The most annoying sound in the world

Last update on Nov, 30, 2021

Why do we find some sounds so annoying?

We should always enjoy every detail in the form of sound. There are, however, everyday sounds that can be unpleasant to the ear. We are sure you have experienced them at least once.

Surely you will know your favorite song and the most pleasant ones nature has to offer, but you will also know the ones you dislike the most. In addition to our ears, our brain is also responsible for interpreting these sounds that make up our daily lives.

What makes these noises so annoying? In short, the answer lies in the interaction between the part of the brain responsible for processing sound along with the auditory cortex and the amygdala, which is responsible for transforming negative emotions. Auditory cortex's response to sound is modulated by the amygdala. As the intensity increases, a negative reaction occurs.

Sound affects our mood through our sense of hearing. We tend to cover our ears when we don't like these sounds, so we don't hear what is happening around us.

A list of annoying noises

  • The sound of a fork striking a porcelain plate
  • The sound of chalk crunching against a blackboard
  • An electric drill against a wall
  • The sound of a microphone when it's attached
  • Nails on a chalkboard
  • The chains of a rusty swing
  • The strings of a badly tuned violin
  • A child's cry
  • The sound of braking trains
  • The friction of a knife against the glass

We are usually bothered by high-pitched noises which, due to the high frequency and intensity of the waves, we do not like at all and can sometimes make us feel sick to our stomach. As a result of this discomfort, we tend to flee the source of the sound.

In the most extreme cases, listening to these or other sounds may lead to misophonia, a neurological disease that does not tolerate specific sounds and is caused by auditory stimuli misinterpreted by the central nervous system. It is not the same as hyperacusis, which is the sensation of hearing certain sounds that are abnormally loud.

Symptoms or changes in your hearing should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist at Amplifon. We offer audiometric testing to check your hearing at our hearing centers located throughout England. In addition, we stress the importance of regular ear checks and prevention as experts in hearing care. Let us know if you think your hearing is off so we can recommend the right hearing aid or product. 


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