National Physical Laboratory

Audiometric Calibration and Standards: Hearing Aids

The measurement and specification of the performance of broad band analogue amplifying hearing aids is covered by pure tone testing specified in the IEC 60118 series. Recently digital signal processing hearing aids have been introduced with varying degrees of sophistication. Due to the non linear and time varying characteristics of such hearing aids pure tone testing does not necessarily permit a realistic description of the aids performance to be made. Note that parts 3, 10 and 11 were withdrawn in 2010, 2002 and 2006 respectively. 

Two new standards on equipment and procedures for the measurement of real-ear acoustical characteristics of hearing aids have been published (IEC 61669 / ISO 12124).


International Standards National Standards

IEC 60118-0:1983 Hearing aids. Part 0: Measurement of electroacoustical characteristics
(with amendment 1:1994)
BS EN 60118-0:1993 Hearing aids. Methods for measurement of electroacoustical characteristics
IEC 60118-1:1999 Hearing aids - Part 1: Hearing aids with induction pick-up coil input (consolidated edition) BS EN 60118-1:1995 Hearing aids. Hearing aids with induction pick-up coil input
IEC 60118-2:1983 Hearing aids. Part 2: Hearing aids with automatic gain control circuits
(with amendments 1:1993, 2:1997)
BS EN 60118-2:1996 Hearing aids. Methods for measurement of electroacoustical characteristics of hearing aids with automatic gain control circuits
  BS 6083-3:1991 Hearing aids. Methods for measurement of electroacoustical characteristics of hearing aid equipment not entirely worn on the listener (remains current despite withdrawal of IEC counterpart)
IEC 60118-4:2006 Hearing aids. Part 4: Magnetic field strength in audio-frequency induction loops for hearing aid purposes BS EN 60118-4:2006 Hearing aids. Magnetic field strength in audio-frequency induction loops for hearing aid purposes
IEC 60118-5:1983 Hearing aids. Part 5: Nipples for insert earphones BS 6083-5:1984 Hearing aids. Specification for dimensions of the nipple and sealing device for insert earphones
IEC 60118-6:1999 Hearing aids. Part 6: Characteristics of electrical input circuits for hearing aids BS EN 60118-6:1999 Hearing aids. Characteristics of electrical input circuits for hearing aids
IEC 60118-7:2005 Hearing aids. Part 7: Measurement of performance characteristics of hearing aids for quality inspection for delivery purposes BS EN 60118-7:2005 Hearing aids. Methods for measurement of the performance characteristics of hearing aids for quality inspection on delivery
IEC 60118-8:2005 Hearing aids. Part 8: Methods of measurement of performance characteristics of hearing aids under simulated in situ working conditions BS EN 60118-8:2005 Hearing aids. Methods of measurement of performance characteritics of hearing aids under simulated in situ working conditions
IEC 60118-9:1985 Hearing aids. Part 9: Methods of measurement of characteristics of hearing aids with bone vibrator output BS 6083-9:1986 Hearing aids. Methods for measurement of characteristics of hearing aids with bone vibrator output
{IEC 60118-10 withdrawn 2002} BS 6083-10:1988 Hearing aids. Guide to hearing aid standards (remains current despite withdrawal of IEC counterpart)
{IEC 60118-11 withdrawn 2006} BS 6083-11:1984 Hearing aids. Specification for symbols and other markings on hearing aids and related equipment (remains current but is obsolete)
IEC 60118-12:1996 Hearing aids - Part 12: Dimensions of electrical connector systems BS EN 60118-12:1997 Hearing aids. Dimensions of electrical connector systems
IEC 60118-13:2004 Hearing aids - Part 13: Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) BS EN 60118-13:2005 Hearing aids. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) 
IEC 60118-14:1998 Hearing aids - Part 14: Specification of a digital interface device BS EN 60118-14:1998 Hearing aids. Specification of a digital interface device
IEC 61669:2001 Electroacoustics - Equipment for the measurement of real-ear acoustical characteristics of hearing aids BS EN 61669:2001 Electroacoustics - Equipment for the measurement of real-ear acoustical characteristics of hearing aids
ISO 12124:2001 Acoustics. Procedures for the measurement of real-ear acoustical characteristics of hearing aids BS ISO 12124:2001 Acoustics. Procedures for the measurement of real-ear acoustical characteristics of hearing aids


BSI/ISO/IEC websites

For the most up-to-date information regarding current audiometric standards, as well as pricing and ordering details on all the standards listed here, please contact the relevant standards organisation:

Members of the BSA (British Society of Audiology) can register for the BSA Standards Forum (hosted by NPL), which allows members to view and comment on standards which are currently in development or under revision.

NPL also offers audiometric calibration services, as well as training courses on all aspects of audiometry.

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Last Updated: 20 Jul 2010
Created: 20 Jul 2010