Procedures Surgeries - Rinnes Test

What is Rinne's test?

Rinne's test is done to compare the auditory acuity of each ear to bone and air conduction.

Rinne's test helps to detect the type and degree of hearing loss. It is interpreted in association with Weber's test.

How is Rinne's test done?

The procedure of Rinne's test is first explained to the patient. The tuning fork is struck gently so as not to produce overtones and dysharmonica. It can be struck against a rubber pad or any bony prominence of the examiner. The vibrating tuning fork is held about 1 inch away from the ear, such that the prongs are parallel to the external auditory canal. The patient is asked to indicate when he stops hearing the sound. When he indicates so, the tuning fork is immediately placed on the mastoid cortex. If the patient does not hear the sound on the mastoid cortex it indicates, air conduction is better than bone conduction. However, if he continues to hear, it indicates bone conduction is better than air conduction.

How is Rinne's test interpreted?

Rinne's test is interpreted as follows:

(AC= Air Conduction and BC= Bone Conduction)

AC > BC = Rinne's Positive
BC > AC = Rinne's Negative
The procedure is done by all three tuning forks. (256 Hz, 512 Hz, 1024 Hz)

How is hearing loss classified on the basis of Rinne's test?


Tuning fork frequency

Hearing loss

Degree of conductive loss







10-15 db






What is a False Negative Rinne's Test?

When a patient has unilateral sensori-neural deafness in the test ear, the bone conduction stimulus may be perceived by the opposite ear. Hence it can be interpreted as Rinne's Negative. In such cases,
Weber's test will be lateralised to the normal ear thus confirming false negative Rinne's result. The above can also be avoided by giving a masking sound to the non-test ear.

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