What does tinnitus sound like? For many patients, the sound of tinnitus is difficult to describe. As a result, they become very frustrated because they cannot explain the noise in their head. Since patients hear sounds in very different ways, it is not surprising they have this difficulty. While some patients say their tinnitus sounds like ringing, hissing, roaring, or screeching, others describe their tinnitus as sounding like crickets, sirens, whooshing, static, pulsing, ocean waves, buzzing, clicking, dial tones, or even music.
Fortunately, The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) has compiled a playlist of sample tinnitus sounds that patients can listen to to help them find the sound that best matches their own condition.
Remember, this playlist is only a sampling of the different noises that people with tinnitus may experience. As you go through the samples of tinnitus sounds, you may or may not find the one that matches your condition exactly. That is okay. The idea is to use this tool to help you describe your condition as best you can. We recognize that there are other sounds, tones, and pitches that are not included in this sampling that may be affecting you or a loved one. Give it a try.
Please Note: Turn down the volume on your speakers or headphones before playing any sound files. The recordings, like tinnitus itself, can be quite loud and irritating.
It is important to share the sounds of tinnitus with your primary care provider, audiologist, family, and friends, so they get a sense of the noise in your head. Educating others about your condition in this way can be liberating, as it gives others a better understanding of the constant torment you experience on a daily basis.