Soundscape Listening Room

In the Soundscape Listening Room you can access a live stream and a library of sounds, both recorded using a hydrophone (underwater microphone) off central California. These recordings are part of a research and education project that employs a deep-sea cabled observatory to continuously record sounds within and outside the range of human hearing. These sounds fall into three categories: biophony (sounds of marine life), geophony (sounds of the earth), and anthrophony (sounds of human activities).

Live Stream

The live audio stream has been amplified so that you can hear it through your speakers, but you may still need to turn up your volume to hear the many subtle sounds. The very low pitch of some baleen whale vocalizations can only be heard with appropriate speakers (subwoofer or high-quality headphones).

The stream is delayed approximately 20 minutes from the current time to allow for processing. Sound files are recorded in 10-minute segments, so every 10 minutes you will hear the beginning of a new sound file. Sound sources and levels vary greatly.  Tuning in at any time, you may hear whales, dolphins, sea lions, boats, rain, wind, earthquakes, and other sounds. Very loud sounds have been muted to avoid major changes in the volume.

If you tune in to a quiet soundscape, check back later. Meanwhile, you can listen to pre-recorded clips of many sounds recorded with this hydrophone (below), or listen/see how fun the ocean soundscape can be in this example.

Listen to live audio

Recording Library

Use the category buttons below to select recordings associated with each source of sound. To play a sound, use the playback controls located at the lower left of each sound clip. Information about each sound is available by clicking on the sound title. Some of the recordings are relatively long (more than one hour) and so may take time to load before playing.

NOTE: Some of these sounds have a very low pitch and cannot be heard on computer or phone speakers. To hear these sounds you will need to play them on a sound system with a subwoofer speaker or use high-quality headphones. This requirement is indicated in the sound clip titles with, **audible only with appropriate speakers**.