Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sound Effects in AudioBooks: Yay or Nay?

This week Jen at Devourer of Books is hosting daily discussion topics and giving away some great audio prizes as the host of AudioBook Week. Head over to her blog for changes to win all this week!
Sound Effects in AudioBooks: Yay or Nay?

This seems to be a topic that audiobook lovers are divided on and love to debate on. Personally, I'm still on the fence but think I'm leaning heavily to the Nay side.

In romance audiobooks, I don't encounter sound effects that often. Holy Crikey can you image what some of those sound effects would/could be? It seems like they might stay away from any and all sound effects for that reason alone!

However, I do find I run across sound effects in Paranormals and Urban Fantasy books more often. The best of them are when they use sound to build to the suspenseful part (think when the serial killer is going to pop out from around the corner in a movie type music) or to end a chapter on a note that propels you to keep listening.

The worst of them seem to be those that just randomly "shoot" out sounds to try to shock. I use shoot out because many times these sound effects are of bullets, explosions, body blows, etc. It's like Summer Action Films on audio - except not. Most of them fall very flat on the quality of the effect. Instead seeming like some child is playing on a keyboard with sounds built in. Half the time the bullets make me think there's a mosquito in my car! :)

What about you - are you a yay or nay for sound effects? What audiobooks have done it well, or maybe which ones did you absolutely hate what it did to the story?

If you haven't listening to an audiobook before, do you think you would want sound effects, or would you rather have just the narrator bringing you the author's words?


  1. Oh, I shudder to think about Romance sound effects, eek!

  2. Exactly! I mean I love reading my romances, but I don't think I'd want sound effects in those. And not just the passionate effects, but any effects I think wouldn't work for me in that genre.

  3. I haven't come across too many books with sound effects except for the disc is ending music.

    My answer to today's questions can be found here.

  4. I fall on the 'nay' side, but can see where sound effects might add to the experience of some books, like thrillers.

  5. LOL...romance sound effects would make me pretty uncomfortable! I saw you're listening to Love in the Afternoon. I LOVE that book (I think Christopher is my favorite Kleypas hero), but there are a few steamy parts. I'm guessing no sound effects there? :)

  6. I like a little suspense too and in those cases the sound effects are uber cool....

    I had to laugh - we called our post the same thing. "Yay or nay?"



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