Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular these days, and it stands to reason that there must be something beneficial about them. I mean why would they just become popular all of a sudden if not because people are gaining from them?
Let’s look at the stats together. According to 2019 numbers, about 103 million people in America listen to podcasts every week.
Another survey, reveals that 21% of all podcast listeners, listen to not one, not two, not three but four different podcasts per week while 22% listen to, at least three podcasts per week.
Is that going to change anytime soon? Highly unlikely, as tech giant Apple, according to Variety, boasts of featuring more than 500,000 active podcasts, with content in more than 100 languages.
And that’s just for Apple alone, if you add other sources like Android and Google you’ll be looking at a big, fat, juicy 750,000 active podcasts. And the number keeps climbing every day.
Now what exactly is a podcast and why should you care?
So what is a podcast? Well, you can think of it like episodes of a radio program only this time around it’s so much clearer and so much better. Radio programs let you listen only when the radio station decides to air it (usually once a week). A podcast grants you the flexibility to listen to its shows at any time of your convenience.
The word podcast was first used by the writer Ben Hammersley in a 2004 Guardian newspaper article, he borrowed the word pod from the then Apple’s iPod and the word cast from radio broadcasting and thus the new word podcast was born.
And just in case you were wondering, “are podcasts restricted to Apple products alone?” No, they are not.
To me, the best podcasts are the ones where the guests are willing to share deep insights into their personal lives, especially their failures. It’s also interesting to know about the road they took to it, how they got out of it, and how you (the listener) can avoid ever going down that route.
Below are some of the top noise pollution podcasts in the podcasting space, you can listen to them at the gym, while commuting, doing the laundry, dishes or just about any chore you choose.
And if you need noise cancelling headphones to start listening to noise pollution podcasts, we have a great selection of on-ear noise cancelling headphones here.
This podcast features, for the most part, systemic issues, cracks in civilization, the collapse of the environment and according to the hosts, if we get unlucky, the beginning of the end, of the world.
Not every episode of this podcast is about Noise pollution, but from time to time they speak about issues that are tied to noise and its effect on our immediate environment.
In one such episode, they spoke to Bernie Krause, a former musician and the founding father of the science of soundscape ecology. Krause in the ’60s discovered how much joy he could derive from listening to and recording wild natural soundscape so much so that he decided to spend the rest of his life doing it. And it worked out well for him as he hasn’t looked back since then.
In this episode, they discuss among other things how our world organizes itself and maintains a healthy balance in large part through sound. And how “our noise disrupts these delicate systems, breaks down ecosystems, and drives species into confusion, disarray, and death.”
This podcast is sponsored by Bang & Olufsen, a high-end consumer electronics company that produces audio products and a host of other gadgets.
The Sound Matters podcast series provide listeners with the opportunity to look at, and most importantly, listen to the sounds of the world around us.
Aside the sounds, and depending on the topic for each episode, the host Tim Hinman also speaks to celebs like David Lynch, a legendary artist and filmmaker to chat about the “infinite dynamism of sound, creativity, and meditation”
Or other not-so-popular guests like Jo Milne, who was born deaf and had remained deaf until she turned 40 years old and had cochlear implants.
To sum up, this podcast allows you to close your eyes and get the feeling that you are being teleported to another part of the world entirely. It also brings you closer to the experiences that others like Milne, went through and such closeness allows you to appreciate their struggles even more.
It turns out that their content is pretty high quality and a lot of people like them because Sound Matters won an award in its category at the British podcast awards in 2017.
TMSOFT’S WHITE NOISE SLEEP SOUNDS
This is a podcast that brings you white noise from a very wide variety of sources, from the sounds of ocean waves or an evening lake, to that of a gentle waterfall, to that of blowing winds, whatever the noise, TMSOFT has you covered as it boasts of a lot of episodes of different soothing noises that are at least 1-hour long each.
The human brain is not accustomed to being in complete silence, and that’s why even while we are asleep, our brains do not stop receiving and processing sound signals, our brain cannot cope with a lack of sensory input.
And that’s why if you fall asleep in an environment that is too quiet, any unwanted noise (especially if it wasn’t there before) no matter how seemingly silent, like a sudden burst in AC noise can wake you up.
Now, that’s where white noise comes in. If you had slept while some white noise was playing in the background, that sudden AC noise wouldn’t have interrupted your sleep.
What do you stand to gain from white noise?
- If you’re suffering from tinnitus, you can mask the ringing in your ears with some soothing white noise.
- It definitely helps you sleep better and protects you from unwanted sounds that might interrupt your sleep.
- White noise has also been found to help in soothing crying babies.
- It helps you to relax, de-stress and unwind after a long stressful day.
- It has also been found to help in soothing mild headaches.
EYES ON CONSERVATION
The Eyes on Conservation podcast is one that features engaging conversations about wildlife conservation issues.
And speaking of wildlife, it turns out that noise doesn’t only affect marine animals, it affects land animals as well, and this is the crux of the “Phantom road” episode of this podcast.
This episode is quite interesting . It follows a group of Boise State University scientists who have been studying the effects of noise pollution on wildlife for a number of years. The team is led by Dr. Jesse Barber, a Professor of Sensory ecology, animal behavior and conservation biology.
And what question do they hope to answer?
It’s a straightforward one, does noise pollution affect the population of songbirds in an area?
To answer this, they set up what they call a Phantom Road site. They picked a location of interest and attached loudspeakers to a number of trees at that location. Next, they played pre-recorded road noises through the speakers during fall songbird migration. Then they waited and recorded their findings.
ALL EARS AT CHILD’S VOICE: A HEARING LOSS PODCAST
The podcast was started by Child’s Voice, a listening and spoken language program for children suffering from hearing loss.
Among other things, this podcast was set up in a bid to connect parents of children with hearing loss to the professionals who can serve them.
They broadcast a lot of interesting topics. One such topic was covered in an episode with guest, Wendy Deters. What’s fascinating and amazing about her story is that she was raised by committed and dedicated parents, both of whom were deaf.
She talks about her upbringing, some of the history of deaf education. She also tells how her parents lived with their cochlear implants, and the how their experiences have shaped her life and her career.
TACKLING NOISE POLLUTION
This podcast is brought to you by the Open University. In fact, the material in this podcast forms part of the university’s course in Environmental Control and Public health.
So just as you might have guessed, the podcast shows how much havoc noise can wreak on the environment and on us the inhabitants of the environment.
There are episodes which show how to measure the amount of noise we are being exposed to. They also show how to reduce such noises significantly. Some episodes touch up on the strides that experts have been making at cutting down noise pollution from transportation.
HEARING AID & HEARING CARE PODCAST
This is not exactly one of noise pollution podcasts. It’s a podcast that aims to provide straightforward and honest advice about hearing loss and hearing aids. It also covers the types and different technologies that it supports, and the people that sell them.
Listen to this podcast and you’ll find episodes that look at how effective Hydrogen peroxide is in the ear drop solution or how some hearing aids now support Android.
OCEANS OF NOISE
Oceans of noise is a three-episode series brought to you by the science weekly podcast, a podcasting arm of The Guardian. It’s a once a week podcast that teaches you about the most recent discoveries and important debates in biology, physics, and chemistry.
On the science weekly podcast, Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin, and Nicola Davis pick the brains of the scientists who are conducting beneficial research in their respective fields.
Now to Oceans of Noise
Most people, myself included, grew up with the incorrect notion that life below the sea is quiet and serene. Who could blame us?
We could hardly hear anything when we were underwater. So we concluded that it had to be because it was quiet. Little did we know that it’s our ears that aren’t equipped to hear underwater sounds.
Life beneath the ocean is actually riddled with diverse sounds from different sea animals.
In one of the episodes, Dr. Lucille Chapuis, a marine biologist from the University of Exeter, throws some light on what makes water an effective medium for sound communication and how marine animals take advantage of this.
Other episodes reveal how human activities such as prospecting for oil and shipping are causing noise pollution in the oceans and how sea animals are suffering the consequences.
HOW TO SEARCH FOR NOISE POLLUTION PODCASTS
I know we’ve gone through quite a number of noise pollution podcasts, but if you’re still hungry for more, I’ve got you covered. I’m going to show you the easiest ways to find extremely valuable podcasts, without having to comb through page upon page of Google search engine responses.
My go-to place to search for podcasts is the iTunes store. It boasts of over 500,000 active podcasts in over 100 different languages there’s a very high likelihood that I’ll find what I’m looking for.
So to start, click over to the podcast app and just type “noise” or “noise pollution” in the search bar. Watch it respond with lists of podcasts that are super relevant to your needs. Another way is to scroll over to the “categories” section and browse by whatever category you want.
Stitcher is another site that boasts of over 100,000+ active podcasts, all you need do is go to their website and sign up (it’s completely free), once you’re done signing up, you can search through the category of your choice.
By the way, if you’re thinking of recording podcasts yourself, or if you’re already doing it, there’s a new handy app that can help you make sure it’s noiseless and professional.
It’s called Krisp and it will mute all the hissing microphone noises or any other background noise that might get in the way as you record. You can use it with any podcasting apps and even try having a series of your own noise pollution podcasts.
If you are one of those who, a few years ago, used to think podcasts are just a total waste of time, then perhaps you might want to reconsider, as podcasts are no longer what they used to be years ago. They’ve improved and become even more beneficial.
So much so that almost everyone is embracing it. Universities have podcasts, news giants like Guardian have podcasts, scientific journals have podcasts, even radio stations these days now have podcasts.
If you want to reconsider, a good place to start would be to listen to some of the noise pollution podcasts listed above. Let’s have your feedback in the comment section!