The Ling 6 sound test is a basic auditory test that is used the check whether a cochlear implant or hearing aid is effective at picking up speech sounds. It is commonly performed by an Audiologist who is checking a child’s cochlear implant.
The Ling 6 sound test is performed by having the presenter sit approximately 3 feet from the listener with their mouth covered out of sight. The six individual sounds “ah”, “ee”, “oo”, “sh”, “s”, and “m” are presented one at a time in varying order. The task of the listener is to indicate if the sound was detected. For adults, this is simple. For children, it is common to make a game out of the task by having them toss a block in a bucket when they hear the sound, or perform some activity to indicate the sound was heard.
The second stage of the test is discrimination, in which the listener must indicate whether two or more sounds were the same or different. The final and most difficult stage of the test is identification, in which a sound is repeated by the listener indicating they know which sound it was. This can be evaluated in children by having them point to a picture of the sound.
These 6 sounds are chosen for the Ling 6 sound test because they represent the variety of frequencies present in speech.