Weekend Special: Name That Sound! : Krulwich Wonders... I'm going to play you a sound that you hear all the time. But this time, instead of hearing it in context (in a familiar setting — the movies, an Xbox, on TV, in a phone), it's all alone. Naked. Will you be able to identify it?
NPR logo Weekend Special: Name That Sound!

Weekend Special: Name That Sound!

Dan Quinn, fluid dynamics grad student and sometime video artist at Princeton, also has ears. And his ears, like yours, regularly pick up familiar sounds. The question is, if someone plays you a sound that you regularly hear at the movies, or in an Xbox game, or when you turn on a machine — but this time that sound is decontextualized, it just pops up naked, removed from its source — would you be able to identify it?

I am terrible at this. I recognized four. But I'm old. If you're 20ish, you might – just might — get a perfect score. (Except for the two or three sounds that go back to the 1950s; that's where I killed.)

See how many you can I.D.

Dan Quinn YouTube