Tactile-auditory synesthesia

Also called touch-to-sound (or touch-sound) synesthesia

Some people report hearing sounds when they touch or handle things, the specific sound depending on the texture or type of object they are touching. It could be related to kinetics-to-sound synesthesia, where the sound concurrent is triggered by their own body movements, and it could affect the same people, although I am not aware of any studies on the subject that might confirm or refute this. In any case it is a very uncommon type of synesthesia: according to Sean Day's study on prevalence, only 0.35% of the 1,143 synesthetes interviewed reported having this kind of experience.

Here are some descriptions written by people with this type of synesthesia:

“When I touch something softly enough that I can't actually hear it, I hear it in my head. This extends to kinds of touch that never make sounds that you can hear; for instance, I can hear when someone pinches me.
(…) Surfaces have their own sounds and the sounds are different depending on how I touch the surface.”

(Source: This post on Reddit/Synesthesia. 2019.)

"I can [hear] touch. Like when I'm swiping on my phone, or typing. Or touching my fingers, or my bedsheet, floor, scratching something, even I can hear sounds from touching inside my mouth using my tongue."

(Source: this post on Reddit/Synesthesia. 2022.)


Go to the page on kinetics-to-sound (and motion-to-sound) synesthesia

This page last updated: 2 April 2024


  1. I think I have this... When I touch something, particularly if movement is involved, I can hear it. It doesn't matter how far away it is, or if I have noise canceling headphones on, or how lightly I am touching it. It also doesn't matter if I can see it. They don't sound different from what you would expect, no mechanical noises or the like. It is most obvious with movement, but it is usually still there (just very quiet) without movement

    1. Also, my name is Kate

    2. Hi Kate, yes, I would say you do have this!

    3. Also, I really find this site useful and informative. Thank you!

    4. Thank you for reading and commenting!