Difference between Noise and Sound

Both terms that are related to the perception of the vibrations of sound waves through the ear. These concepts are totally different, therefore, we present the differences and the characteristics that each one has.


It is a confusing and intense sound that causes an unpleasant auditory sensation. This term refers to different concepts:

  • In telecommunications, noise is called the interference of sound waves created by other waves or electronic devices or equipment.
  • Noise is known as the sound coming from the masses or conglomerates of people that emit different sounds, the result of the union of these sounds is known as noise.

There are different types of noise, according to its origin noise can be classified into:

  • Ambient: It comes from the environment in which no sound stands out.
  • Specific: It arises from a determined and identified source.

Depending on its issuance, it is classified as:

  • Continuous: it is a lasting noise.
  • Intermittent: it is transmitted in silent and intermediate moments
  • Impact: caused by the blow of some particular object.


It is the sensation that is generated in the ear through the vibration of various elements. It originates with the agitation of bodies, spreads in the form of sound waves. It has four basic characteristics: timbre, tone, intensity and duration.

 The timbre allows the ear to distinguish and differentiate sounds, it is defined by the frequency of the sound wave and defines the seriousness or sharpness of the sound, the intensity is the power with which the sound is perceived and the duration is the permanence of the sound during a certain period of time.

It is transmitted through the air and its expansion in solid and liquid media. Sound requires a medium for its transmission. Its speed will depend on the medium used for it. It has the quality of being pleasant to the person’s ear.

Difference between noise and sound

Noise Sound
Not pleasant to a person’s ear. It is pleasing to the human ear.
It lacks harmony and its tone is irregular. It has harmony, concordance between tones.
The vibrations it transmits are irregular. Its vibrations are regular.


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