Frequency-specific auditory brainstem responses (ABR) (frequency range 2-31.5 kHz) were used to describe age-dependent alterations in frequency sensitivity in CBA/ca (to 30 months) and C57BL/6J (to 16 months) mouse genotypes. The two strains displayed an age-related loss similar to that of humans, with a primary decline in high-frequency sensitivity. CBA mice showed a slow, yet gradual decrease in sensitivity to high- followed by low-frequency until 18 months of age and a rapid deterioration at all frequencies thereafter. C57 mice demonstrated precocious aging in auditory sensitivity in an unsteady rather than gradual manner. By testing the same individuals on repeated occasions it was shown that, for C57 mice, the degenerative process was more precipitous with three phases, and that the individual variability was larger than that of CBA mice. It is suggested that the two mouse genotypes can be used to express the different aspects of human presbycusis in individual variability and modes of gradual or staggered progression.