129/SvEv is an inbred mouse strain popular for use in genetic knockout studies. Here, we compare normal auditory function and vulnerability to acoustic injury in wild-type mice of the 129/SvEv vs. CBA/CaJ strains. Compound action potentials (CAPs) and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) showed slightly higher thresholds for 129/SvEv re CBA/CaJ, especially at frequencies >20 kHz. Middle-ear motion (i.e. umbo velocity) was similar in the two strains; although frequencies >20 kHz could not be evaluated. Permanent threshold shift (PTS) and hair cell losses, measured 1 week after high-intensity exposure to an 8-16 kHz noise band, were smaller in129/SvEv at all exposure levels and durations from 97 dB SPLx2 h to 106 dB SPLx8 h. Furthermore, PTS growth with increasing exposure energy was slower in 129/SvEv (<2 dB/dB) than CBA/CaJ (9 dB/dB). These data suggest that the vulnerability differences lie in the inner ear, not the middle ear. Several 129/Sv substrains show age-related hearing loss (AHL): 129/SvEv has not yet been evaluated (Zheng, Q.Y., Johnson, K. R., Erway, L.C., 1999. Assessment of hearing in 80 inbred strains of mice by ABR threshold analyses. Hear. Res. 130, 94-107). Thus, although other strains with AHL, e.g. C57Bl/6J, show increased vulnerability to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), pairing of AHL and NIHL vulnerabilities may not be obligatory.