What Tinnitus Sounds Like

Understanding what tinnitus sounds like can help you understand  whether you have tinnitus or not. People's experience of tinnitus is very different from person to person. For one person tinnitus might manifest as a constant ringing and for another it might manifest as different sounds which vary in pitch and length. Tinnitus sounds are usually categorised into one of three types. Tonal, pulsatile or musical.

Tonal TinnitusPulsatile Tinnitus
Musical Tinnitus
Tinnitus which is
continuous in sound
and has specific
Sounds like a
heartbeat or
pulse and is
in rhythm with
a person's heart
Sounds like one
piece of music
on a continuous
Tinnitus CategorySubjective tinnitusObjective or
somatic tinnitus
Musical Tinnitus
CausesHearing Loss, trauma,
excessive noise exposure
and stress
Changes in blood
flow near the
ears. Can be caused
by cholesterol build up,
tumours, blood vessel
disorder & turbulent
blood flow.
More prevalent in
women than men.
Associated with blood
vessel disorders,
brain tumours, Alzheimer's
& epilepsy.
Ringing, hissing,
whistling, buzzing,
static, screeching
Pulsating soundAny music that
repeats itself

Tonal Tinnitus

Tonal tinnitus is the most common type of tinnitus. It describes tinnitus which has definable tones. These tones may change in length and pitch and become mixed together. They can take the form of a specific tone, ringing, buzzing, whistling, static, screeching, hissing or roaring. Most people have experienced some form of tinnitus usually after being exposed to a noisy environment during a pop concert. Ringing in the ears might persist for a few hours or couple of days but usually subsides. However prolonged exposure to loud noise can make tinnitus more persistent usually because of permanent damage or hearing loss. Other leading causes of tonal tinnitus might include trauma, shock, stress or anything overwhelming.

Pulsatile Tinnitus

Pulsatile tinnitus describes the perception of sounds which are in rhythm with a person's heartbeat. This type of tinnitus is associated with objective or somatic tinnitus.

Pulsatile tinnitus sounds like a heartbeat or pulse. It is caused by problems with blood flow and muscle movements in the face or neck or near the ears. Pulsatile tinnitus is often associated with blood vessel disorders.

Musical Tinnitus

Musical tinnitus sounds like a specific piece of music which is on a continuous loop.

What Tinnitus Sounds Like


Please make sure you have reduced the volume on your computer, tablet or mobile phone before listening to the below tinnitus sounds!

Tinnitus 4000 Hz


Tinnitus 7500 Hz


Buzzing Tone


Tinnitus Roaring Tone


Screeching Tone


Static Tone


Teak Kettle Tone

Most people experience tinnitus at some point in their lives. Complaints of ears ringing after a loud concert are typical or an unexplained ringing which subsides only seconds after its arrival. It is when tinnitus symptoms persist that we can become irritated by them. At this point tinnitus can become problematic tinnitus. This simply means that is has become a problem and starts to affect our lives in a negative way.

Individuals experience tinnitus in a number of different ways due to a number of different interpretation factors. These range from age, outlook on life and circumstances surrounding their tinnitus. The way it affects their lives therefore also differs. They might experience problems with concentration, sleeping, depression or anxiety. Because of this there are different tinnitus solutions for different people.

Tinnitus Counselling is available in London & Hertfordshire

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