What does tinnitus sounds like?

Tinnitus, from the Latin word “tinnire” which means “to ring”, is a medical condition that affects more than 60 million people worldwide. Tinnitus patients complain of hearing unusual sounds originating from their ears or in their head that only they could hear. Many sufferers report that their tinnitus sounds like high-pitch background squeal emitted by television sets or computer monitors. Others describe the sound like hissing steam, rushing water, chirping crickets, pulsatile/beating sound, humming sound, and even chain saw sound. The sound can also be totally new to the patient that he/she cannot describe it clearly or cannot associate it to a familiar sound. Generally, tinnitus sound differs from person to person. The loudness of tinnitus sound also varies from very low to very high; patients subjectively describe the loudness from 1-10. In a database of 1544 tinnitus patients, the average loudness reported is 7.5. When the patients compared their tinnitus sound to externally generated noise, the average loudness is 7.5 decibels (decibel is a unit of relative loudness).

Do you want to identify what kind of tinnitus sound affecting you? In the website Tinnitustreatments.org are different recordings of tinnitus sounds created by researchers in hearing organizations and institutions. The recordings below are in the .wav and .mp3 formats so make sure that your player can read these digital formats.