This paper describes an objective quantitative approach to the decision of when to stop averaging in the recording of ABRs. This decision is based on (1) the knowledge of the amplitude distributions of wave V in the ABRs of normal-hearing individuals for varying stimulus levels, (2) calculated estimates of the residual background noise in the average, and (3) the use of a quantitative statistical response detector. Several reasons for terminating an averaging process are presented along with a specific protocol for each of the reasons. These protocols provide a general but consistent framework to address the issue of when to stop averaging and will thus improve the efficiency of clinical ABR testing. Furthermore, it is quite possible to automate the procedure and the decision process.