When I'm trying to sleep I hear a high pitched, ringing noise. I can only hear it if everything else is quiet. I've considered if this is a medical issue, such as tinnitus, but before jumping to conclusions I would like to check the room itself for sources of noise. Are there any tools available for doing that? I installed an app on my smartphone for measuring the sound level, but I don't think it's very accurate.

I know my baseboard heater sometimes squeals but I turn it off and can still hear the noise. Also my computers power supply sometimes whine but I tried unplugging it.

Why don't I just go somewhere really quiet to see if I can still hear the noise in my ear so I can find out if it's a medical problem or really is the house? There actually aren't as many places as quiet as the bedroom (but if you have any suggestions let me know). I've tried going to a library but even the shuffling around of people is nosier than my bedroom at night.


2 Answers 2


I'm guessing it's the opposite (or same) reason as this question.

  • Some libraries have a listing room, you could try that but I don't think it's going to work. You have to be 'getting ready for bedtime'.

Until your brain shuts down enough, it strains to adapt its sensitivity to the room level. I'd say this happens to everyone, except I'm biased as a percussionist of many years. That's not to say my ears are all messed up; I hear digital noise (cell phones/video games) as if they were church bells going off and I can still detect a considerable Hz range for my age. (Anecdote: after his chemo treatment, a friend of mine couldn't hear above 14kHz.)

  • Some LED night lights whine like crazy. As do dimmers and the lights they dim.

Try a white noise generator. I prefer computers; it's way too quiet with mine off. For me when it happens, it seems to persist the more I concentrate on it, but it goes away as soon as any ambient noise is introduced.

Accurately capturing room noise is one of the holy grails of audio recording. I doubt that you have the means at your disposal to do so.

What Technique do you use for Room Tone recording?

David Toop says the emptier the space of sound, the greater the apparent volume of sounds within it; the lower the level of auditory background, the more intense the listener’s awareness of minimal interferences.

But this is something different, I think. I'd have to read that entire wiki to see if there's something similar; temporary affects that induce tinnitus. Also (rhetorically), how old are you?

Subjective, indeed. Even now with two computers on, (stop) thinking about it so much; I hear it creeping on...


Looking back, this was a bit of a silly question I had asked. Things I found

  1. The internet modem/router makes a noise, I think most have a fan, if not a power supply that sometimes wines.

  2. Some lights make a humming noise

  3. Even when off, the washer and dryer emitted a noise
  4. As per here, generally speaking humans always hear some noise.

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