15 People Who Used To Be Deaf Share The Sound That Most Underwhelmed Them

Most of us can’t really imagine what it’s like to be deaf, or hearing impaired to the point that you have to imagine what things sound like for everyone else.

These formerly hearing impaired folks had definite ideas on what would be the most amazing thing to truly hear – and these are the 15 sounds that disappointed them.

15. Honestly, same.

My friend said grocery cart wheels making a sound was both surprising and irritating.

14. The kitty part must have been satisfying, though.

I was home alone after having my cochlear implant turned on for the first time and I nearly peed my pants when the refrigerator started making ice.

Also discovered that my cat purrs very loudly.

13. I love that sound!

My sister refused to get hearing aids for the longest time.

She finally got some and she said the first thing she noticed was like a weird popping sizzling sound.

It was the carbonation in her soda.

12. There are just so many noises.

I’ve worn HA all my life though until around 2010 they had always been analog so not very good at picking up little sounds. I was being fitted for my first pair of digital HA and kept hearing this odd noise even asking my audiologist what’s that noise? Turned out it was me moving my feet on the carpet. I’d never heard that shifting around sound before.

Got newer and even better ones a couple of weeks ago and holy cow I now hear all sorts of noises I’ve never heard.

Technology can be a wonderful thing.

11. You can’t un-notice it.

When my mom finally got hearing aids she complained she could hear everything now such as her own foot steps.

I was like we all hear our own steps so I guess welcome back to the hearing club.

10. Like Batman.

I upgraded from 2006 to 2018 hearing aids and it was… insane.

My old hearing aids made things louder, but my new hearing aids are truly glasses for my ears (I’m not deaf, but hard of hearing and cannot pick up soft sounds and high frequencies)

My clothes make sound when I move?? Everything just sounds.. crisp. I feel like a bat

9. Cicadas – love ’em or hate ’em.

My wife had the same thing, bubbles as a wave finishes breaking right at the high water mark on beach. Cicadas chirping, birds tweeting. All that high register stuff you don’t think about when your hearing is better than that.

Her first language isn’t english but I do remember her learning a few new words off her sister in her native tongue not long after.

8. His friend’s voice.

I have a friend who was born deaf and had cochlear implants as a baby.

I don’t fully understand it all, but I do know he couldn’t hear pitch, even with the implants.

To him girl and boy voices all sounded roughly the same and he couldn’t listen to music because it all sounded the same.

A few years back he got his implants upgraded or replaced, like I said I don’t really understand it. Anyway, he was suddenly able to hear pitch. He said the single scariest thing was emergency vehicle sirens.

He’d never heard the proper noise before, so assumed it was just a kind of monotonous whine they made. He was absolutely terrified when an ambulance turned on its siren next to us. Suddenly he could hear the wailing all these emergency vehicles made. He said he found the wails to be very eerie at night.

Also, when he first heard my proper voice he said ‘oh, I wanted you to sound better’. Ouch.

7. They really should be quieter.

I got hearing aids at 31.

The sound of the refrigerator surprised me.

I’m an engineer by trade and was trying to figure out why it made such a terrible noise thinking it must be broken.

6. Just ask Captain Hook.

When my uncle got cochlear implants, he spent the whole next day wondering what this constant, obnoxious, ‘ugly’ noise was. After hours of searching, found out it was the clock ticking. He questioned why the hell it needs to make noise. I suppose without having it tuned out, it would be pretty annoying.

On a happier note, when he first got them in, he cried with happiness when he realized his brother sounded different than the nurse.

5. Their own body, mostly.

I got a BAHA (bone adhered hearing aid) implant this February. I’m 29F, moderately hearing-impaired for the past 15 years.

I’m still surprised by:

  • clothing rustling
  • my own footsteps
  • my stomach making quiet gurgling sounds
  • the sound when I scratch an itch
  • squirrels running across the roof 😊
  • rain
  • picking out individual instruments in a song

I hate that I now hear:

  • chewing and eating sounds
  • farts (I used to only hear the loud ones!)
  • peeing is SO LOUD
  • background TV noises in businesses — used to just be white noise for me, now that I can parse speech it’s super distracting
    random neighborhood sounds, e.g. children yelling, dogs barking, weed whackers, etc.
  • …and the sound quality of music is kinda meh via my implant.

Still 50000x worth it.

4. What do the trees sound like?

My friend was deaf and he said the most underwhelming things were opening something carbonated, and a dog bark and the most surprising things was lights not making noise and for some reason trees not making noise?

3. The dogs agree.

I was 90% and 75% deaf at 6.

After surgery I recall crying at the vacuum cleaner for a while. It was SO LOUD and the noise overwhelmed me.

2. Sometimes silence is golden.

When I got my hearing aids, I remember sitting in my room and think it was pouring down outside.

Went to have a look, dry af.

Turns out it was the sound of my clothes moving against each other. So overwhelming.

Now, the silence is more anxiety inducing, because I know that there’s so many things around me that are happening and I don’t know about them

1. There’s something satisfying about it.

Not totally deaf, but when I got my hearing aids, I heard leaves crunching under my feet.

I stood there and crunched them for a while, in awe.

I think questions like these are so interesting – I’m so glad there are people who answer them.

Did anything on this list surprise you? Tell us what and why in the comments!