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  • Jennifer Birtles

Your 5 Key Hearing Skills

Hearing is a sense that never switches off and has evolved as mankind’s early warning system, helping us identify and stay protected from potential threats.


To this day it is still helping us in all aspects of life; from keeping us safe to enhancing our interactions with others and the world around us, but how well do you actually know your hearing? The World Health Organisation identifies 5 key hearing skills that directly impact our hearing in day-to-day life. These are:

  • Detection

  • Distinction

  • Localisation

  • Intelligibility in quiet

  • Intelligibility in noise


Detection of sounds


Sound detection refers to how well you hear specific sounds across the range of audible frequencies. For example, being able to hear a truck rumbling in the distance or birds singing close by. This skill is essential for knowing what is going on around you and for your quality of life.



Detection of sounds can help you enjoy music to the fullest, experience pleasure from being in nature, and allow you to have uninterrupted conversations with loved ones. However, without this skill you may find it more challenging when interacting with your environment or find it harder to interpret what is going on around you.