User Guides

From version 6.1.2 onwards, Sound Scouts has a feature which allows you to skip the adult calibration if you do multiple sessions in a row without closing the app.

This feature will automatically activate on the second playthrough of the game (provided the App remains open). It will simply ask you if you wish to reuse the previous adult data. This screen/option appears after the adult headphone check within the setup stage for a new test.

Keeping in mind that the environment noise (ie any background noise) should be the same.

Understanding Results

When the hearing check is complete a report is automatically generated. The report is viewable on the device and is also sent via email (when an address is provided).

If the child receives a Pass (the result is in the green zone) the Report will state that the child has passed the Sound Scouts hearing check. This means that the child’s results are within the normal range for children of the same age. If you have ongoing concerns about your child’s hearing we strongly recommend seeing your GP or a hearing professional.

If the child receives a Fail (the result is in the red zone), then the child is referred to a professional for further evaluation. If the parent/carer has reservations about the result (the result is not in line with other indicators or the child did not concentrate properly) we recommend retesting after 24 hours.

If the child receives a Fail result with an indication of a middle ear (conductive) hearing loss Sound Scouts recommend that the carer follow up with a visit to their doctor. A middle ear issue may be caused by things such as a build up of wax or fluid, and in most cases, with the appropriate treatment, hearing will return to normal.

If the child receives a Fail result with an indication of an inner ear (sensorineural) hearing loss, the report recommends follow up with an audiologist for further evaluation.

If the child receives a Fail result with an indication of difficulty hearing in noise, the report recommends follow up with a speech pathologist or an educational psychologist for further evaluation.

Potential causes of difficulty hearing in noise include poor attention, language disorders, english as a second language and central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), which is related to the brain’s ability to process sounds. Children who experience difficulty hearing in noise can typically hear in quiet environments but struggle in noisy environments like the classroom or playground.

A Sound Scouts Fail result indicating sensorineural loss or difficulty hearing in noise is accepted as a referral for the purposes of obtaining an appointment at an Hearing Australia clinic.

If the child receives a Borderline result, hearing may be on the edge of normal. When a Borderline result is received it is recommended that the child is retested after 24 hours. If the child receives a similar result further investigation may be necessary.

If a Borderline result is received there is no additional charge for retesting.

FAQs

You may use any set of reasonable quality headphones or earbuds. Do NOT use surround sound or gaming headphones as they will interfere with how the sound is delivered in the game and the results will not represent the child’s true hearing ability.

Recommended headphones include: Sennheiser HD 100

We recommend supervising adults download the Sound Scouts app and view the instructional video prior to involving the child. When you are ready to test the child ensure they have eaten and been to the toilet. The adult needs to fill in some details about the child and then complete a short, simple, game-based exercise. The adult is then required to supervise the child while they play. Tell the child that they need to listen carefully and respond when they hear the sounds. If they can’t hear the sound they should continue to listen and the sound will get louder. Adults should also ensure the child does not tap the screen randomly. If the child is tapping randomly then instruct them to listen carefully.

  • The Sound Scouts test results are represented by a scaled score:
  • On average, children (of any age) with no hearing issues (or behavioural issues) should achieve a score of 100; children with 1 Standard Deviation (SD) below average get 85 and children with 2 SDs below average get 70, and so on.
  • A score above 78.4 is considered a Pass
  • A score between 70 and 78.4 is considered Borderline
  • A score below 70 indicates the likelihood of a hearing issue
  • A player may receive a borderline result for a number of reasons. If the game was carried out in a quiet place with no distractions and the player was paying attention the Borderline result may be due to a very mild hearing issue.

    If the background noise is too high this may also impact the results and generate a Borderline result.

    A borderline result does not use a game session. If the player receives a borderline result it is recommended that they repeat the test after one week in a quiet environment.

    If a child/player taps the screen too many times or if the results are not consistent (ie highly variable) an invalid result may be generated. An invalid result does not use a game session. If the child receives an invalid result it is recommended they be retested under supervision and in a quiet environment.

    Colour blindness may affect the results as players are required to identify coloured items.

    If you have concerns about the players ability to distinguish colours we recommend they complete a colour blindness check before playing Sound Scouts.

    NB: Adults completing the ‘calibration’ exercise will also need to identify colours.

  • The Sound Scouts hearing game MUST be completed in one sitting. Game play for the short version takes approximately 6-8 minutes.
  • If the player is interrupted during game play it may be best to end the session, close the app and then retest at another time.
  • The session will NOT be used/consumed if the test is not completed.
  • After the test the results are displayed on the device. If an email address is provided (which we strongly recommend) the results will also be sent via email. If a hearing issue is detected, where possible, the results will provide a guide as to the next best steps for treatment.

    Regardless of the results, if the child is thought to have a hearing issue we recommend further investigation.

  • An adult is required to do a short ‘calibration’ exercise at the beginning of the game which is then repeated by the child.  If the adult’s calibration is too low, or significantly worse than the child’s the final test result could be impacted.  In this case the adult will be prompted to re-do the exercise or find another adult with known good hearing to complete the exercise. If the adult repeatedly gets a worse result than the child they may wish to get a hearing check.
  • The game results are age dependent. A child’s ability to interpret speech improves as they age so this must be taken into account in the final results.
  • Troubleshooting

    What type of device are you using?

    Sound Scouts is available to play on tablet devices and mobile phones. It is not currently available on desktop computers.

    Are you connected to the Internet / Wi-Fi?

    An internet connection is required to download apps from the App Store / Google Play.

    Have you turned off parental controls / disabled restrictions?

    Sound Scouts is rated 12+ on the App Store due to the adult input required in the game. If you have parental controls or app install restrictions, you may need to disable these before proceeding to download. If you are using a networked device (eg school iPad/tablet), you may need to contact your IT department for assistance.

    Are you connected to the Internet / Wi-Fi?

    An internet connection is required to make in-app purchases from the App Store / Google Play

    Have you turned off parental controls / disabled restrictions?

    Due to the adult input required in the game, Sound Scouts is rated 12+ on the App Store. If you have parental controls or app install restrictions, you may need to disable these before proceeding to the shop If you are using a networked device (eg school iPad), you may need to contact your IT department for assistance

    Have you checked the volume is turned up on your device?

    Turn up the volume on your device to maximum (if it is too loud, turn it down a little).

    How do I check if it is a headphone issue?

    Plug your headphones/earbuds firmly into the port on your device and ensure that the device volume is turned up. If you cannot hear anything from either ear, or you can only hear in one ear, you will need to try another set of headphones/earbuds. Make sure you are not using surround sound, noise reducing or gaming headphones as they may interfere with how the sound is delivered in the game. We also recommend using adult headphones as they tend to be better quality than children’s headphones.

    How do I check if it is a device issue?

    Plug a set of headphones/earbuds that you know work properly, into the device, and check the volume on the device is turned up. If you do not hear sound; the audio cuts out or there is sound interference (eg crackling/static noise), it may be a problem with the port. In this instance we recommend using a different device (ie tablet or phone).

    Are you connected to the Internet / Wi-Fi?

    An Internet connection is required to send / receive data between your device and the Sound Scouts Cloud. If the child completes the session the test data will be stored on the device. When you are able to connect to the Internet you can go to “Past Sessions” and click on the child’s name to trigger processing of the results. A report will then be sent to the device & email (if one has been entered)

    Are you using a device belonging to a school or organisation?

    If your computer is connected to a local network that’s protected from the Internet by a firewall, you may need to specify proxy servers to access some Internet sites. A proxy server is a computer on a local network that acts as an intermediary between local computers and the Internet, to provide security, administrative control, and content caching. Please contact your IT Department for assistance. Sound Scouts can provide the Server IP address on request.

    Did you enter your email address into the game when completing the ‘Your Profile’ page?

    A results report will be sent if an email address is entered during the session set up process. If an email address is not entered when setting up the profile, you can request the report be (re)emailed, by going to “Past Sessions”, selecting the child’s name and clicking the “Resend” button. This will prompt you to enter an email address to which the results report will then be sent.

    And what do I do about this?

    The output of headphones and earbuds varies and while the “tone” noises used by Sound Scouts are audible with most headphones, on occasion the output of some headphones may impact (reduce) the audible levels thus affecting the results. In these situations no session is used and the supervising adult is advised to retest the child with different headphones/earbuds.

    Choosing the Right Headphones

    It’s best to use a pair of good quality adult headphones or earbuds when testing with Sound Scouts as using poor quality headphones can impact the accuracy of the results.

    Do NOT use surround sound or gaming headphones as they will interfere with how the sound is delivered in the game and the results will not represent the child’s true hearing ability.

    Recommended headphones include: Sennheiser HD 100 and Sennheiser HD 300.

    However, any good quality pair of adult headphones or earbuds (including Apple earbuds) should help with ensuring results are accurate.

    If you change the headphones you are using between tests you MUST repeat the set up activity to recalibrate the test to the new set of headphones.

    Please DO NOT use a headphone splitter to listen to what the child hears as this will halve the volume of the audio delivered to the child and they will fail the test.