How Sound Works

‘Sound is vibration through a medium … fluctuating waves of high and low air pressure.’1  Any vibration, from a guitar string being plucked to a hammer hitting a nail, creates sound waves. 

When they reach your outer ear, sound waves cause your eardrum to vibrate. This vibration is passed to the middle ear’s small bones, stimulating the inner ear’s fine hairs (cilia) to send signals to your brain. Your brain interprets these signals as sound.2  

How Hearing Loss Works

Prolonged exposure to loud noise is the primary cause of hearing loss, through damage to the eardrum, ear bones or cilia. You can protect against it by taking simple precautions, such as wearing earplugs or earmuffs, avoiding excessively noisy environments and listening to music at safe levels. 

Some diseases can also cause hearing loss, as can excessive earwax. Take care of your ears, and if you’re having pain or problems, seek help from a hearing care professional.

Good Hearing is Part of Good Health 

Good hearing helps us communicate with others, navigate the world and provides endless enjoyment. So it’s worth protecting. 

Sound is processed in the brain’s ‘default mode network’, which is pre-linguistic and designed to meet basic needs such as communication, cooperation and social attachment.3 It’s little wonder that conversation and music affect us so strongly. 

For good mental health, enjoy some music. Research suggests that playing or listening to music benefits your brain. Music listeners typically have less anxiety, can learn things more easily, and record higher happiness and overall cognitive function.4

Those are some impressive benefits, and they all come from your hearing. Book an appointment at your local Connect Hearing clinic to learn how to keep your ears in tip-top shape, address any hearing loss and enjoy our world of sound.


  1. Audio University (25 April 2020) AUDIO BASICS (Part 1): How Sound Works, YouTube, accessed 20 February 2024. 

  2. Healthdirect Australia (June 2022) Ears, Healthdirect Australia, accessed 20 February 2024. 

  3. Dr Anita Collins (9 August 2023) The way you engage with music affects your mood in different ways, ABC Education, accessed 20 February 2024. 

  4. Harvard Health Publishing (7 October 2020) Why is music good for the brain?, Harvard Medical School, accessed 20 February 2024.