IELTS Questions about Noise
What are some common sources of a lot of noise these days?Well, a lot depends on where you live, but if you live in a large city, for example, then you probably don’t realize just how much traffic noise there is. I remember when I first moved here, I thought the noise from the traffic was incredibly loud – but now, having been living here for a few years, I hardly even notice it anymore. Sometimes there’s an exceedingly noisy truck or an old car or something – but in general the traffic noise just blends in and becomes like background noise.
One source of noise which is more intrusive and annoying is the noise of construction work. Some days it seems to be endless, and it’s always a combination of loud drilling, scraping, chattering, clanging and banging. The problem in the city is that the sound carries quite far, bouncing off other buildings, so they could be constructing a new building or renovating an old building quite some distance away – but it sounds like it’s right outside your window. That can be very irritating if it goes on and on.
Other noise sources that are common would probably be airplanes landing and taking off, and loud music coming from clubs and bars, especially at night. Obviously for many people that’s not a problem but for those who live near the source, it can be devastating to their peace and quiet and a source of stress for them, particularly if it affects their sleep or things like that.
In your opinion, will the level of noise increase in the future?No, I don’t believe so. I mean, we’re constantly making things less noisy, even things like washing machines and other domestic appliances are now being designed to be quieter and less intrusive, and if electric cars become more popular and eventually the norm, then a large source of noise – traffic – will have been almost entirely eliminated, or at least seriously reduced in terms of the noise levels in built-up areas such as towns and cities.
I think that we’ve become much more aware of noise pollution as an issue and things will only get better in the future - not worse.
What do you think when you see a person on the street listening to music using headphones?Nothing really, I mean it’s so common it doesn’t really attract any attention anymore. Loads of people do it, and also talk into their phones using hands-free while driving. That used to puzzle me until I realized what they were doing – I thought for a while that they were talking to themselves, silly I know, but I soon discovered they were actually talking to someone else on the phone – just not holding it.
As for the headphones, well, who doesn’t do it? I listen to music when I’m out frequently – not every day but certainly several times a week. I just plug in my ear buds in the bus or when I’m walking along if I know that I’m going to be out for some time. It’s a nice way to block out the background noise and enjoy some music while outside.
What is the reason that some people like to meet other people at a place with loud music?It might be because if there’s music then there is less pressure to make conversation with the person, if it’s someone they are meeting for the first time, you know, sometimes it can be a bit awkward, and the music takes off some of the pressure to try and say smart things or be funny or stuff like that.
I guess another reason could be, especially in the case of friends going to a club, that loud music just creates a totally different atmosphere from the one we normally spend most of our time in, like at school, work, or at home, so it’s just something different and you can just block everything else out and enjoy the music and dance maybe.