The Ling-6 sound test

First and for most: ALWAYS make sure, that the apparatus is in perfect working order before conducting the Ling-6 sound test!

The essential Ling-6 sounds

Strategy: Make sure, that the apparatus is in perfect working order before conducting the test - EVERY TIME!

The Ling-6 sounds is presented to the child, preferably on a day-to-day basis as a part of the child's morning routine. This is to ensure, that the hearing device is in perfect working order and receptive to speech sounds. The Ling-6 sounds are the particular sounds that occur at particular speech frequencies.
Any kind of hearing apparatus is never infallible! A child's hearing device may suddenly cut out and you notice it straight away. However, the audio sound may change over time, without you or your child noticing. Conducting the Ling-6 sound test every day is a sure way to identify any changes in the child's sound perception in regard to both regular hearing aids, Cochlear Implants or BAHS. This is why the Ling-6 sounds are essential!

How to use the Ling-6 sound test

The Ling sounds should be presented to the child in a normal tone of voice. The goal is to teach the child to identify and repeat the sounds, using only their auditory sense. If the child has two hearing aids or implants, the test is performed once for each of them alone. Remember to voice the sounds as you would in normal conversation, placing yourself no more than 5 m away from the child. It takes time before the child actively can participate and therefor the test should be performed gradually over time:

  • close to the child/ further away
  • changing sound level (repetition, singing)
  • detection: (reaction to sound) identifying the sound by repeating it
  • both hearing devices at the same time/ each of them alone

It is a good idea to motivate the child with a small reward, a little toy or something else specific. Small toddlers with limited hearing experience will benefit greatly from using selected toys, each representing one of the Ling-6 sounds:

  • a = ah
  • u= oo
  • i = ee
  • m = mm
  • s
  • sh

At CIHA, we have gathered a selection of toys, especially suited for performing the Ling-6 soundtest
NB!  Some mention a seventh Ling sound: silence. The child is to simply guess when the next sound is presented, without any prediction. Remember to vary the waiting time in between presenting the different sounds.

By Jeanette Hølledig Mikkelsen, Audiologist, LSLS Cert. AVT. © CIHA, 2017

Inspired by:

Advanced Bionics med input fra Lena Nissen Audiologopæd cand. mag., LSLS Cert. AVT & Jeanette Hølledig Mikkelsen, Audiologist, LSLS Cert. AVT (2015). 6 Ling Sounds by Advanced Bionics.

Elizabeth Rosenzweig, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT.