How Do Soundscapes Affect Us for Better or Worse? [Video]


Do you ever feel like the sounds of your everyday life are overwhelming? Whether it be the incessant barrage of messages throughout your phone, the noise of construction outside, or a barking dog nearby – our soundscapes can shape and alter how we experience day-to-day life. Have you ever stopped to consider what influence each sonic landscape has on us emotionally as individuals? Are industrial city noises calming compared to country farmland ones in contrast due to their familiarity perhaps?

And likewise, could serene mountain scenes paired with peaceful music bring inner tranquillity relieving stress when needed most? The notion of utilizing audio engineering as an effective tool capable of not only nurturing personal growth but aiding those sharing similar ecological surroundings is something worthy of further discussion. How do these soundscapes vary and affect us for better or worse in more physical ways than one could imagine?

Introducing soundscapes and their effects on  our health

A soundscape itself is simply what you can hear around you. Recorded soundscapes are a growing field focused on combining various audio elements to produce soundtracks that have been found to positively influence health and well-being. They’re often used in films, TV shows, computer games, and video games, as well as in areas such as health services and public spaces because of the health benefits that they can provide.

Soundscapes have been shown to reduce stress levels, and improve moods and cognitive performance, making them increasingly important in today’s world of non-stop noise. From soothing background music in restaurants to classical orchestrations behind movie scenes, soundscapes are becoming embedded into many elements of our lives. As our attention spans shrink and mental health conditions increase, this unique area of technology could go a long way toward improving overall health and happiness.

Examining the science behind soundscapes

Recent years have seen rising interest in soundscapes and ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, which is a tingling sensation people experience when they listen to certain sounds. ASMR has been widely cited as having positive emotional effects on many people, but there is surprisingly little research conducted into ASMR and soundscapes.

Scientists are beginning to explore the biological impact of ASMR, studying its physiological effects on the body and brain. This burgeoning field of research may help us better understand the potential benefits associated with ASMR and soundscapes, such as improved focus and relaxation. Undoubtedly more investigation is needed if we are to truly unlock the science behind soundscapes.

Understanding how natural sounds affect us

Humans have long been affected by the sounds of nature. The tranquility of a babbling brook or a songbird’s chirping can evoke sensations of peace and contentment in humans. Interestingly, this connection between humans and nature has existed potentially since humans first set out as nomads before civilization arose.

A close examination of anthropology suggests that humans have had a deep affinity for natural sounds dating back to our most ancient ancestors. It is fascinating to consider how humans were connected with the environment even before constructed dwellings and cities began to transform the world around us. While the world has changed dramatically over time, there is a lot we can discover about our connections to nature from these early humans who lived so closely with it.

Exploring human-made sounds and their impact

Though human-made sounds can have positive effects, from the cheerful jingle of ice cream trucks to the soothing sweep of waves on a beach, they can be detrimental to our environment as well. Airplanes, horns, and sirens can be consistently invasive, serving no more purpose than disruption and irritation. A greater understanding of this problem can be found through recordings of various soundscapes that capture both natural and human-made noises.

Listening to such recordings can give us an indication of just how much artificial noise is present in a given environment — and its effects on our mental and physical health. While these sounds can’t necessarily be eliminated, it’s important to recognize their presence and consider ways to minimize them when possible. For this is should be noted however that we are still individuals and that the effects on health and mind are likely to vary from person to person and based on the experiences we made in our lives.

The TEDx talk from Roxanne Layton in Provincetown

Roxanne Layton’s TEDx talk in Provincetown, Massachusetts insightfully explored the idea of soundscape and how it affects both our bodies and minds. Throughout her talk, she demonstrated the immense power of sound in our lives, from stress relief to improving emotional well-being, and gave support to those theories through evidence and examples.

Drawing from many years of experience as a musician, Layton provided an eye-opening take on the potential impact of sound on us all and left us with a greater understanding of its influence in our everyday lives. If you scroll down a little further you can find the TEDx talk of Roxanne Layton with the subject “Soundscape: How it Affects Body and Mind”.


Soundscapes are made up of both natural and human-made noises, and each type of noise can have a powerful effect on our mental and physical health. While research into the science behind soundscapes is ongoing, there is already evidence suggesting that its effects can range from improved focus to stress relief. It’s important to understand the potential implications of soundscapes, and we can learn a great deal from Roxanne Layton’s TEDx talk which provides an inspiring look into how sound affects us.

YouTube: Soundscape – How it Affects Body and Mind | Roxanne Layton | TEDx Provincetown

Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Karchmer Photo at the TEDx Provincetown.

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isak
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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