SEEAR Help/Faq


Screen modes

5 separate screen modes are available within the SEEAR application; they can be selected with the radio buttons in the lower left area. The screens mode are respectively Auto, Manual, Signal, Music and Mic. For this quickstart guide, which is primarily focused on the baseline functionality, only the the Music and Manual modes are described.

A good and easy way to get started is to take a look at our demo page.

NOTE: A complete reference manual will be released in the near future.

Music screen

The music screen displays the cochlea model for each ear during the playback of any digital sound file, typically music. The various display and digital audio modes are also set from this screen, using the buttons and sliders in the control panel. There are fully separate controls for the right and left channels.

Load / run / pause buttons

  • Load file: loads an audio file from the computer audio library. Supported formats are wav, mp3, wma, aac and flac.
  • Run/Stop: runs/stops the display and audio playback. Certain operations, like changing screen modes, are disabled while running, and will be re-enabled after stopping.
  • Pause/Resume: temporarily pauses the display and playback.

Model radio buttons

  • Cochlea EQ: the cochlea is displayed in an equalizer mode, which captures the activity throughout the cochlea. The displacement and colors show the varying levels of activation; gray = resting state, white = full activation, and red = discomfort and long-term damage level.
  • Cochlea TD: this is the most realistic state, which models the quasi-real-time behavior of the cochlea with its associated travelling waves. The color scale is the same as above.

Playback radio buttons

  • Normal: baseline playback for normal hearing.
  • Actual: reproduces the sound perceived by the patient whose hearing characteristics have been set in the Manual screen (see below).
  • Mute: completely mutes the sound. Useful for focusing on just one ear.
  • Comp: it enables compensation to model the results achievable with hearing aids.

NOTE: aggressive compensation does not work well with laptop speakers, and requires high quality headsets for the best results.

Display radio buttons

  • Normal: displays the baseline model for normal hearing.
  • Actual: displays the model for the patient whose hearing characteristics have been set in the Manual screen.
  • Comp: it displays the model for the patient when hearing aids are employed.


  • Volume: digital volume control for the model itself. It is used to examine the levels of activation of the cochlea models at varying sound levels.
  • Master: master volume for the computer. It does not affect the behavior of the model, just the playback volume level.

Cochlea Viewing Position

Simply grab the cochlea with a click of the mouse while hovering over the display. Moving the mouse while holding the mouse button pressed will rotate the cochlea in three-dimensional manner. Find the best viewing position for your taste and see what you hear!

Manual screen

The manual screen’s key function is to tune the model for each individual patient. There are essentially two ways to do this. If the audiogram data is already available, it can be loaded into the audiogram area in the upper left hand side of the page. In the case where no previous data exists, an audiogram can be created with a tonal amplitude sweep, using the manual calibration area in the upper right area.


Displays the audiogram for the current patient. To modify the audiogram enter the values by clicking on the selected amplitude for each frequency.

Line radio buttons

Indicate which audiogram line to adjust as described above

  • Hearing threshold
  • Pain threshold
  • Compensation

Load / save / reset buttons

  • Load: loads all values from an audiogram file that had been previously saved.
  • Save: saves all the values in the current audiogram to file for later use.
  • Reset: resets the audiogram values to the default case of baseline normal hearing.

Right / left radio buttons

Controls on this page are mono. Toggle between the right and left ears with these buttons.


To create an audiogram for a new patient using SEEAR directly, perform a tonal amplitude sweep of the auditory system with this module. As the process takes place, the audiogram values are automatically updated.

NOTE: because all computer speakers and headphones have their own unique characteristics, SEEAR must be calibrated before using this module. Calibrate by adjusting the master volume to a level that tones at 20dB amplitude can be clearly heard by someone with known normal hearing.

  • Frequency radio buttons: select the frequency of the test tone being played. All frequencies need to be tested for both ears to create a complete audiogram.
  • Amplitude sliders: select the amplitude of the test tone being played. The value should be increased (or occasionally decreased) from the default value until the patient can hear the tone.
  • Tested check buttons: set when the patient can hear the tone being played.  Once these buttons are checked, the slider red color disappears for an easy visual check. A complete sweep should have no red sliders.
  • Run and Pause buttons: Play (stop) and pause (resume) a test tone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is SEEAR so big and slow?

The current version of SEEAR requires all the Matlab runtime environment for display and models. The environment is flexible and powerful, but also implies a large initial download and works best with a state-of the-art computer. We will come up with a more optimized version when market demand justifies it.

Is the Apple iTunes m4a format supported?

Yes, starting with version .92 of SEEAR it is fully supported.

Are you planning on SEEAR support for smartphones?

Yes we are. But there are several challenges to do that, and we don’t expect to release it in the near future.

What about a web app?

Because of the real-time processing needs, that poses even higher challenges. For the time being we aren’t working on this.

Are your audiogram files compatible with the Noah HIMSA format?

We would love to do that, but unfortunately HIMSA does not make their specs available. Feel free to contact them and ask them to change that policy!

Is English the only language of SEEAR?

Yes for the time being. We’d like to add more languages, but we are focusing on the technology first.