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Hearing Trivia Quiz







The world is full of fascinating facts about our sense of hearing and the ears that enable us to experience sounds. See how much you know all about the loudest sound ever, the quietest place in the world, or other random tidbits of hearing trivia!


  1. A study of more than 3,000 adults revealed what they consider their most and least favorite sounds. Which of the following pairs reveals the top answers?
    • A. Crackling fire and cell phone ringing
    • B. Cat purring and nails on a chalkboard
    • C. Birds singing and alarm clock buzzing
    • D. Wine being poured and children screaming
    • E. Rain falling and car horns honking
  1. A new smoke detector was developed in Japan for the severely hard of hearing. When smoke is detected, it sprays out a synthesized smell of:
    • A. Skunk
    • B. Rotten fish
    • C. Pig manure
    • D. Ammonia
    • E. Wasabi
  1. What is “orecchiette” and what does it have to do with hearing or ears?
    • A. An Italian pasta shaped like an ear
    • B. A shellfish with a shell shaped like an ear
    • C. A device used for leather work shaped like an ear
    • D. A mountain flower that has leaves shaped like an ear
    • E. A famous diamond brooch shaped like an ear
  1. The quietest place in the world is Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis. How quiet is it?
    • A. +7.6 dBA
    • B. +3.6 dBA
    • C. -1.4 dBA
    • D. -5.4 dBA
    • E. -9.4 dBA
  1. The Bajau tribe of the islands of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia traditionally have their eardrums perforated during childhood. Why would they do this?
    • A. To prevent ear canal exostosis (excessive bone growth)
    • B. A cultural coming of age ritual
    • C. Home remedy for fighting ear infections
    • D. To facilitate deep sea hunting
    • E. To prepare for mountain climbing
  1. One study found a link between earwax and heart attacks. The findings suggest you may be more likely to have a heart attack if your earwax is:
    • A. Dry and brittle
    • B. Wet and sticky
    • C. Unusually light colored
    • D. Unusually dark colored
    • E. Lodged on the end of a car key
  1. It’s believed that one of the loudest sounds in Earth’s history was the eruption of Mount Krakatoa in 1883. The noise was estimated to be 170-180 dB and heard from more than 3,000 miles away. Where is Mount Krakatoa?
    • A. Southern Japan
    • B. Western Korea
    • C. Eastern Indonesia
    • D. Northern New Zealand
    • E. Just outside Topeka
  1. A device called the “Mosquito,” which emits high-pitched, high-intensity sounds, was developed to do what?
    • A. Train hearing ear dogs
    • B. Disperse groups of loitering youths
    • C. Predict the age of wild animals
    • D. Attract rare birds
    • E. Cook bread
  1. In an effort to go green, a snack company introduced a compostable bag for one of its products. Despite the good intentions, the noise of the bag was 15-20 dB louder than regular chip bags, which led to a 15 percent drop in sales. What was the product?
    • A. Cheetos
    • B. Fritos
    • C. Ruffles potato chips
    • D. Doritos
    • E. Sun Chips
  1. A study conducted in France found a link between beer consumption and background noise in a bar. The study found that when the noise was louder:
    • A. People drank faster and drank more
    • B. People drank faster, but did not drink more
    • C. People drank slower and drank less
    • D. People drank slower but did not drink less
    • E. The level of the noise had no effect




  1. Wine being poured and children screaming
  2. Wasabi
  3. An Italian pasta shaped like an ear
  4. -9.4 dBA
  5. To facilitate deep sea hunting
  6. Wet and sticky
  7. Eastern Indonesia
  8. Disperse groups of loitering youths
  9. Sun Chips
  10. People drank faster and drank more

*All questions adapted from the Greatest Trivia Hits of Gus and Jerry, available at