Australia's favourite sounds revealed

A recent survey has provided fascinating insight into the sounds which strike a chord with Australians. The results might not be what you’d expect, with the “city of churches” shying away from the gong of church bells and those in sunny Queensland longing for the crunch of footsteps on fresh snow. 

Sounds have the power to evoke an emotional reaction, sooth the mind and bring back memories. Rain on a tin roof will send some people off to sleep and wake others up with a fright. A recording of waves crashing onto the shoreline can transport minds to a faraway island. Most of us have favourite sounds, but how do they compare to the rest of the country?

Bupa surveyed 1536 people comparing 24 different sounds and found that Australia’s favourite sounds were:
  1. Waves on the beach 
  2. Rain on a tin roof
  3. Birds in the morning
  4. Laughter
  5. A cat purring
  6. Distant thunder
  7. A musical instrument
  8. Singing
  9. Wind chimes
  10. Children playing 
Overall, the soothing sound of waves on a beach was rated as Australia’s favourite sound, with rain on a tin roof and birds chirping in the morning not too far behind. 

Of those surveyed, Victorians more frequently preferred the sound of coffee brewing, perhaps a nod to Melbourne’s thriving coffee culture. Laughter, sizzling barbecues and popping a champagne cork also outperformed in Victoria compared to the rest of the country. 

South Australian respondents loved the sound of sport on the radio, and found the crisp fizz of a bottle of beer being cracked open more appealing than others. But despite being a city of churches, the sound of church bells wasn’t nearly as alluring for South Australian residents. Could there be such thing as too much of a great sound?

The Bupa survey found Queenslanders love the sounds of the great outdoors, with waves on the beach the highest ranked sound in the Sunshine State. But despite being a state void of any snow fields, their love for the crunch of fresh snow out ranked other states. 

Queenslanders also rated the sound of wind chimes and children playing higher, while church bells, singing and sport on the radio ranked lower.

Bupa audiologist Jason Scarborough says too many people are missing out on some of the countries most adored sounds, with roughly one in six people experiencing hearing loss. Many are undiagnosed. 

“More than half of the patients I see with hearing loss don’t believe they have a problem. They say things like, ‘It’s not me, everybody just mumbles,’ or ‘If only people would speak more clearly.” 

Bupa has recently launched new Bupa Hearing clinics in Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast to add to the six clinics across Melbourne, providing hearing assessments from accredited audiologists. All patients are welcome – you don’t have to be a Bupa member.

Learn more: Book a full hearing assessment

Mr Scarborough says many people shy away from hearing aids because they don’t understand how discrete and high tech they’ve become. 

“Today's hearing aids are discreet devices that either sit behind the ear with a fine wire or tube running into the ear canal, or small devices that sits fully within the ear canal,” he says.
“With the advances in current technology, most aids today are very good at reducing background sound relative to conversation and can directly link/stream to mobile phone and TV via optional accessories.”
Hearing sounds - Bupa Hearing - Audiology


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