The intensity of the tuning fork sound heard by the patient is compared between air conduction (at the orifice of the ear canal) and bone conduction (against the mastoid bone). If the patient has normal hearing or a sensorineural hearing loss, the result in the air conduction test is better, i.e. Rinne test is positive. In conductive hearing loss, the result is better in the bone conduction test, i.e. Rinne test is negative.