Do You Agree With These Annoying Sounds?

Posted By Kelly Hone on 11.05.2018 11:06

sound wave

Why do we find some noises unpleasant?

Noise is an inevitable part of our everyday lives and unfortunately, some noises can be detrimental to our hearing. As day to day noise can be difficult to avoid on occasions, people usually become annoyed and irritable when exposed to it.

Did you know, the human brain is programmed to protect itself from any harm and to become alert and anxious when it picks up danger. Many sounds of a particular frequency and decibel level are perceived by the brain as a potential attack (such as alarms, sirens or horns) and evoke a sense of emergency. That raises the adrenaline level and increases the heart rate. If the danger is not real, as it is with many noises that we experience every day, this leads to irritation.

Studies on annoying sounds

Various studies around the world have tried to find the reason why some noises and annoying sounds are so unpleasant compared to others. While it is true that annoyance is individual, there are some sounds that can be defined as universally irritating.

Since the 2010 Football World Cup, vuvuzelas have gathered a substantial amount of resentment. A studyVuvuzelas conducted by New Scientist found out that vuvuzelas are not only annoying but also very dangerous for hearing. Listening to the sound they produce from 1 meter exposes the ear to 116 decibels. Spending more than 22 seconds in that environment is beyond the allowed work noise level.

10 most annoying sounds

Numerous noises could be defined as irritating depending on the particular individual. Some people find sounds that others make bothersome but do not mind when they make them personally.

Below is a list of some of the most common annoying sounds:

  1. Whining
  2. Eating, chewing, and slurping
  3. Snoring, sniffing and loud breathing
  4. Mobile ringtones
  5. Alarm clocks and car alarms
  6. Polystyrene rubbed together
  7. Nails or a squeaky chalk against a blackboard
  8. Clicking pens
  9. Dogs barking
  10. Mosquitos and flies

What is important to note is that perception is dependent on personality and very often on mood. It may be surprising to know that many noises (from 1 to 3) are all human actions performed on a regular basis and are more connected to perceived manners and behaviour than to a specific volume or frequency level!


ear pain