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Whether you’re working with things like video, music, animation, games, or any other media, sound is critical. The use of sound effects can make or break a project, but sometimes finding that right, good-quality piece of audio can be difficult.

Before you open up your wallet for expensive software or try to make your own sound effects, you may easily be able to find free sound effects on the Web. There are plenty of great resources available online. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cost you anything!

Have your headphones ready? Here’s the top 5 websites for free sound effects downloads.

Flash Kit

Flash Kit’s Sound FX page is one of the best places to download free sound effects. The site has over 7,000 royalty-free tracks available for download.

You can search the collection manually or browse various categories, like nature or transportation, for the sound you’re looking for.

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If you come across a desirable sound effect, all of its information, including length, quality, and size, are available and you can easily preview the track before downloading. All tracks are downloadable as WAV, MP3, or Flashtrak files.

Feel free to also contribute to the archive yourself by submitting your own original sounds.

Soungle

While Soungle may look and feel like just an audio search engine, it really isn’t. The website is touted as a mega online library and it only searches its impressive growing database of sound effects.

Soungle keeps everything easy and straightforward. Search results simply include a preview, description, clip information, and if you like the sound effect, just download it. It’s as easy as that.

Soundboard

Soundboard has a massive supply of thousands of sound effects to choose from. You can either search the collection by keyword or explore the slew of soundboards, with everything from airplanes to circus animal sound effects.

Once on a soundboard page, you can listen to the playlist and download whichever tracks you like. All sound effects are MP3 files.

SoundBible

Offering thousands of sound bites and effects, SoundBible is the encyclopedia of free sound clips. The site divides its content into free sound effects or royalty-free sounds.

All the sounds are plainly listed with a preview listen button and what license each falls under. Royalty-free sounds consist of Creative Commons and public domain works.

Learn more about SoundBible in the MakeUseOf Directory.

Freesound Project

The Freesound Project is a repository of Creative Commons licensed audio samples. It’s a huge collaborative database of just sounds, so you’re bound to find what you need.

You can search through all the content by keyword or browse the popular tags. Of course, you can always contribute to the database by adding your audio samples released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Try out FindSounds, a great search engine just for sound effects. MakeUseOf’s Directory of Apps has also got the scoop on SoundSnap, yet another resource for sound effects, however, keep in mind that the site is not entirely free anymore and you’re limited to only five free downloads a month.

Do you have a favorite website for downloading free sound effects? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Fe Ilya

  1. dreve
    May 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Can you please share sound effect websites for non-commercial use? Because almost all of the websites that you mentioned are not "free".

  2. Andy Marks
    March 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Have a look at http://www.free-sounds.com which is my favourite. Over 5,000 free sounds, no download limit, all great quality.

  3. Navin Raj N
    February 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Guyz can we have a print button on each article that makes it easier to print. when i print the formatting is awful.
    cheers

  4. Peter Andrews
    January 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I absolutely love http://www.freesfx.co.uk as you can get whatever you want there!

    http://www.freesfx.co.uk

    • John McClain
      January 24, 2010 at 9:21 pm

      Another great site. Thanks!

  5. Jimmy
    January 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    More cool free sound effects at http://www.sfxsource.com/free-sound-effects.cfm

  6. Mark
    November 29, 2009 at 4:56 am

    I saw your post regarding free sound effects and thought I would suggest a couple of sites:

    This site has thousands of free sound effects to download and use, organized into easy to search categories:
    Partners In Rhyme Free Sound Effects

    This blog constantly posts new royalty free music and sound effects that are available for use in personal and commercial projects:
    Free Sound Effects Blog

  7. Mia Conway
    November 18, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I'm a fan of Digital Sound Effects http://www.digital-sound-effects.com

  8. andrea
    November 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    i want to print this article...only printing out the ads...can't find easy print button....

  9. Tweet
    November 7, 2009 at 6:24 am
  10. omer
    November 4, 2009 at 11:09 am

    i love using jamendo. they have a great veriaty and its all free. http://www.jamendo.com

    • John McClain
      November 5, 2009 at 12:21 am

      Hey, omer. Thanks for your comment.

      Does Jamendo offer free sound effects? I'm only seeing music.

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