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Difference Between Sound and Noise

Sound vs Noise

It is not that hard to discern noise from sound. It is actually just as simple as comparing a rotten tomato from an ordinary set of good-quality tomatoes. Noise is like a rotten tomato while sound is like a set of healthy tomatoes.

Sound is a result of the vibrating air in the surroundings. Vibration passes through the air. It creates different levels of air pressure (higher and lower) through air compression and decompression. These variations travel across the air in the form of sound waves which are responsible for the creation of sound. Although these can’t be seen, sounds are perceived by the sense of hearing. One of the most pleasant forms of sound is that which is generated by non-hardcore musical instruments.

Noise, on the contrary, is a kind of sound – a remarkably loud one, that is. In this regard, shouts are the perfect examples of noise. It is characterized by its unpleasantness and annoying nature that can even lead to some physical ill effects. Aside from hearing loss, noise can also induce severe cardiovascular symptoms of increased heart rate and can bring about psychological effects that manifest as anxiety, lack of concentration, and profound nervousness. It may also be coincidental that the term “noise” is actually taken from a Latin word that literally means “nausea.”

Moreover, noise is therefore deafening all the time compared to sound which can easily be handled or listened to by everyone. This is the reason why noise is a type of sound that is less or least desired. When there’s constant, loud chattering inside the classroom, or when there’s a powerful rock concert held in your neighborhood, one might easily get freaked out because of the terrible noises these situations create.

And so, many means have been employed to reduce or control noise through engineering modification of the workplace or environment. Earplugs are also used in noisy places to avoid hearing problems. Nevertheless, staying away from sources of loud noise is the single best means of prevention.

In terms of vibration characteristics, sound is more regular while noise has a more irregular quality that is constantly fluctuating in a seemingly uncontrolled manner. Decibel (dB), the measure of sound strength or loudness, is used to gauge sound or noise intensity. Obviously, the sound with a higher dB value is louder. Stronger sounds that start from 120 dB can already be considered as noise. Take note, a crying baby can already reach as high as 115 dB. Most safe sounds are less than 100 dB. Hertz (Hz) is another unit that measures sound frequency. The higher the frequency, the higher the pitch, and the more annoying the sound becomes.


1.Noise is a subset of sound.
2.Noise is unwanted sound. It has a clearly negative connotation unlike sound.
3.Noise is harmful to humans in many ways.
4.Sound in its most natural and ordinary state is pleasant and good to hear.
5.Noise has a bigger decibel mark than most ordinary sounds.

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  1. Useful

  2. Super useful

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