Degrees of tinnitus distress were explored in a sample of 216 patients who completed audiological measures and were assessed in a structured interview conducted by a clinical psychologist. The Klockhoff and Lindblom grading system was used and its inter-rater reliability assessed in a subsample showing a high degree of correspondence. Results from the interview are reported in terms of variability of tinnitus, characteristics of problematic situations, distress caused by tinnitus, possibilities to cope, and other influencing factors. Finally, a set of discriminant analyses were conducted on the data set resulting in a final model which included pitch, minimal masking level (MML), tolerance in relation to onset, and avoidance of situations because of tinnitus. This model correctly classified 73% of the subjects into the two levels of distress (grade II and III). There may be a potential role for MML as an outcome variable in tinnitus treatment research.