Clinical trial results: Statistically significant improvement in tinnitus

Clinical Trial Results – Tinnitus Treatment

Sound Options Tinnitus Treatments Inc. takes pride in running a rigorous clinical trial to test the treatment effects of the product. The controlled trial strictly follows the highest standard for clinical trials with randomization, allocation concealment, a placebo group, and with blinding in place. The trial ensures robust and accurate results. The results below reflect the quality of the treatment and our dedication to delivering an effective way to manage and control tinnitus for tinnitus sufferers.

Here are our results from the clinical trial to date:

Sound Options presents results at This Is Long Term Care Conference 2015

November 2015

Check out our latest information poster that we presented at This Is Long Term Care 2015 Conference hosted by Ontario Long Term Care Association! We received a lot of positive feedback about the therapy as a convenient and effective way to treat tinnitus! Please click on poster below to enlarge.

The poster was presented at This Is Long Term Care Conference, 2015, at Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario

The poster was presented at This Is Long Term Care Conference, 2015, at Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario


Podium presents clinical significance of sound therapy at Canadian Audiology Academy conference!

November 2015

The Canadian Academy of Audiology (CAA) represents audiologists in Canada. The CAA serves as the voice for audiology in Canada. This year, the positive effects of Sound Options Tinnitus Treatments’ custom-based sound therapy is presented as a podium at the CAA conference!

Here is the abstract for the podium:

Effects of a personalized music-based sound therapy for treating tinnitus: A randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial

Objective: To investigate the treatment effects of a personalized music-based sound therapy compared to placebo controls among chronic tinnitus sufferers.

Background: Subjective tinnitus has been a distressing and debilitating audiological problem affecting up to 15% of adults worldwide. Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus; existing therapies primarily focus on reducing subjective tinnitus to ultimately improve patient’s quality of life. The approach investigated here uses an embedded computational model of the central auditory system to create an optimal music-based sound therapy according to each participant’s audiogram and tinnitus characteristics. To our knowledge this is the first randomized placebo-controlled trial to test the effectiveness of a music-based sound therapy for tinnitus.

Methods: Fifty participants were randomly assigned to the treatment (n=25) and placebo (n=25) groups. Both groups received music for daily listening; only the treatment group’s music was customized. Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), measurements of subjective tinnitus, were administered during baseline and follow-up (3, 6, and 12-months following treatment). Effects of the treatment were analyzed at each follow-up using general linear regression. The progression of participants’ condition over the 12-month period was examined by random intercept models for the two groups separately.

Results: Treatment group had significantly lower THI scores at each follow-up wave than at initial testing (p<.001). Treatment group’s overall TFI scores also decreased significantly 6 months after the initial testing (p<.001). Within the treatment group, decrease in THI and TFI scores was significant as early as 3 months, and the improvement sustained at 12-month follow-up (p<.005).

Conclusions: The personalized music-based sound therapy reduced subjective tinnitus significantly after 3 months of usage, and continued to offer lasting effects at 12-month follow-up. Future research should examine the neurological pathways of the treatment effects for this sound therapy. Clinical implications will be discussed.

For full details about the conference, click here.

CAA website:

Clinical trial results: Sound therapy drastically reduces tinnitus for patients at 12-month follow-up!

May 2015

Results of the randomized controlled trial conducted at McMaster University to test Sound Options’ treatment reported significant improvement in participants’ tinnitus. The 12-month follow-up of our trial reported over 40% drop in Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) scores for participants assigned to the treatment group (shown below). The THI is a psychometrically robust and validated questionnaire to assess the impact of tinnitus on daily life. This statistically significant drop in THI scores reflects the improvement in the tinnitus loudness; participants had better control of their tinnitus after using the sound therapy. The placebo group (listening to regular music) did not report any statistical significance in their THI scores when compared to baseline.

12-mth trial graph

Clinical trial results: Statistically significant improvement in tinnitus

May 2014

The three-month follow-up of our trial reported close to a 20% drop in Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) scores for participants assigned to the treatment group. The THI is a psychometrically robust, validated and widely used questionnaire to assess the impact of tinnitus on daily life. This statistically significant drop in THI scores reflects the improvement in the tinnitus loudness; participants had better control of their tinnitus after using the sound therapy. The statistical results support the feedback and comments from the participants themselves. Participants in the treatment group reported noticeable improvement in their loudness of the tinnitus, and as a result, enhanced sleep and well-being. 

The 3-month follow-up with the placebo group (no treatment, just listening to regular music) did not report any statistical significance in their THI scores when compared to baseline. All participants and investigators were not aware of the group assignment (placebo or treatment) until all data were collected and analyzed.

Treatment group received close to 20% drop in THI scores, indicating significant improvement in tinnitus.

Treatment group received close to 20% drop in THI scores, indicating significant improvement in tinnitus.

More positive results!

April 2014

As our follow-up continues with participants in our study, we found more positive results. We’re happy to know that those who are currently using our music package are greatly benefiting from it! Please click on image below to have a closer look.Please click on diagram to enlarge.

Participants from the follow-up of our study shared more positive results and we're excited to share them with you!

Participants from the follow-up of our study shared more positive results and we’re excited to share them with you!

Positive results from 3-month follow-up

March 2014

Three-month follow-ups with some of the tinnitus sufferers who participated in our music therapy study reported positive results. Upon speaking with participants (pseudonyms are used) who have used our music package, they noted good changes to their tinnitus and improvements in their lifestyle, including:

  • A positive, noticeable change in tinnitus loudness. George noted that the music package helped make his tinnitus change from ‘deafening’ to a much more tolerable level. The tinnitus no longer distracts him as much as before with work tasks he has on hand.
  • More control over tinnitus. After listening to the music, Robert feels more in control of his tinnitus. The tinnitus used to be a strong ‘shhhh’ sound. Ever since committing to our music therapy study, he describes the change he has observed as the tinnitus in his ears adapting to the music tracks and allowing the music to control tinnitus pitch and loudness. As such, the previously loud pitches in the ears start to subside. For the first time, he feels lasting relief and in control of his tinnitus.
  • No more tinnitus during work. Victoria very much enjoys listening to the music tracks she received, and she notices that tinnitus can sometimes disappear altogether during her working hours. She listens to the music while at work, and it’s helping her cope with the loud ringing in her ears during work.
  • Improved sleep and better well-being. Ever since tinnitus entered Shawn’s life, he has been lacking sleep and due to this, he became easily irritated and quick-tempered. But for the very first time, he now has more hours of sleep after listening to the music package. The tinnitus is also less ‘consuming’ – now he needs to listen for the tinnitus to notice it. As he claims, the music package has greatly improved his sleeping patterns by getting more hours of sleep per day. Because of more sleep, he finds himself less irritable and feels he is taking a big step towards an improved quality of life.
  • No more stigma. Felix suggested that music loaded on any device that plays MP3 music was a great way to deliver a tinnitus treatment versus the use of hearing aids due to the stigma attached to hearing aids (being recognized as hearing impaired), when in fact tinnitus was his only major concern. Having a portable device with music to listen to is a modern way to treat tinnitus.
  • Portable device and effective sound therapy brings music to the ears. All participants that were interviewed during the follow-up collectively agreed that the music package brings so much convenience and joy. They can listen to the music whenever they choose, and wherever they are. Because the music package is different from traditional sound therapies that use white noise or pure tones and other sounds, commitment to routine listening was easy, and the entire experience was pleasant and relaxing.
  • More, Please! Last but not least, most participants in the study so far expressed a desire for more music tracks added to their collection, because they simply want more of something they love listening to every day!

Suffering Musicians


When you think of a rock star, there are many things that come to mind, but tinnitus is not usually one of them. Unfortunately, many musicians suffer from tinnitus because of years of exposure to loud sounds: concerts, practice, and just listening to music. For some, hearing protection does not feel practical, and for others it is something they think about when it is too late.  Because hearing loss is the most common cause of tinnitus, it is easy to see how artists that are exposed to so much noise can develop tinnitus if they do not take precautions. The effect this has on musicians spans generations: from Chris Martin of Coldplay to Neil Young, a whole range of famous artists live with chronic ringing in the ears.

In 2013, various artists got together to work on an album (I Am The One in Ten) to raise awareness for a condition that affects around 10% of the population. Their efforts may not only help with shifting attention to tinnitus, but may also contribute to knowledge of preventative measures (e.g., hearing protection) for tinnitus sufferers.

While most suffering from tinnitus do not have the kind of resources Chris Martin may have, it just goes to show how difficult it has been for tinnitus sufferers to find ways to manage their tinnitus.

Sound therapy’s positive effects presented at 2015 Canadian Academy of Audiology Conference!

In October, Sound Options’ positive results on tinnitus was presented at the 2015 Canadian Academy of Audiology Conference (CAA), the national association for audiology in Canada!  We’re honoured to be sharing the sound therapy’s findings at the CAA, and educating audiologists, researchers and other professionals in the hearing space about the tinnitus treatment. Sound Options is exhilarated that the podium led to a lot more interest in the uptake of the sound therapy across Canada. Thank you for all your support!

For details of the podium talk, please click here: Clinical Trial Results – Tinnitus Treatment

Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Fair a Success!

May is Hearing Awareness Month, and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association hosted a Hearing Health Fair connecting the public to hearing health professionals to learn more about our ears! Sound Options is proud to be invited as one of the vendors to give expertise on tinnitus, which is currently affecting 1 in 10 people. We are very happy that many visitors benefited from learning more about tinnitus, and the treatments offered to treat this debilitating disorder that affects 1 in 10 amongst us.

Sound Options at CHHA

Take Care of Your Hearing From the Start

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How much do you consider your hearing when you are in your teenage years or in your 20s?

Unfortunately, it is not always something that is top of mind.  Many people are exposed to noise trauma that can permanently damage hearing during this period of their lives. For certain groups, such as those serving in the armed forces, this is challenging to prevent. However, there is an alarming trend in the general population when it comes to exposing our ears to dangerous sound levels on a regular basis.

The World Health Organization recently put out a report indicating that over 1 BILLION teens and young adults are at risk of hearing damage.  This is a staggering number, but in a sense, the information is not all that surprising. The reason for this number is the common misuse of headphones (who hasn’t heard someone’s music from across a crowded bus?) and exposure to events where loud sound and loud music are the goal of the venue.  Because these trends are increasing, there is a greater need than ever to give young people an idea of the risks of this noise exposure. This way, they can make an informed choice.

Safe listening levels may not be exciting, but if you are a young person who chooses to get “the most out of music” by turning up the volume, you should be aware that there are some potentially serious consequences.  Hearing loss is the most obvious, but it is not the only one. It is also common for those with hearing loss to develop tinnitus: a constant ringing, hissing or buzzing. You can get a better appreciation for how tinnitus can affect your life, even when young by taking some time to view this.

In addition to this, there is now research suggesting that there may be other effects of young people abusing their ears: depression, anxiety and even thoughts of suicide. In fact, a recent study suggested that those between 16 and 25 years old who experience permanent hearing symptoms were at least TWICE as likely to have symptoms of depression and thoughts of suicide.

Given the trends for hearing abuse among young people, there are clearly many reasons to create more awareness now.


Despite all of the harsh facts and information covered here, it is not all doom and gloom. Music is a great source of enjoyment for us and there is no reason to stop enjoying it if we are mindful of the proper way to do so. Headphones can also be a great way to listen, but too many people feel the need to crank up the volume even if they have around-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones are designed to bring the sound closer to your ear and to help you tune out the outside environment. Because of this, you don’t have to set the volume as high. In fact, the hearing system in the brain adapts to sound so that you can enjoy the music at a safe volume.

We want to do our part to inform people without tinnitus about ways to prevent hearing-related issues. At the same time, even those with hearing damage, can still take steps to protect their hearing. If you are fortunate enough not to deal with tinnitus or to have good hearing, we hope you will consider ways to protect something we often take for granted.

If you consider this now, you will thank yourself in later years.

More Information

Simple graphical information on different noise levels and how long you can be safely exposed to them.

WHO Report:


Study on young people, exposure to loud music, and effects of hearing damage:

Vogel et al. (2014). Risky Music Listening, Permanent Tinnitus and Depression, Anxiety, Thoughts about Suicide and Adverse General Health.

Sound Options creating traction at the Ontario Science Centre!

brainfestSound Options was invited by the Ontario Brain Institute  to do a demo at the Ontario Science Centre! The company created a lot of traction and many learned more about tinnitus and the brain. Potential customers who heard about the Sound Options demo event also travelled from Waterloo and Hamilton region just to see us in action! The demo took place in celebration for BrainFEST, which ran between January 17-18, 2015.

Curious minds of all ages learned how our brain thinks, and process information!



Exciting Progress for 2015

As a tinnitus treatment provider, we are always working hard to provide the best service and care to our customers. While we are still growing, we also try to raise awareness for tinnitus and tinnitus care in the community and wherever we can get people to listen.  Because of this, we were proud to be listed as a company to watch for 2015 by the Hamilton Spectator.  You can read more about us and other companies here:



We’re excited to provide treatments to many tinnitus sufferers in 2015 and to keep helping people reduce their tinnitus and manage this challenging condition.


– The Sound Options Team

Sound Options at Toronto Business Showcase

Impact Showcase For BlogSound Options was featured at a exhibit of up and coming businesses in Toronto at the MaRS building on University and College. This was a great event that featured many exciting ideas and businesses. What we enjoyed most was speaking with the wide range of people that came by our table. We had quite a few interested tinnitus sufferers or members of their family speak with us about our sound therapy and their condition. We are grateful to have a chance to learn more about people living with tinnitus and how they are looking to manage it. 

In addition, we got to speak with many interesting people in the health technology space, and those who are interested in growing and expanding this area. While many of these people were investors or executives, we did have a chance to speak with one young man who has a great spirit and is working hard to inspire young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and math. In years to come, I think we will all benefit from his efforts.


You can find out more about Aidan and his initiative at

Sound Options selected as one of top 3 most innovative and scalable companies in Hamilton!

LION’S LAIR, an annual event developed in partnership by The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Factory, was created to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation. Sound Options competed against 9 other finalists for a chance to win $160,000 in cash and professional services. Each finalist had 25 minutes to present their innovation to 5 industry leaders and business experts who ultimately decided which company receives investments. These pitches were filmed by Cable 14 and shown at the LION’S LAIR Gala. This sold-out event brought over 500 members of the Hamilton business community to celebrate entrepreneurship. Sound Options was selected as one of the top 3 most innovative and scalable new companies in Hamilton. The company took away $30,000 to help them better serve their customers! A roaring success!


Michael Chrostowski, Founder of Sound Options Tinnitus Treatments, on stage.

LION'S LAIR 2014 Finalists!

LION’S LAIR 2014 Finalists!

Shelly-Anne Li and Michael Chrostowski - Sound Options

Shelly-Anne Li and Michael Chrostowski representing Sound Options at LION’S LAIR gala


Sound Options with Dr. Nick Bontis

Sound Options team with Dr. Nick Bontis after announcing winners for LION’S LAIR competition.