Describing sounds

It can be very tricky to describe sounds to someone who isn’t hearing what you are through your cochlear implant, and even trickier when you haven’t heard the sounds before. The word list below should help you with this. It is helpful to your audiologist if you can describe how you are hearing through your cochlear implant, and he/she can then make appropriate programming adjustments to help you to find a way of hearing that you can live with. If you have any good suggestions for descriptives of sounds, let us know.

  • Bang
  • Barking
  • Bass
  • Beeping
  • Blaring
  • Blunted
  • Blurred
  • Booming
  • Bottom of a Barrel / Well
  • Breathy
  • Buzzy
  • Cartoonish
  • Chimes
  • Chipmunk
  • Chirpy
  • Chopped Up
  • Clangy
  • Clashy
  • Clear
  • Clicking
  • Clinking
  • Clipping
  • Compressed
  • Cottony
  • Crackling
  • Crinkling
  • Crisp
  • Cut Off
  • Cutting Out
  • Cymbals
  • Damped
  • Distorted
  • Droning
  • Ducks Quacking
  • Ducks Underwater
  • Dulled
  • Echoing / Echoey
  • Electronic
  • Fading
  • Far Away
  • Flat
  • Fluctuating
  • Fog
  • Frog in Throat
  • Fuzzy
  • Fuzzy on the Edges
  • Garbled
  • Gargling / Gargly
  • Grating
  • Gravelly
  • Growly
  • Gurgling
  • Harsh
  • Helium
  • Hissy/”essi”
  • Hoarse
  • Hollow
  • Horn
  • Indistinct
  • Intermittent
  • Jumping Out
  • Layered
  • Mechanical
  • Metallic
  • Metal Pipe
  • Micro-phonish
  • Motorboating
  • Muffled
  • Multiple Voices
  • Murky
  • Mushy
  • Muted
  • Nasal
  • Off the Station (radio out of tune)
  • Out of Focus
  • Out There (voices disconnected from bodies)
  • Pitch
  • Quacking
  • Raspy
  • Resonant
  • Resonating
  • Reverberating
  • Roaring
  • Robotic
  • Rough
  • Rumbling
  • Screechy
  • Shadow Voices
  • Sharp
  • Shrill
  • Sibilant (too hissy)
  • Snap
  • Soft
  • Spongy
  • Squashed
  • Squawky
  • Squeaky
  • Squeal
  • Squeezed
  • Static / Police Radio-like
  • Tapping
  • Thin
  • Throaty
  • Tinkley
  • Tinny
  • Tunnel-Like / Metal Tunnel
  • Tweety
  • Underwater
  • Vibrating
  • Warbling
  • Whiny
  • Whispery
  • Whistling
  • White Noise