General, Research, Technology

What is the most unpleasant sound for a person?

Throughout our lives, we constantly heardifferent sounds. Perfect silence, one might say, does not exist, because even in loneliness and far from civilization we hear our own breathing and heartbeat. Some sounds like the sound of the sea and birdsong soothe us and make us forget about all the problems for a while. But there are sounds that cause very strong irritation and anger. These include the grinding of a needle on glass, the chomping of food, the crying of children, the rubbing of Styrofoam and, of course, the sound of a neighbor's drill on Sunday morning. Only some of these irritants, for various reasons, may not bother you - these sounds just sweep past your ears. The fact is that each person has his own criterion of irritability, and there are people in the world who are indifferent even to the morning repair of neighbors. But is there a sound that is unpleasant to all people without exception? Scientists have several options.

There are very annoying sounds in the world that are familiar to almost everyone.

What sounds are the most unpleasantfor a person, the authors of the Gizmodo publication thought. They contacted several scientists and asked for their views on this topic. Some of the answers were quite unexpected.


  • 1 Sounds that interfere with concentration
  • 2 Chalkboard grinding
  • 3 Sounds of vomiting
  • 4 Obsessive sounds

Sounds that interfere with concentration

The study of people's reactions to various sounds is underwayconstantly. According to Professor Trevor Cox, the most annoying sounds to humans are those that interfere with concentration. During the coronavirus pandemic, when many people are forced to work from home, this is especially true. Imagine that you have many tasks that require concentration - if you do not finish them before the evening, you will let your company down. And then the neighbor starts drilling the wall, or your little child starts to squeak loudly and is not going to stop. Probably, even from such a thought you felt some irritation. And most of all, anger boils over the fact that it is not known when this noise will stop. If the person knows that the neighbor will only drill for 15 minutes and the child only screams until he receives the toy, the irritation will be less. So, at least, Trevor Cox thinks.

Do you get goosebumps too?

See also: How do some people hear colors and taste sounds?

Vomiting sounds

Professor Tjord Andringa also put forward his own version.(Tjeerd Andringa). In his opinion, the sound of vomiting is a universal irritant. When a person hears this, he may even have a so-called visceral reaction, when irritation makes him breathe more often and even feel physically unwell. The sound of vomiting causes this effect not only because the process of cleansing the body is unpleasant in itself. The fact is that in the course of evolution, vomiting began to be associated with something bad. At a minimum, these sounds signal food poisoning and warn that a person is in potential danger.

I dare to insert these awful sounds, you don't have to listen

Obsessive sounds

As a rule, a person gets used tofrequent sounds and ceases to notice them. But this does not always happen. According to Steven Orfield, in 1990 he had an artificial heart valve installed. He was warned that in silence he would hear the sound of a valve and that it might annoy him. The man took it calmly, but later became convinced that the device was really very noisy. It turned out that the valve installed in its heart makes a noise 16 times louder than the manufacturer stated. The sounds of the device did not let him sleep and even sleeping pills did not help solve this problem. Subsequently, scientists drew attention to this problem and the volume of such devices was reduced.

If you are interested in the news of science and technology, subscribe to our Telegram channel. There you will find announcements of the latest news from our site!

I recently published another interesting materialon the topic of sounds. In 2021, the Israeli company Noveto plans to release speakers that allow you to listen to music without disturbing others. There are no headphones in this sound system because the sound is transmitted directly to the ears of a specific person. It sounds complicated, but it's actually quite simple - follow this link and read the details.