10 Sounds That People Almost Never Hear Anymore. Do You?

Written By Elizabeth Ervin

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What sounds do we not hear anymore? Recently, someone asked this in an online forum, and some of the answers were nostalgic. While others would be for my parents. Here is what they had to say. Do you remember?

1. Rotary Phone Dial

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“Shick dadadadada,” is the sound one explains is the lost sound of dialing on a rotary phone. After someone questions why they didn’t make it 111 instead of 911, another suggests that it would be too easy for kids playing with phones to dial in emergencies accidentally.

2. Modem Screeching

happy excited senior
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How long has it been since you’ve heard the screech of a modem? Not too long for one commenter who uses it as their ringtone. Another admits they heard a fax machine with the sound at their doctor’s office recently for a flashback from the past.

3. Manual Credit Card Machine

manual credit card machine
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“No one had heard the schik-schik sound” from a credit card slider machine for paper receipts in forever. One confesses they are only familiar with this sound because of Home Alone 2. I’m familiar with it from every time the power went out when I was managing a restaurant, but that’s been years now. 

4. Typewriter

beautiful woman typewriter
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The click-clack of typewriter keys and the bell sound after pressing the carriage return lever have practically disappeared from the world’s ear. However, several people admit they intentionally get louder keyboards because the silent ones make them feel like they can’t type anymore.

5. Nature

woman sitting on dock nature
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While the consensus of the thread was that nature has gotten quieter, others argue that it depends on where you live. Nevertheless, multiple commenters suggest they don’t hear anywhere near the same amount of noises from frogs and birds anymore.

Additionally, people state they don’t hear the splats of bugs on their windshields as frequently as they used to, and it’s cause for concern ecologically.

6. Manual Lawnmowers

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One man misses the sound of manual lawnmowers, admitting they sound like summertime to him. However, a few people confess they still use them with their smaller yards.

7. Air Raid Style Siren

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One user volunteers never hearing the air raid-style siren that used to go off to call in the volunteer firefighters. “It would scale upward in pulses and then wind down in a long wail.”

8. Tick Tock of the Clock

happy man alarm clock
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The tick-tock of a grandfather or wall clock is a sound not many have heard in a long time, while others aren’t familiar with it. My mom had a clock that played a melody every hour. It was annoying during the night, but now I miss that sound.

9. Baseball Games on AM Radios

vintage radio pin up
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Do you remember walking down the street in the summertime when everyone had their windows open, and you could hear the baseball game echoing over the AM radio? I don’t. But I do remember the hundreds of Mariner baseball games my father listened to on the AM radio anytime we were in a moving vehicle.

10. TV Static and TV Test Pattern Sound

old vintage static TV
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The white noise when you fall asleep watching TV when they stop broadcasting is a sound we no longer hear. Others note they don’t remember the last time they’ve heard the TV test pattern sound.

11. A Few Other Fun Sounds

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Finally, these memorable sounds were mentioned as rarely or never heard anymore:

  • Sound of a quarter in a payphone, vending machine, or jukebox.
  • The wheee-ahhhh-wheeeee-uuuuuhhh of tuning an old tube radio
  • The timbre of music on AM radio (so compressed!)
  • Tape hiss of all kinds.
  • The thuh-thuh-thuh of a record needing to be flipped over.
  • The door of a mom-and-pop grocery with a strap of sleigh bells nailed to the top.
  • The high-pitched dog whistle whine of a cathode ray tube.
  • The hiss-tap-tap-tap of an indoor steam boiler radiator pressurizing.
  • The sizzle of a car cigarette lighter lighting a cigarette.
  • The sound of an impatient person repeatedly ringing the desk bell in a waiting room.

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older man with glasses
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This article was published and syndicated by Sober Healing.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.