 0 dB for each frequency at my young age ?
Isn’t 15 dB a significant hearing loss at 25 years old ?

Thanks by advance for your answers !

It’s within the “normal” range. It is quite possible that it used to be better and you have suffered some loss. So what to do? Hearing aids wouldn’t make any sense. Using ear protection to protect your hearing when exposed to loud noises (including lound music) would make sense. Worrying about a theoretical hearing loss won’t accomplish anything.


Well actually I really need to know if my hearing is “perfect” as the audiologists said, or if it’s really not that good for my age and has already declined.
Indeed, it will impact a lot of my choices, like maybe doing more acoustic music instead of starting a rock band.
I have always been careful about my hearing, always wore very efficient earplugs (-25 dB) during rehearsal and gigs, and I wasn’t a professional musician until this year, so the frequency of exposure to noise will be way higher in the future !

So my question is : is 0 dBHL purely theoretical or do most young people obtain this kind of thresholds when doing a hearing screening ? Is it possible that the audiometer calibration would have an impact on the results ?

If I have the hearing of a 40 years old person, I really need it to stabilize, and I prefer to still be able to hear people in 30 years than to be a rock star during 5 years and then wearing hearing aids.

I hope you understand my concerns :slight_smile:

Thanks by advance!

Perfect would be a flat 0DB across the frequency range for humans, very few have that. But there so many that would love to have what have. And knowing what I know now we would all take better care of our hearing.

0 dB is usually the threshold detection level of normal human hearing. It may be that your audi’s hearing test starts out with 10 dB or 15 dB to begin with, and you were able to detect the sound at these levels.

Also keep in mind that it depends on the calibration of the hearing test devices. They may be slightly off so that’s why you were getting 10 dB in one test and 15 dB in the other.

You shouldn’t be obsessed with whether you have perfect hearing at 0 dB. Being able to hear at 0 dB is irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things. Maybe if the hearing test were conducted at 0 dB, then you might have been able to hear it, too. If you’re so concerned, you should ask the 2 audis that did the test for you to explain it better. But the better concern would be on how you should go on protecting the good hearing you’re having, not on whether it’s declining or not. If you don’t protect it, for sure it’ll decline.

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I was told that we actually start to loose our hearing after 9 months old! Apparently before 9 months old, you can hear bats etc. We don’t notice until much later, because that’s when it starts to affect speech etc.

Unless you’re struggling, I wouldn’t worry. No point in worrying what you don’t have or have.

Zero db would make you like superman. County your blessings

Well, it’s not “perfect.” But not everbody can hear at the same levels so it’s not possible to know if your hearing used to be better. Some people are born with worse hearing than you have now. I doubt study has ever been done to assess what levels most young people hear at.
If you really want to start a rock band, go ahead, use protection and get your hearing checked after a few months. If it’s clearly worse, then consider another option. Or, if acoustic is just as desireable, then go that way. The info you want just isn’t there.

I really think 10 or 15 dB is nothing to be concerned about even at your young age and you should just get on with your life and not waste your life and emotion spending time in this forum to be honest. Good luck and stop worrying about it…

I was told that by my audiologist that anything upto 25db is considered normal hearing range but i don’t know if different audiologists have a different idea of normal range

I’ve been a professional musician for 50 years, this year. This, and what the other Members are saying, is the correct answer to your question.

Don’t obsess about what’s gone, because it’s gone forever, and you probably don’t even know how and when you lost it. That part doesn’t matter, anyway.

What matters is to learn all that you can about hearing and how the miracle works. Then, avail yourself of every means at your disposal to protect what remains.

[Also, don’t forget that what’s left will diminish with age.]

I can’t say it better than what the Members already have.