Rinne's test evalutates conductive hearing loss by use of a 512Hz tuning fork. The tuning fork is struck, placed on the mastoid process1, and then repeated with the fork held one to two inches away from the ear. The patient is asked which was louder. A normal or positive Rinne's test result shows the air conduction to be greater than the bone conduction. A negative result indicates some amount of hearing loss. However, the test alone is unreliable if the patient has total neural deafness in one ear. This can be differentiated by the Weber's test.
1 To find this bone, place a finger in the soft hollow behind your earlobe. The bone immediately above this hollow is the mastoid process.