World's worst sound


No, it's not your alarm clock. Trever Cox, a professor at the University of Salford Acoustic Research Centre, wants you to listen to 30 awful audio clips and vote on which is the most headache-inducing:

Fingernails scraping down a blackboard... the scream of a baby... your neighbour's dog barking: what is the worst sound in the world? This is what this website is trying to find out. Acoustic science is concerned with the production, transmission, manipulation and reception of sound, from unwanted traffic noise to beautiful music. Acoustics is about both the physical properties of sound waves and the reaction of humans. This website is interested in the often complex ways in which people perceive and interpret sounds. The aim is to increase awareness of sound psychology by examining what makes a sound unpleasant to hear. Your votes on the site will also give us an insight into what is the worst sound in the world, and maybe why it is the worst sound.

I got through about three before I had to stop and clean out my ears with some Mozart.