Top 10 Most Appealing Sounds

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Sound, or hearing, is one of only five senses we humans have to interact with the world around us. It is through sound that we perceive much of what happens around us, and our love affair with manipulating sound into music has endured since prehistoric times, when our early ancestors first discovered rhythmic drumming, and spent many a night dancing to the hypnotic beat around their camp fires, or so the archeologists tell us.

To this day, music, song, and certain noises have the power to elevate mood, bring back memories, whether happy or sad, evoke joy or fear, and alter out emotional state in many other ways. For instance, what would a horror movie be without the slow, ominous beat, building to a crescendo, or the scream of the hero as they are caught unawares by whatever it is that goes bump in the night?

What else but a favorite golden oldie, on your car radio as you edge your way homewards from a hard day’s work, would have the power to bring a smile to your face?

We humans are so enamored with sound, in fact, that we have developed our complex speech patterns from it, eschewing the largely body language communication of most other mammals in favor of the spoken word. We’ve created several complex, highly specific tongues, all of which we feel immense pride and an almost patriotic sensibility toward.

We use our speech to create works of art, in the form of plays, and books. Armed with the tool of speech, we venture into the world, using it to make friends, learn, and find love. Speech is, in fact, the single most important thing that sets us apart from lower animals, and we should appreciate all that it’s done for us.

But aside from speech, what are the most appealing sounds?

Because of the emotive aspect to sound, each human will experience them slightly differently, and may have a slightly different list of favorites, but we’re sure you’ll find at least one or two of your favorites on our list of the top ten most appealing noises, which we bring to you, as usual, in no particular order.

10. Rain on a Tin Roof


Enjoyed while tucked under the covers, or in front of the fireplace with a loved one, there’s not much to beat the rhythmic tap tapping of rain on a metal roof. If you round out your experience with a cup of cocoa, while you snuggle, warm and dry and listen to that hypnotic sound, you’ve got a recipe for the perfect winter’s evening in.

Of course, it doesn’t only rain at night, but who could argue with the enjoyment derived from sitting, warm and toasty in bed on a rainy day, reading a favorite book? Sheer bliss, and all the more so thanks to the rain on a tin roof.

If you don’t have a tin roof, don’t despair! The sound of rain, driven by the wind, lashing on a window, has about the same effect. So next time the weather turns, draw your quilt nearer, and make yourself a steaming cup of cocoa, and settle down to listen to one of the very best sounds you’ll hear for a long time to come.

9. A Babys First Cry


This one is for the parents out there. After nine long months of anticipation, preparation and anxiety, which often endures right up to the last moment, there’s nothing better than hearing the first cry of your newborn infant. It may be thin, plaintiff, or full force, but that first cry, whatever it sounds like, is surely the one that cements the relationship between parent and child.

In fact, it’s enough to diffuse any amount of tension in a delivery room, that first plaintiff wail that proclaims to the world that your little bundle of joy, who you’ve worked so hard to bring to life, is going to be just fine.

This is especially memorable for those mothers who have had a difficult pregnancy or delivery, or if dad or other family members spends the delivery in the corridor instead of the delivery room, and while there will be many cries after, that first one is the one that will bring the biggest tears of joy to your eyes.

8. The Snuffling of a Puppy or the Purr of a Kitten


You’d have to be a very hard person indeed not to be moved by the snuffle a puppy emits when brought close to your ear, when they are still tiny enough to fit in one hand, and before their eyes even open to the world.

Holding a warm, wriggling bundle to your ear and hearing that slightly wet, sometimes wheezy sniff and snuffle a puppy produces is enough, usually, to bring a smile to anyone’s face, and even to cause the hairs on your arms and neck to stand up. It may even result in a giggle of delight. Regardless of what those puppies may one day grow into, that moment, when they are tiny and helpless, snuffling in your ear, is probably one of life’s best.

Kittens, on the other hand, seem to purr from almost the moment they’re born. It’s often surprising that such a powerful and deep rumble can come from such a small and fragile body, but holding a kitten, stroking it, and hearing that sound is surely another of life’s special moments. And the good thing is, if it’s your cat, you’ll hear that rasp of a purr for years to come too.

7. The Final Bell of School


If you are a child of school going age, or a grown up, you’ll know the immense anticipation that mounts during the school day, as the final bell approaches. By the time you reach your final period, the day seems interminably long, and you are almost sure that sound will never come.

As slow minutes tick by, however, and you edge ever nearer to that beautiful sound, the anticipation mounts once more, reaching fever pitch, and when you finally do hear that electronic peal, it’s as if the shackles have been removed. Freedom awaits once more!

Of course, if it’s the last day of school before the summer holiday, the wait seems even more interminable, and the ecstasy when that sound eventually comes that much more intense. Almost makes you wish for school again, doesn’t it?

6. The Tinkle of Change


There are no sounds that are quite like it. The musical tinkle of small change as it tinkles in your pocket. That reassuring sound of money in a money box when you were growing up, or better yet, that same tinkle, combined with the bells and whistles that indicate a win on a slot machine when gambling.

The more noise that money makes, the happier we seem to be, and there’s certainly no mistaking it. Maybe it’s because the more noise it makes, the more there’s likely to be, and while it can’t buy love, in the words of the immortal Beetles, it certainly brings security.

As long as there’s a tinkle of change in pocket, the world looks a little rosier, life a little easier to handle, and the future a little brighter.

5. The Crunch of Gravel


For centuries, driveways have been covered with gravel, and personally, I think the practice endures to this day, despite the introduction of more modern materials, in so many homes, because of the unique sound it produces.

When awaiting guests, there’s no sound better than the much anticipated crunch on gravel, enough to send kids and adults alike squealing and running to meet their long awaited visitors. Or what about the unanticipated visits, when someone arrives unexpectedly, with that telltale crunch.

Like most of the others on this list, it’s a unique noise, that would not be confused with any other, but that affects us all almost the same.

4. Ice in a Glass


Another unmistakable sound, the tune of ice cubes floating in a glass, or the fizz and crack as they meet a beverage as it’s poured in.

There’s little that evokes such a feeling of cool, even on the hottest day, as that musical melody that ice makes in a glass as it melts all to rapidly in the heat of the sun. In fact, just hearing that clink as the ice bobs on the surface in a glass can bring to mind the image of a frosted glass, filled with a long, cool draught.

Maybe it’s because of the transience of the ice, or maybe just because we know the beverage will cool us, and slake our thirst that much better because of those little irregular cubes, but it’s definitely right up there on the list of appealing sounds, for me at least.

3. Waves Crashing on Shore


The sound of waves crashing on a shore will forever evoke memories of happy family holidays by the sea, lulled to sleep gently as the eternal sea pounds the sand or rock rhythmically.

Maybe it’s the feeling of permanence that the sea evokes in an uncertain world, or simply the hypnotic regularity of the noise, but in spite of the fact that we know the sea can be destructive, that noise is one of the most peace invoking around.

Even when the sea is rough, crashing like thunder on a rocky shore, as long as you and your family are safe and warm, you will tend to feel a sense of cozy peace, knowing that today, tomorrow, and for the rest of eternity, those waves are going to be pounding that shore, at regular intervals. It’s a reminder of the permanence of the world.

Of course, this sound is best enjoyed on an isolated stretch of coast, where the human noise and hum of traffic won’t detract from its power to instill peace, but wherever you can get it, take it. It’s an enduring sound, which will stay with you.

Maybe that’s why people are so fascinated by the sound of the sea in seashells? An opportunity to take a little bit of that feeling home with them perhaps?

2. A Crackling Fire


Here’s another one that depends largely on the weather! There’s no denying, that the crackle or roar of a fire, whether in a hearth, a campsite, or as a bonfire on the beach on a cool evening, has the power to affect the soul.

The appeal of the sound is almost directly proportionate to the chill in the air, and maybe it’s also got something to do with our ancient ancestors, after all, the discovery of fire was a turning point in our evolution!

That familiar crackle means warmth, heat, and possibly a hot meal to many of us, and we instinctively gravitate towards the crack and pop it emits as is burns, hissing as steam from hidden sap escapes, the dancing flames throwing patterns on our faces.

Maybe that’s why camping is so much fun? It can’t be the prospect of the hard ground or all the bugs, that’s for sure!

1. Your Own Name


Scientists have actually proven this one. The most appealing sound to human ears is the sound of your own name.

Perhaps it’s because it’s your unique identifier, or maybe it’s because of the social nature of people, but the sound of our names, whispered, shouted in excitement or joy, or spoken gently, has a profound impact on us.

Imagine, for example, that you were stranded, as some have been, on an isolated island, with no other human company. All of a sudden, the prospect of hearing your name spoken in a voice other than your own takes on a whole new depth of meaning, doesn’t it?

Because of the power of the name, it’s a common practice for sales and business people to create systems by which to remember names. The name of their client becomes a key, with which they unlock the potential for business.