Examples of Sound Energy and How It's Produced

, Staff Writer
Updated June 25, 2021
examples of sound energy
    examples of sound energy
    chainsaw: aleksey-martynyuk , balloon: corbac40 , lion: Tigatelu
    Used under Getty Images license

What is sound energy? Sound energy is defined as the movement of vibrations through matter. Sound energy is produced when an object vibrates, which results in noise. The sound vibrations cause waves of pressure that travel through a medium, such as air, water, wood, or metal. Discover some of the many sound energy examples, most of which you've probably experienced.

Everyday Examples of Sound Energy

Sound energy is a form of kinetic mechanical energy. People experience many examples of sound energy in everyday life.

  • an air conditioning fan
  • an airplane taking off
  • a ballerina dancing in toe shoes
  • a balloon popping
  • the bell dinging on a microwave
  • a boombox blaring
  • a broom swishing
  • a buzzing bee
  • champagne glasses clicking in a toast
  • a copier machine
  • doorbell chiming
  • dripping faucet
  • an open fire crackling
  • fireworks popping or exploding
  • a flag flapping in a strong breeze
  • jingle bells
  • meat sizzling on the grill
  • paper crumpling
  • paper tearing
  • pouring milk into Rice Krispies™ cereal
  • radiator pipes clanking
  • a radio
  • a slinky in motion
  • a tea kettle whistling
  • a waterfall
  • waves crashing into a rocky shore
  • a whistle
  • wind chimes clanging

Transportation and Industrial Sound Energy

Heavy equipment such as vehicles and industrial equipment makes noise, so these items are examples of sound energy. The next time you're in an area where there are a lot of vehicles or businesses, pay attention to the sound energy examples present there.

  • car brakes squealing
  • a car or other vehicle crashing
  • a car door closing
  • a car or truck engine
  • a motorcycle engine
  • a car horn honking
  • the siren on a police car or ambulance
  • tires squealing when racing
  • a sonic boom
  • a train moving on the tracks
  • railroad crossing signal
  • the siren on a fire engine
  • a ship's foghorn
  • smoothing wood with sandpaper
  • a jackhammer
  • a chainsaw

Examples of Instruments and Sound Energy

Musical instruments make pleasant sounds, assuming that they are being operated by someone who knows how to play them. What sounds like music to your ears is also an example of sound energy. If you're near an instrument while it is being played, you can sometimes feel the vibrations.

  • castanets clicking
  • a calliope singing
  • cymbals crashing
  • a drumstick striking a drum head
  • electric guitar whining
  • a hammer striking a steel string in a piano
  • a harp player plucking the strings with her fingers
  • a musician blowing on a conch horn
  • a kazoo humming
  • a metal striker hitting a metal triangle
  • a mallet striking a gong
  • maracas shaking
  • a mountain man blowing an alphorn
  • a player blowing across an opening on a flute
  • a tuba blaring
  • a ukulele being strummed
  • a violin bow moving along a violin string
  • a xylophone tinkling

Examples of Sound Energy From Humans

The human body makes a lot of noises. Some sound energy produced by the human body is involuntary, while some represents noises that people make on purpose. Pay attention to the various sounds your body makes throughout the day. You just might be surprised to discover how much sound energy comes directly from you.

  • baby crying
  • belching
  • blowing your nose
  • clearing your throat
  • clicking your tongue
  • coughing
  • cracking knuckles
  • grinding your teeth
  • gulping water
  • hiccupping
  • passing gas
  • smacking your lips
  • your stomach growling
  • sighing
  • snorting
  • sneezing
  • snoring
  • yelping
  • humming
  • laughing
  • shouting or yelling
  • screaming
  • talking
  • whispering
  • whistling

Most activities produce some kind of sound. It's hard to move around or use any kind of object without producing sound energy. Almost everything you do produces sound energy.

  • the pitter-patter of little feet
  • shushing someone
  • someone shuffling cards
  • stomping your feet
  • smooching
  • walking in autumn leaves
  • snapping your fingers
  • operating a vacuum cleaner
  • raking leaves
  • singing a song
  • slapping your thighs
  • clogging or tap dancing
  • tap dancing
  • diver splashing into a body of water
  • clapping your hands
  • clicking a computer mouse
  • operating a hairdryer
  • gargling with mouthwash
  • typing on a keyboard
  • smacking gum
  • taking a shower
  • brushing your teeth

Examples of Animals and Sound Energy

It's not just people who produce sound energy with just about every action. Animals do as well. The sounds that animals make are also examples of sound energy. Some, such as the sounds baby animals make are pleasing, while others, such as roaring and howling noises, can be frightening.

  • baby chickens peeping
  • bird tweeting
  • cat purring
  • cat yowling
  • cricket chirping
  • dog barking
  • dog panting
  • dolphins clicking
  • doves cooing
  • frogs croaking
  • goose honking
  • hen cackling
  • horse hooves striking pavement
  • hyena laughing
  • lion roaring
  • owl hooting
  • pig grunting
  • rattlesnake rattling
  • sheep bleating
  • snake hissing
  • turkey gobbling
  • whale singing
  • woodpecker pecking
  • wolves howling

There are many types of weather conditions, most of which result in sound energy being produced. The next time a weather event rolls through your area, pay attention to the sounds of Mother Nature.

  • hailstones pounding on the roof
  • flood water gushing down a valley
  • rain striking the metal roof on a building
  • raindrops falling on leaves
  • sleet hitting the window
  • claps of thunder
  • tornadoes roaring
  • waves crashing along the shore
  • the howling of strong wind
  • light wind rustling the tree leaves

Learn More About Sound Energy

Now that you have reviewed this extensive list of sound energy examples, you should have a better understanding of what sound energy is and realize that it can be observed just about anywhere. Has this piqued your interest in learning more about energy? Discover many different types of energy and review examples of each.