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The listening test

It all starts with a listening test

A listening therapy begins with a psychological listening test (TLT: Tomatis Listening Test). This test and the device used are somewhat similar to the process used by the ENT who examines the patient’s overall hearing ability under optimal conditions. This helps determine whether, for example, the patient needs hearing aids. The Tomatis listening test, however, pursues a completely different goal, which involves several additional parameters that will provide information about the patient’s daily auditory perception.

The Tomatis listening test provides the following information:

  • hearing threshold via air conduction (AC)

  • hearing threshold via bone conduction (BC)

  • AC and BC hearing errors

  • the ability to distinguish pitch (selectivity)

  • the auditory laterality (right or left ear dominance)

The listening test reveals the structure of an individual's communication pattern and provides relevant information on:

  • motor skills and balance

  • behavior (emotional withdraw, fears, lack of self-awareness, agitation, aggressiveness, well-being, balance)

  • analytical hearing ability (listening)

  • language processing

  • ability or difficulties to concentrate 

  • tendency to fatigue or vitality

  • tendency toward depression or dynamism


A listening training can bring major improvements in all these areas. An individual listening program is designed based on the individual’s listening test, medical history, and particular problems. Progress is measured by regular listening tests and the listening training is adapted to the changed hearing perception.


The ideal listening curve

What does the ideal listening curve look like?

  • The ideal listening curve shows a continuous, ascending gradient of 6 decibels per octave from 125 to 3000-4000 Hertz, where it reaches a plateau before dropping slightly at the end.

  • Hearing via air conduction (where the eardrum vibrations are transmitted to the middle ear) is as good as, or better, than hearing via bone conduction.

  • The selectivity of both ears is "open".

  • The right ear is dominant.

Tomatis defined the "ideal listening curve" after numerous experiments on people whose auditory perception problems he treated. The ideal curve is very close to the ideal hearing of singers and musicians. Tomatis was particularly impressed by Enrico Caruso (1873-1921). He subjected this Italian tenor's recordings and vocalizes to extensive analysis.

For Tomatis Caruso had the ideal hearing, so he took his voice as a model to establish the ideal listening curve, also called the Caruso Curve.

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