Can you hear a faint "background" ringing or hissing in your ears when it is dead quiet?

Can you hear a faint "background" ringing or hissing in your ears when it is dead quiet?
I don't hear any noise when it is quiet
14% (71 votes)
I hear a very slight noise
60% (300 votes)
I hear a bothersome noise
25% (126 votes)
Total votes: 497

Reader BeeJay DeeJay would like to know if readers can hear a faint "background" ringing or hissing in their ears when it is dead quiet? If so, what is the extent of that hiss or noise, and is it bothersome when listening?

phm's picture

It varies, depending on how tired I am, whether I've been driving for a while or working in a noisy server room. But there's always some kind of buzzing, hissing or ringing. Sometimes it's due to normal blood flow, or the muscular stress in my neck affecting my hearing. I don't believe anyone truly experiences absolute silence, but noisy hearing may indicate a medical problem which your practitioner may help you solve. Sufferers of tinnitus may resort to training themselves to ignore the bothersome noise.

Jeffrey Ring's picture

I was a pilot during the Vietnam War and have severe high-frequency hearing loss. My audio range is now 150Hz to 4800Hz with severe tinnitis.

Louis P.'s picture

Only when it is very quiet, and I try to listen for it. No problem during normal activieties ot while listening to music.

wheatie's picture

I am just over 50 and haven't been exposed to too much loud noise over the years.

Jens's picture

A ringing, probably a couple of tones, but nor white or pink noise. It's not bothersome when listening. If I become aware of it, it can be irritating at night when I go to sleep. It's probably some form of tinnitus, but it really doesn't bother me.

Tom Scott's picture

It comes and goes and seems to happen mostly at night. Some days are worse than others. I do not believe it detracts from my music listening.

Isiah Johnson's picture

I've been living with a loud ringing in my head for about 15 years. It varies depending on what I eat or drink or how I feel. I've learned to live with it. I won't let it stop me from enjoying my music.

Rudolph's picture

Slight hissing only detectable when in quiet setting. Exacerbated by alcohol. Never a problem with music.

Jim Tavegia's picture

Major tinnitus. but, at nearly 61, I accept that fact, but don't like it. Protect your hearing while you can. 85dB is plenty loud enough. The days of my agonizing over high-resolution playback equipment are over.

Kousik Vedam's picture

I hear some background hiss and a bit of ringing (very little) when it's drop dead silent.

Pinky The Animaniac's picture

But I have never been in a completely soundproof chamber.'s picture

Just has my ears checked. It is a high tone.

ryouko's picture

The ring is horrid when dead quiet. I have to sleep with loud fans all the time. As long as there's noise, I'm fine, so it does not effect my listening.

Erik Eliassen's picture

It's only bothersome when I get hung up on it. It was alarming at first, but now my mind automatically filters it out in daily life.

Ken's picture

Yep, it sucks.

S.  Chapman's picture

Don't know. I live in the middle of a big city, where it's never "dead quiet." But if you're asking about tinnitus, I don't have those symptoms.

Dimord's picture

But only after rock concerts, which I don't attend any more.

MrBee's picture

I have tinnitus in my left ear,and sometimes very slightly in the right. Music is a way to handle this problem, but only at safe levels. it bothers when I'm in silent or relative low noise, or very stress situation. Keep your volume down, and enjoy concerts with your ears protected.

Jared's picture

It is not bothersome usually, but I take care to not listen too loud. On occasion, I will have sound randomly seem to cut out in an ear. I know that I have to take care of my hearing so I have some ER-20 earplugs on my keychain.

Stephen Curling's picture

The perfect opportunity for this is outside at night during or just after heavy snow fall (without wind) in a rural area. The snow falling blocks most distant sounds and keeps traffic to a minimum, if any. The sounds I hear are either my own pulse in my ears or a "background" noise similar to a very quiet ringing as described by the vote question. I've experienced this many times while shoveling snow at night.

Justin N.'s picture

It started as a bothersome noise as a child, but I've grown accustomed to it over the years. It's a very faint ringing noise, though it's incredibly high pitched; it usually occurs when an electronic device is turned on, like a phone or computer.

Bob V's picture

I have multiple tones that vary in volume and pitch. It came from many years of playing in rock bands.

Sai Liang's picture

I can hear noticeable level of continuous ringing noise in both ears when it is quiet.

Brian Boyle's picture

It's bothersome sometimes, but not all the time.

Seth G.'s picture

I only hear it when its compltetly quite and not always, but then again when I can hear it, the rustling of clothes sounds deafening. Though more often than not I don't hear anything when it's very quiet.

ACB's picture

Only when it is dead quiet, which happens only a few times a month, if that.

j.s.'s picture

I hear a slight noise when it's dead quiet. According to one of my doctors, sinus pressure is one of the possible causes in my particular case. It doesn't bother me when listening to music and I only notice it if there is no noise or sound in the room I'm in.

Bob Lennox's picture

I have constant hissing in my left ear.

Cesar's picture

Playing drums without ear protection isn't a very good idea. Endless nights in loud dance clubs didn't help either. Some nights, it's worse than others, but in general, it tends to be a slight hiss.

zoykey's picture

Been a few years now, but am used to it, only really hear it if I think about it.