5 Artificial Noises You Hear Daily

The labor behind tricking our ears and minds
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2011 6:44 PM CDT
If these noises weren't added, you'd probably think they were broken.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – You’d probably never think of sound as strategic, but engineers and developers in a number of industries have discovered that people respond positively to … well, fake sounds. But whether it’s a satisfying clunk of closing a car door, or the reassuring whirr of the dollar bill deposit in a cash machine, these sounds are artificially-manufactured to instill users with audible confidence in their product. HumansInvent.com found five instances of designer intervention to ensure we get exactly the sound experience our minds expect;

  • Car door slam: Modern car doors are basically hollow echo chambers, so car companies labor intensively with dampeners and locking mechanisms to make sure drivers will hear the ultimate, secure clunk when they shut the door.
  • Engine noise for electric vehicles: Too-darn-quiet cars like the Nissan Leaf have speakers and synthesizers to simulate real engine noise as a safety precaution for pedestrians and the driver.
  • ATM sound effects: You’re used to hearing ATM and vending machines whirr, but essentially any noise heard from a cash machine is 100% artificial.
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