Significant hearing loss is one of the most frequent congenital diseases and present at birth in approximately one in 1000 newborns. During the first years of life, this number of children with permanent hearing loss rises by approximately the same amount. Hearing impairment is not an obvious condition in newborns in most cases and produces very few signs in infancy. Such hearing loss threatens normal speech and personality development. The longer the child is without auditory stimulation by speech, the more difficult it is to acquire the missed linguistic skills. Therefore, early detection and rehabilitation of such hearing loss is crucial. Universal newborn hearing screening is the most effective method to detect such impairment and is based on objective audiometric test methods that were recently developed and adapted for screening requirements. Useful tests are otoacoustic emissions and the auditory brainstem response. This article reviews this new screening tests in general and with special regard to the situation in Switzerland.