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Both a theoretical and experimental comparison of the sensitivities of various acoustic wave sensors is presented. From a theoretical point of view, several methods to calculate the sensor's mass loading sensitivity are reviewed. Particular attention is turned on Love-wave devices which present a high sensitivity, and are very promising chemical sensors. Experimental tests of gas detection are presented for SAW, SH-APM and Love-wave sensors. The results are discussed. Experimental sensitivities are compared. Some hypotheses are given to explain the discrepancy between theoretical and experimental results.