Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The gift of hearing is an awesome thing. So many of us have the luxury to take it for granted.

How many 'first' sounds do we hear regularly that barely register for memory?

For those of us who are given sound after never having it or losing it and regaining it, have an appreciation most of us will never understand.

They embrace sound with such thankfulness and clarity. They can also tell you when hearing disappoints.

After all they have a build up of imagination in mind.

Redditor u/XxXNoobMaster69XxXx was hoping the formerly hearing impaired would sound off a bit by asking:

Ex-deaf people of reddit, what was the most underwhelming sound, respective to your expectations?

I'm used to being disappointed about a lot in life. I've given up on looking forward to much. This way anticipation doesn't trip me up. But I've never been let down by sound. Music can be underwhelming sure, but that's usually due to the lack of creativity. So this should be fascinating.

Too Loud!

All That Nicksplat GIF by NickRewind Giphy

"I was home alone after having my cochlear implant turned on for the first time and I nearly peed my pants when the refrigerator started making ice. Also discovered that my cat purrs very loudly."

- nooneknowsmex

The Collision

"Some dude in an old thread surprised clouds colliding didn't make noise."

- Jakey_Bone

"DUDE THAT WOULD BE SO DOPE just like HUUUUGE distant, near peaceful thuds of clouds hitting each other, like a low rumbling in the ground you can feel with the same bassy noise of a far off explosion. God, I've been hearing everything all my life and now I'm sad clouds don't make noise. It would help people realize how large and heavy clouds are, too."

- JoffyAgain

Sounds along the way...

"I've worn HA all my life though until around 2010 they had always been analog so not very good at picking up little sounds. I was being fitted for my first pair of digital HA and kept hearing this odd noise even asking my audiologist what's that noise? Turned out it was me moving my feet on the carpet. I'd never heard that shifting around sound before."

"Got newer and even better ones a couple of weeks ago and holy cow I now hear all sorts of noises I've never heard. Technology can be a wonderful thing."

"Also, remembered another sound - the bubbles popping in a soda/coke. Never had heard those little fizz/pops before."

- Hades-Cerberus

The Ugly

"When my uncle got cochlear implants, he spent the whole next day wondering what this constant, obnoxious, 'ugly' noise was. After hours of searching, found out it was the clock ticking. He questioned why the hell it needs to make noise. I suppose without having it tuned out, it would be pretty annoying."

"On a happier note, when he first got them in, he cried with happiness when he realized his brother sounded different than the nurse."

- ventus976

Several Items

Listen GIF by The Maury Show Giphy

"My friend was deaf and he said the most underwhelming things were opening something carbonated, and a dog bark and the most surprising things was lights not making noise and for some reason trees not making noise?"

- sharpshot877

Sirens can try anybody's last nerve. I know they are necessary but Lord can they be brutal. I think I would be more surprised if sounds didn't match. I'm genuinely surprised when people's voices are higher or lower than what I thought they'd be. Let's hear some more.

The Sizzle

shaking still life GIF by jjjjjohn Giphy

"My sister refused to get hearing aids for the longest time. She finally got some and she said the first thing she noticed was like a weird popping sizzling sound. It was the carbonation in her soda."

- scrappysquash

Sounds Dry

"When I got my hearing aids, I remember sitting in my room and think it was pouring down outside. Went to have a look, dry af. Turns out it was the sound of my clothes moving against each other. So overwhelming. Now, the silence is more anxiety inducing, because I know that there's so many things around me that are happening and I don't know about them."

- SophieIbotson

'oh, I wanted you to sound better'

"I have a friend who was born deaf and had cochlear implants put in when he was a baby. I don't fully understand it all, but I do know he couldn't hear pitch, even with the implants. To him girl and boy voices all sounded roughly the same and he couldn't listen to music because it all sounded the same."

"A few years back he got his implants upgraded or replaced, like I said I don't really understand it. Anyway, he was suddenly able to hear pitch. He said the single scariest thing was emergency vehicle sirens."

"He'd never heard the proper noise before, so assumed it was just a kind of monotonous whine they made. He was absolutely terrified when an ambulance turned on its siren next to us. Suddenly he could hear the wailing all these emergency vehicles made. He said he found the wails to be very eerie at night."

"Also, when he first heard my proper voice he said 'oh, I wanted you to sound better'. Ouch."

- itchyturtlewhispers

Where to Begin?

"I got a BAHA (bone adhered hearing aid) implant this February. I'm 29F, moderately hearing-impaired for the past 15 years."

"I'm still surprised by:

  • clothing rustling
  • my own footsteps
  • my stomach making quiet gurgling sounds
  • the sound when I scratch an itch
  • squirrels running across the roof 😊
  • rain
  • picking out individual instruments in a song"

"I hate that I now hear:

  • chewing and eating sounds
  • farts (I used to only hear the loud ones!)
  • peeing is SO LOUD
  • background TV noises in businesses — used to just be white noise for me, now that I can parse speech it's super distracting
  • random neighborhood sounds, e.g. children yelling, dogs barking, weed whackers, etc.

...and the sound quality of music is kinda meh via my implant. Still 50000x worth it."

- bunnycrush_

At 31...

halloween monster GIF Giphy

"I got hearing aids at 31. The sound of the refrigerator surprised me. I'm an engineer by trade and was trying to figure out why it made such a terrible noise thinking it must be broken."

- buckleuply

In the end, it's a great thing that everyone on this list can finally hear. Not that there is anything wrong with people who can't. I'm going to try and be more cognizant and grateful.

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