20 Best Free Sound Effects Sites to Spice Up Your Next Project

3 enero, 2024  

Best Free Sound Effects

High-quality sound effects have the power to enhance the viewing experience, convey emotions, and even elevate—or ruin—a scene’s atmosphere. However, if you’re an emerging business, you may not be able to afford an extensive soundtrack and waste a lot of time looking for the best free sound effects for your projects.

Sites that offer royalty-free sound effects have become popular among professional video producers and content creators because they help reduce a project’s cost while improving the final video. And the best part? It’s all within a legal framework. 

Now, to help you find the perfect audio for you, here are the best 20 free sound sites, with key points explaining what makes each of them great. Let me show you!


20 Free Sound Sites You Need to Know About

Sound plays a big part in making a high-quality video. So, take a look at these 20 free sound effects websites to decide which one better adapts to your project’s specific requirements to produce high-quality content.


1. Free Sound

Besides offering an online library of 616,537 audio files, Free Sound has one of the best filtering systems, so you won’t have trouble finding the piece you need in their impressive catalog. Their extensive tagging makes keyword searches well-refined, and you can screen tracks depending on other features, such as licenses, types of audio files, and channels.

And if that was not enough, Free Sound offers a unique space for users to form a community. You can create forum threads, post in already existing ones, or simply read other users’ comments to learn about their thoughts, benefit from their experiences, and get insightful advice on which the best free sound effects are.


  • Attractive user-interface.
  • Easy to identify licensing options.


  • To download an audio file, signing up is required


2. Pixabay

Pixabay is a website that hosts a wide range of royalty-free images, videos, audio, and other media, so you can find here all you need for a complete content marketing strategy.

You can search among their over 90,000 freeware sounds by keyword or filter available clips by duration and category. Moreover, you can bookmark the sounds you like to properly check them out later, and even give them a heart to help boost the creators’ exposure!


  • You can filter out IA-created files.
  • You don’t need to sign up to download.


  • Most files are only available in MP3 format.


3. Uppbeat

This website has a truly unique filtering system. Its audio categories are directly displayed on its homepage with representative images that help establish the mood you’re looking for in a specific sound, which can be great for finding the right SFX for you. 

One drawback of this website is that the free option, only allows you three downloads per month and access 30% of its catalog. To improve these conditions, you need to subscribe to the paid options. However, if you’re looking for SFX for a one-time use, this may be one of the best sound effects website for you.


  • Intuitive website design.
  • You can see others’ reviews of the sounds.


  • Only MP3 downloads are available.
  • You need to sign in to download.


4. 99 Sounds

This website offers themed collections of high-quality sounds created by different sound designers. All their files are royalty-free, which means you can use them in all kinds of creative endeavors for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Their goal is to provide sample libraries of commercial quality, which can be very useful if you’re working on a very niche project. For example, their free sci-fi sound pack is ideal for an alien film, as you can find different creatures’ sounds in just one collection. Each pack of SFX offers 99 sounds, thus the name of the site.


  • All files are royalty-free.


  • It’s troublesome to listen to all 99 files before downloading, and you may not need all of them.


5. MixKit

A great option that you can use without having to register is MixKit. This website offers more than 3000 of the best free sound effects that can be used without attribution in personal and commercial projects.

Although most of the SFX available are free, some require an Envato Elements subscription to download. Luckily, they are easy to identify, as green-colored files are the ones that require a subscription to download.


  • No sign-up is required.
  • Both WAV and MP3 files are available.


  • Some options are only available with an Envato Elements subscription.


6. Orange Free Sounds

Orange Free Sounds is a site well-loved by creators because it offers a huge variety of free downloadable sounds. Here, you can find sound effects, 3D sounds, loops, and even sound packs, making it one of the most varied and best sound effects websites to take advantage of.

However, this site’s weakness lies in its layout. The slightly outdated design features a lot of pop-up advertisements, which can make scrolling a bit of a tedious affair sometimes. But we shouldn’t judge the site too harshly, after all, this is a very common website mistake.


  • Besides sound effects, they offer background music and other types of audio.
  • The site’s database is updated regularly.


  • Old web design.
  • Bothersome popping ads.


7. FilmStocks

This is a one-stop shop for a lot of creative resources. After hitting the search button, you get access to a variety of filtering options. Moreover, if you find a track you like, you can save it in a favorites section without downloading and check it out later.

To show which sounds are free and which aren’t, they have a unique system based on color jewels. The ones with the green one are free to use; however, the ones with the pink diamond are only available for users who possess the Filmora Creative Assets plan.


  • You can search exclusively for AI-generated music.
  • You can download files in both WAV and MP3 formats.


  • SFX and music files are mixed up, which can be confusing.
  • You need to sign up to download a track.


8. Storyblocks

Storyblocks is a big library that offers various stock media: video, audio, and images. Here, you can find more than 25,000 of the best free sound effects, with new popular content being added each week. 

What makes Storyblocks unique is that they offer a Tutorials Hub with tips on how to incorporate their best free sound effects into your podcast, YouTube videos, or any other project, and share new ideas you can use to find inspiration for your next piece.


  • All sounds can be downloaded as MP3 or WAV files.


  • You need to sign up to download.
  • You can only access their complete library with a subscription.


9. Partners in Rhyme

Partners in Rhyme is one of the best free sound effects websites, and not simply because of its creative name. It offers a comprehensive spectrum of SFX, be it associated with nature, animals, ambient themes, vehicular scenes, or a wide range of human sounds.

The homepage consists of a well-organized directory of SFX themes, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. Additionally, you can search for the tracks you need using a keyword.


  • You can download SFX without signing up.
  • Files are available both in MP3 and WAV formats.


  • Not every sound is royalty-free.
  • Their display of categories on the home page can be a little overbearing. 


10. FreeSFX

FreeSFX might not have the most extensive catalog of sounds out there, but if you want a free track for commercial use and a basic website, this is the place for you. Although small, this free sound site can provide you with very specific SFX—like a foam can being shacked or an adhesive tape being dispensed.

Additionally, it provides valuable technical details about each sound, including the bitrate and sample rate, because, according to them, the site was made “by professionals for professionals”.


  • You can download tracks without signing up


  • Most tracks are only downloadable in MP3 format.
  • You must give attribution.


11. m-operator

m-operator is a repository of minimalist free audio developed as an experimental project. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying it out! From cool techno to soft ambient sounds, it has a series of musical sounds designed to boost small businesses’s video productions.

Audio files can be downloaded simply by clicking on them. All pieces are registered with a CC 4.0 Attribution, so they are free to share and edit, even for commercial purposes.


  • Although the catalog is pretty small, it contains some beautifully curated pieces that could make your project stand out.


  • Files are only available in MP3 format.
  • Attribution is a must.


12. BBC Sound Effects

The iconic English broadcasting channel has started offering some of its sounds for free. Its archive incorporates effects used by the corporation’s radio output since 1920 that you can download in both MP3 and WAV formats without signing up.

What makes this free sound site unique is that its catalog of effects was collected from real broadcasts this channel produced. Because of that, you can discover some unusual audio files you wouldn’t find anywhere else, like the sound of a 1969 Ford Cortina door slamming shut!


  • An extensive catalog in both quality and quantity.
  • Because BBC recorded each SFX themselves, you get some very specific details on them. For example, this machine sound was made from a powder etching machine operating in a block department at a daily newspaper.


  • The Sound Effects Archive is only available for personal, educational, or research purposes.


13. GameSounds

This site is an aggregator of royalty-free or public-domain music and sounds collected from all over the internet. It was conceived as a collection of sounds suitable for games, but you can use them for other purposes as well. 

The downside to this site is that it can be a bit hard to use. Before picking a sound, you need to read the license file in each directory for information. Sometimes, it can happen that you go through all this trouble and then realize the SFX isn’t for you—or the other way around, find a sound you like, and then find out you can’t use it. But hey, you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!


  • There’s no need to sign up.
  • They offer a wide selection of the best free sound effects, as they collect them from different websites.


  • The website design isn’t very intuitive.
  • There aren’t many filtering options for searches.


14. Sound Bible

Sound Bible offers thousands of the best free sound effects on a simple and easy-to-use website. The licensing agreement for each SFX is clearly displayed over it, so you don’t have to waste your time looking at effects that you won’t be able to use later. 

One drawback is that they use Creative Commons terms for their licensing. So, if you’re not familiar with them, you may be going back and forth, searching for their meanings, which can be a bit bothersome.


  • Options to download either in WAV or MP3 format 
  • No sign-up is required.


  • Giving attribution is required.
  • Bothersome popping ads.


15. Free Music Archive

Free Music Archive (FMA) offers visitors free access to open licensed, original sounds by independent artists all around the world. Beyond filtering by genre, you can make searches based on licensing options and duration of the track, for example, making it easier to locate the best free sound effects for you.

The site’s goal is to empower creators to stay in control of their works while audiences around the world enjoy free access to original pieces. To do that, artists are encouraged to publish original content while receiving help to be discovered by countless media makers in exchange for allowing visitors to use their works freely.


  • Creative Commons licensed audio.


  • SFX and music files are mixed up.
  • You need to sign in to download.
  • Downloads are only available in MP3 format.


16. Free Sound Effects

This website offers a vast library with 50,000 free sound effects, ready for instant download in both WAV and MP3 formats. Moreover, their VIP Shopping account is also an attractive offer, as it allows you to buy blocks of effects, download, and re-download sounds whenever you want, and even create lists of possible sounds for different projects and clients. 

What makes FSE unique in this market is that it offers a unique guarantee: If you purchase sound effects and end up not using them in your project, they offer a full refund.


  • Clear licensing agreement page.


  • Some sounds are only accessible with the VIP packet.


17. RØDE Ambisonic Library

The RØDE Ambisonic Library is one of the biggest catalogs of ambisonic recordings and immersive audio. From natural ambiance to urban sprawl, if you’re working in the 360° surround sound format, you will find the best free sound effects for you here.

This collection is high-quality and royalty-free. Additionally, all recordings made available are free to share and adapt any piece—even for commercial purposes. 


  • Unique ambisonic sounds gallery.


  • You need an account to download any piece.
  • Giving attribution is mandatory.


18. Audionautix

Audionatix is made up of all the music composed and produced by Jason Shaw. This artist offers his work royalty-free for people to download and use (even for commercial purposes!) as long as credit is provided.

What makes Audionautix stand out is its cool filtering system. You can check different tabs to filter through the sounds that meet your exact expectations, giving you very spot-on results.


  • Extremely detailed filtering.
  • All available tracks are completely free.


  • Downloads are only available in .MP3 format.
  • Attribution is a must.


19. Streamlabs Sound Library

Streamlabs, the digital marketing tool designed to help people record live streams, started offering some of the best free sound effects for streamers with their Sound Library. 

While this site’s catalog isn’t very large, it was designed to make streaming easier. Their SFX is filtered in categories like “Intro,” “Outro,” “Alert sounds,” “I’m coming back in a bit,” and other effects commonly used by people who’re recording themselves live.


  • Easy to use user interface and website.


  • Registration is required to download.
  • The search options aren’t very advanced, and there are few categories.


20. AudioMicro

AudioMicro is a huge site that provides stock music, sound effects, and loop packs. Here, you can find over 420,000 sound effects, some taken from well-known films like Star Trek, Apocalypse Now, Kill Bill, and more.

However, AudioMicro licensing options are a bit tricky, as you can’t use free SFX for commercial purposes. Additionally, there’s a clarification that paid licenses cannot be used in a medium that re-sells or redistributes the sound effect.


  • Their contributors are Grammy and Oscar-winning composers and production houses, so you can expect high-quality files.


  • You need to create an account with the site to download any of the best free sound effects available.
  • Only around 2,000 SFX are free.


Wrapping Up

Sound effects are extremely important in video production, but finding the perfect pick can be quite a challenge. Luckily, nowadays there are many free sound sites to choose from. 

The best sound effects website isn’t the one with the most files or the best interface design—it’s the one that helps you save time and achieve your goals. Find which one can do that for you from this list, and you’ll spice up all your creative projects from now on!