Most patients find it difficult to answer the question, “What does tinnitus sound like?” People hear sounds differently, and that makes it a surprisingly complex question to answer. Unfortunately, it can be frustrating for patients to have difficulty in explaining the discomfort they are experiencing. 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. Patients can listen to the individual sounds to match them to their own experience.
These sample sounds are only a small sampling of the sounds people with tinnitus might experience. As you go through the sound samples, you may or may not find an exact match for your condition. But this is okay. It is quite possible that there may be other sounds and tones that you might be dealing with that are not included in this list. The sample playlist is meant to be used as a tool to help describe your condition as best as possible. Give it a try.
Please Note: We recommend that you turn down the volume on your speakers or headphones before playing any sound files. The recordings, like tinnitus itself, can be pretty loud and irritating.
Given the large variety of sounds each tinnitus patient can experience, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. At Advanced Audiology Care, we customize treatment plans via ZEN sound therapy combined with counseling to help patients reduce the degree to which their tinnitus negatively impacts their quality of life. To learn more about treatment options, check out our page on Tinnitus Treatment .