14 Formerly Deaf Folks Share the Sound That Surprised Them the Most

If you were born hearing, you might not have spent a lot of time wondering if things sounded the way you expect them to sound. We don’t consider it!

That said, people who have spent their lives not hearing, or not hearing well, have no choice but to just imagine how things will sound – and for these 14 people, who are able to hear better now, there are some sounds that were a total surprise.

14. It’s only mundane to you.

My favourite thing with getting hearing aids was the sudden gateway to all the mundane sounds of everyday life. Clothing rustling, trees and leaves in the wind, gentle ambient house sounds like fans, creaking floors etc. Snow crunching underfoot during really cold days.

Everything. I know modern hearing aids have tons of “noise suppression” so people hear less of this kind of stuff, but I’ve been wearing hearing aids for almost 30 years. I have all that stuff shut off. I want to hear it all.

13. Seems like it should throb.

There was a thread along these lines at some point in the past and I remember someone commented that they were surprised the sun didn’t make any sound.

12. Great, now stop stomping.

My late grandfather hated his hearing aids because “I hear my steps! I never heard my steps.”

11. A different perspective.

When I first got hearing aids at age 6, I was riding in the car home and first noticed the sound of the car.

Then I started rubbing my jacket, and realized that my hand rubbing on material made a sound too.

My mom turns around and says, “Stop that why are you rubbing your jacket so much?”

I responded simply, “I can hear it.” She instantly started crying.

10. That is weird to think about.

The biggest thing for me was that clothes make noise all the time.

My boyfriend was rolling his eyes hard while I, completely bewildered, said “I can hear my PANTS?!!? I’m just walking around, and I can hear PANTS.”

9. The trees are alive.

Deaf from 2-22, regained my hearing after an operation on the structures of my ears themselves six months ago.

I really, really thought trees made a steady sound when they grew. I was so disappointed to learn they don’t!

The power lines aren’t loud, either. I thought they’d buzz quite loudly. My fridge is louder than a power line. How is that possible? So strange.

Edit: You guys keep telling me bamboo and rhubarb make sounds when they grow! I’ll watch the links some of you sent me. Thank you!

For everyone asking why I thought trees made sound; they’re big and alive, as well as powerful and strong. It just made sense to me. After all, I was told the ocean make very loud and distinct sound, and it is those things as well. Why did I think it sounded like a wooden bridge? Because it’s made of wood, like trees. And because of the strong, bendy way they feel when you go over them. Now that I’ve heard the sound of a creaking wooden bridge, it’s the closest to the idea of a tree going that I felt before I realized they don’t, in fact, make a sound we can hear just every day.

8. And it never stops.

Had an audiologist put hearing aids on me a few years ago.

We’re sitting in his office while he tunes the things on the computer when I quietly but sternly got his attention and asked what the ticking sound was.

He stared at me for several seconds and replied “… there’s a clock on the wall behind you”.

Blew my f**kin mind, man.

7. TVs are too loud, generally speaking.

Not deaf, but moderate hearing loss.

When I got my hearing aids I was shocked that I could hear other cars while driving.

That and the TV was a lot louder than I realized.

6. The sound of a child’s voice.

I remember my deaf fathers Chevy Blazer had a squeaky back window that would drive us crazy on long road trips . It was only when he received his cochlear did he finally hear what we’d all been complaining about all those years! He had a good laugh. We never could get rid of that damn squeak though.

He was pretty much fully deaf by the time I was 6 and received his cochlear when I was 18. He was one of the firsts from what I remember. He only had the tiniest amount of hearing left in one ear so they weren’t sure he would really benefit from it.

The day they fitted it he was sat in a chair with his back towards my mother and grandfather. The women popped it on and my grandfather asked, “Wanna go fishin’ Myron?” My father without turning around smiled and replied, “Yeah!” Was awesome.

I remember him being excited to hear my younger sisters voice for the first time which I’d never even thought about until he mentioned it. He was also surprised how deep my voice had become. Seeing him explore all the sounds around him that he had long forgotten was a really beautiful thing.

Unfortunately our time with him was cut short. The implant gave him some balance issues. He wasn’t as steady on his feet and suffered some nausea when working on occasion. We were quite rural and had a bad storm a year later that damaged our roof. My dad being the handy guy he is started doing the repairs himself with me my mom and sister all up there shingling and patching things up. In a moment he was there and the next he wasn’t. The fall pretty much killed him instantly. It’ll be 25yrs next week. Wish we could have one last fishin’ trip.

5. It’s not pleasant for a reason.

Ok so my cousin’s husband’s dad was deaf since he was born due to come condition that basically caused his ears to become sealed shut.

Well, about 12 years ago he had a surgical procedure that basically cut his ear-holes open and had these plastic braces installed to prevent his ears from sealing back up again. My aunt had dragged my dad along to visit them one day and my dad dragged me along.

Well, while we were sitting on his porch and having a few beers, he was saying how weird everything sounded. Some birds sounded beautiful while some were horrible, and apparently people sounded nothing like he imagined we sounded. Apparently he always thought plants made noises, not like the wind through the leaves but like actual noises.

Anyway, the door opens and a baby’s cries came all through the house, he covered his ears and went “what the f**king g**damn f**k is that!?” (His words) and that’s when he discovered THATS what a crying baby (and his granddaughter) sounds like. My aunt smacked me behind the head for laughing while my dad was damn near pissing himself.

4. The sound of the birds.

My father-in-law always had terrible hearing until he got hearing aids a few years ago.

Like a few others in this thread, he was amazed at all the bird noises. He revealed that when his wife used to talk about how lovely the birdsong was, he used to think ‘geez give it a rest, Mary Poppins.

He’s also been notorious for ignoring the ‘your seatbelt is unbuckled!’ beep when he starts driving. The tension would build palpably in the car, as everyone else waited for him to put on the stupid seatbelt and stop the horrible noise. Eventually someone would crack and shout for him to put it on.

I thought he was just being a deliberate jerk, but turns out to him the beeping was just very soft.

3. This just made me laugh.

I once heard from a deaf person that he always was told farts do make a sound so he tries to not fart around people,

I imagine deaf people think they’re pretty loud considering they probably get looked at every time they fart loudly.

2. A few things…

I got my new digital hearing aids 9 months ago.

I’ve got some funnies.

I thought fizzy drinks looked fizzy. Turns out they sound fizzy too.

Tree leaves make a rustling noise that’s peaceful

Everything makes a noise! The mmhhhs, pops and buzzes of the fridge, clock and just shhhhh noise in the air. How do you guys sleep!?

Music sounds sensational. Literally.

I can hear you from another room,

I can hear a car pull up

I can hear the s at the end of bus and spoons and kisses

I can hear a click that tells me the doors shut or accidentally open

Gravel is a nice crunchy noise.

I can hear myself, and it’s not so bad.

Did I mention I love music- always have but now I can HEAR it, it’s incredible. You have all been so lucky to know what I know now.

1. He never imagined.

My Dad was born almost 2 months prematurely and it forever affected his hearing. He was easily 50+ by the time he finally realized he needed hearing aids. I’ll never forget being in the car with him stopped at a light, when I could see this annoyed look come across his face. “What’s that noise?”

“What noise?”

“That clicking sound, what have you done to the car?”

“… You mean the turn signal?”

“…It makes a noise?”

Most of these make sense, now that you’re thinking about it, right?

What doesn’t sound like you think it should? Let’s must in the comments!