Playing sound effects both pleasant and awful, Julian Treasure shows how sound affects us in four significant ways. Listen carefully for a shocking fact about noisy open-plan offices.


  • I used to work as a club decorator in some of the best (and worst) clubs in the UK.
    I got to know some of the best sound engineers around.
    here is a clue.
    The worst clubs turn up the music in the vocal range, so all people can do is say “WHAT DID YOU SAY?” and “A BEER, I SAID BEER PLEASE
    The worst clubs tune the EQ to kill talking.
    They do it deliberately, because killing conversation sells beer, keeping it dark sells beer. light on the bar sells beer.
    good clubs allow people to dance & talk.

  • Great point. I guess other reasons club play too much treble are that big sub woofers are expensive? We need to base our music on the sonic environment of nature, which is full of pink noise. I wish club owners / djs would stop hurting my ears!!

  • Arg, the song that’s playing when he’s talking about behavior @2:32 is on the tip of my tongue but I can’t remember it. Anybody know it?

    I want to say it’s in one of the Blade Soundtracks….

  • Ok, nevermind my question, I was right, it is from the first Blade movie.


  • @holdendp
    Working at Big Blue, HUGE open office, constant chatter, constant laughing, constant phone ringing. It sucks. It’s tiring, it’s distractive, it’s counterproductive.

  • for some reason the sound clip at 3:54 totally sounded like the beginning of The Smiths “There is a Light that Never Goes Out”…which I’m probably weird because it doesn’t seem like anyone heard that 

  • You have the most exciting subject in TED community. I am very interested in the world of sound, the language of sound. Thank you.

  • no i’m not gonna listen to bird songs , instead i’m gonna crank up “pump the blood up” and do 100 on a freeway !!


Leave a Comment