What is Pediatric Noise?

10 mins
01 August 2017


It is simply a band of noise that is focused is a very narrow band of frequencies, with steep filter slopes, to produce a noise stimulus suitable for threshold estimation.

For example, this is a spectrum of a paediatric noise centred at 1000 Hz. Equivalent stimuli are available across the audiometric range, and are calibrated in dB HL.

These stimuli are useful in paediatric testing where a noise-like stimuli can sometimes be more “attention grabbing” and because in the soundfield (which is common for paediatric behavioural testing such as Visual Reinforcement Audiometry) the routinely used pure tones are not appropriate due to potential calibration errors (e.g. due to standing waves).

Please note that narrow band noise (1/3 Octave bandwidth) for threshold estimation is not appropriate as the frequency bandwidth is too wide to be considered acceptable, and steeply sloping losses might be underestimated due to off-frequency listening. 

For example, below is an illustration of the paediatric noise stimuli centred at 2 kHz, overlaid on an audiogram showing a steeply sloping loss.

It may be seen that a wider bandwidth stimulus could be heard at lower frequencies (e.g. ≤ 1 kHz) where hearing sensitivity is relatively good, but the paediatric noise stimuli do not span this frequency range.


Michael Maslin
After working for several years as an audiologist in the UK, Michael completed his Ph.D. in 2010 at The University of Manchester. The topic was plasticity of the human binaural auditory system. He then completed a 3-year post-doctoral research program that built directly on the underpinning work carried out during his Ph.D. In 2015, Michael joined the Interacoustics Academy, offering training and education in audiological and vestibular diagnostics worldwide. Michael now works for the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, exploring his research interests which include electrophysiological measurement of the central auditory system, and the development of clinical protocols and clinical techniques applied in areas such as paediatric audiology and vestibular assessment and management.

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