Do you remember the Pacman theme tune? Or the SHHHHHCRRRRRGHHHH! of a dial-up modem? These sounds of the past have now become extinct. Did you know there’s an online museum devoted to the preservation of these nostalgic sounds? It’s fascinating to look at the evolution of some sounds, from the start of their lives to the end.

We’ve listed a few of our favourite old school sounds, have a read and see how many you remember!

Dial-Up Modem

Once upon a time the internet was analogue. The dial-up modem was a clever piece of technology in its time, using sound waves to carry data across the phone network. So the high pitched squeaks and hesitance you heard while connecting was actually the data itself! It sounds quite similar to its distant cousin, the fax machine.

Cassette Tape

The clack of the play, pause and stop/eject buttons are enough to get us walking down memory lane, and what about the hiss and whir of the spindles, the super flat, low-quality audio. If that bring back fond memories you were most likely a teenager between the 60’s and the early 90’s. The arrival of CD’s ended the wonderful era of cassette tapes.

TV Static

We can’t say we miss this sound – HISS! HISSSSHHH! More commonly referred to as white noise, TV static was the backbone of the analogue era. The static noise was actually caused by electromagnetic interference accidentally picked up by the antenna while no other transmission with being received. Static only came to an end in Australia in recent times in 2013 when analogue was switched off for good!

The Nokia Ringtone

My personal favourite! If you had a mobile phone in the 90’s and early 2000’s you probably had Grande Valsa as your ringtone. It was actually written by Spanish composer Francisco Tarrega in 1902 and trimmed down by Nokia into a 4-bar phrase that became instantly recognisable. You may even recall the game of Snake that came with it!


Long before the world of mobile computing, writing used to sound like real physical work. The clack of keys, the little bell to warn you of a line break, the rough clunk as you moved the carriage back to its starting point – it’s like the typewriter had its own soundtrack.

If you’re noticing even more sounds missing from your life it might be time to book in a FREE Hearing Test at one of our clinic. You can call our friendly team on 8331 8047 to book in an appointment today.