Unique qualities of sound

Some of the ways that sound is unique are as follows:

  • Sound can provide information about the interior of an object. Our ears perceive patterns of moving air from vibrating objects and sound can carry information about the consistency and hollowness of objects.
  • Sound also communicates information very quickly (Brewster 1998)
  • “Sound exists in time and over space, vision exists in space and over time” (Gaver 1989)
  • Sound is not bound to a specific location

A draw back is that one cannot turn away from sounds nor can one turn off our ears to unpleasant sounds.


  • That drawback is a big one indeed. I have a considered list of three things I find scarce in Taiwan: 1)Quiet 2) Darkness 3) Cleanness. I’ve done my best to insulate myself from the madding crowd by living in a gated community on the edge of the mountains, but still…