Spondee Threshold Speech Test

Norm of Spondee Threshold Speech Test

0–20 dB (decibels) in adults, 0–15 dB children.


Usage of Spondee Threshold Speech Test

Evaluates the ability to hear conversational speech and provides more specific evaluation after abnormal pure-tone audiometry results. Also used to determine proper gain when selecting a hearing aid for a client.


Description of Spondee Threshold Speech Test

Spondees are two-syllable words (such as “baseball,” “airplane”) presented to a client through earphones to measure the lowest level at which the client repeats 50% of the words. This test measures degree of hearing loss and is often performed after audiometric testing. The test is also used to validate the pure tone audiometry test, as there is a high correlation between the results of this test and the three-threshold (500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz) average.


Professional Considerations of Spondee Threshold Speech Test

Consent form NOT required.

  1. Obtain a speech audiometer, earphones, and a recorded spondee list.



  1. Explain to the client that a series of two-syllable words in decreasing loudness will be transmitted through the earphones. The client should repeat these words when he or she hears them to the best of his or her ability.


Postprocedure Care

  1. A client with abnormal results should be referred to an audiologist.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. The earphones are placed over the client's ears, and testing proceeds as described above, with only one ear tested at a time.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Unfamiliarity with the language or words used may make the results unreliable.
  2. This test is unreliable in young children who do not yet have fully developed speech.


Other Data

  1. See also Audiometry test.