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Notched Sound Therapy for Tinnitus Treatment

Skip to FREE notched white noise program...

There are many possible ways to treat tinnitus. Effective sound therapy like pink noise or white noise can significantly reduce the perceived loudness of tinnitus. Notched audio, however, is the next step beyond generic sound therapy and is tailored precisely to an individual's specific tinnitus frequency.

Simply put, notched sound or audio therapy is one type of tinnitus treatment that can reduce the intensity or loudness of tinnitus by listening to special audio tracks on any device whether phone, car stereo, music player, etc

The key change that must be made to the audio track, however, is that the specific tinnitus frequency that is experienced by a given individual must be completely removed from the audio track. By removing this specific sound frequency or "notching" the audio, the tinnitus itself then supplies the missing frequency sound in the audio track. Watch a video on how notched sound therapy works to treat tinnitus.

In the frequency plot spectrogram image shown here, a 5000Hz "notch" was created in this white noise audio file. The purple is sound that is present... but the white "notch" is where sound is absent.

The theory goes that when an individual turns off the notched audio sound, the brain will hear an absence of sound (obviously)... but more importantly may ALSO turn off the tinnitus sound. In practice, the tinnitus sound does not turn off for most, but does reduce in many tinnitus sufferers.

Look towards the bottom for references. You should also check out CR neuromodulation which is another type of sound therapy to treat tinnitus.

OK! So How Do I Start Notched Sound Therapy???

STEP 1: Determine your tinnitus frequency - Critically Important Step!

Tinnitus matching can be accomplished by using a tone generator or a Q&A style frequency finder. Do NOT move on to step 2 until you have performed this very important step! Record your tinnitus frequency.

STEP 2: Obtain notched audio sounds

Using the free program below, enter your specific tinnitus frequency and press play. In the table below, pre-made notched white noise can also be downloaded for free. Your exact frequency will probably not be present among the downloadable files, but round up to the closest frequency available for download. You can also order your own frequency specific notched audio here with sounds other than white noise such as brown/pink noise, rainfall, music, etc.

You can also obtain notched audio that contains 2 notched frequencies instead of just one for those individuals that suffer from 2 different tinnitus frequencies (aka double tinnitus).

STEP 3: Treatment protocol

The suggested treatment protocol if your tinnitus frequency is 8,000Hz or less is to listen to the notched sound for long periods of time - 5 hours or more at a time. Notched music appears to work as well as notched white noise.

If tinnitus frequency is above 8,000Hz, listen to the notched white noise three times a day, 1 hour each time. Notched music does not appear to work well for tinnitus higher than 8,000Hz. Be aware, there is no research evidence that notched sound therapy works for tinnitus frequencies higher than 13,000Hz.

Sleeping with the notched white noise in either situation works well by additionally providing masking.

Tinnitus relief with notched sound therapy usually takes weeks to months.

For those who suffer from hearing loss, some hearing aids (ie, Signia) have notched audio built into the hearing aid itself so any sounds heard, whether music or general background noise, get automatically notched at your specific tinnitus frequency.

Free Notched White Noise

Download mp3 of Notched Audio (White Noise or Other Sound Types)

Using the above program, you can play a very narrow band ( ≺ 0.25 octave), notched white noise at your specific tinnitus frequency. Below are some free downloadable notched white noise at 500 Hz increments between 1000 - 19,000 Hz. These free files utilize the recommended broader 1 octave notching instead of the much more narrow notching used in the free program above. These sound files are saved in FLAC and last about 15 minutes each which can be looped as many times as you want to get the duration you desire. The FLAC files are around 75Mb in size so it may take a minute to fully download. Pretty much all modern devices can play FLAC files.

Alternatively, you can quickly listen to notched sounds between 1000Hz to 10,000Hz in this YouTube video where 1 minute notched sample is played at 500Hz intervals (again utilizing a broad 1 octave notching). This video has notched pink noise samples.

If you desire notched sound at a different frequency utilizing a different audio sound (pink noise, music, ocean waves, etc), you can order it here.

Do keep in mind that different types of sound have theoretical maximum effective frequencies above which making a notched audio file will really make no difference. For example, white noise maximum effective frequency occurs at 20,000Hz. Music occurs @ 8000Hz. Pink Noise @ 12,600Hz. Brown Noise @ 14,400Hz. It is encouraged that if notched music is desired, to perform a sound spectrum analysis first to ensure there is enough sound density in the notched frequency desired. There are a variety of online apps that can do this for you.

Order custom notched frequency

Notched White Noise (FLAC)
Notched Frequency
Download File
YouTube Link Plot Spectrogram
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3500 Link Plot
4000 Link Plot
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5000 Link Plot
5500 Link Plot
6000 Link Plot
6500 Link Plot
7000 Link Plot
7500 Link Plot
8000 Link Plot
8500 Link Plot
9000 Link Plot
9500 Link Plot
10000 Link Plot
Higher than 10K



DIY Audio Notching Your Own Sound for Free!

Although you can purchase custom notching, you can also notch your own sound, though it takes a few steps.

Download the free open-source software Audacity as well as the Nyquist Band Stop Filter.

Install the band stop filter in Audacity. Once the filter is installed, you can use this filter to completely remove a specific frequency band (use stop-band width of 1 octave).

You can also use Audacity to visually obtain a plot spectrum (analogous terms include sound analyzer, spectrum analysis) to ensure the frequency has been removed from a sound file. A plot spectrum can also be used to determine if any given sound has adequate frequency range for effective audio notching, especially if music is used and the notching frequency desired is higher than 8000 Hz. We also offer an online plot spectrum tool.

For the examples below, the purple on white graph is the plot spectrum produced by Audacity. The red on black graph is produced by our very own online plot spectrum tool. Note that the results are not quite the same even though the same sound clip was analyzed by both programs. This discrepancy in results between the two programs is due to use of a slightly different mathematical algorithm.

Here is a plot spectrum for the song How Far I'll Go

And this one is for Roar by Katy Perry.

Now compare to white noise plot spectrum. Clearly, the sound density of white noise above 8000 Hz is much better than that found in music.

Finally, an example showing white noise notched at 8000 Hz followed by Kay Perry's Roar also notched at 8000 Hz.

What About Notching on a Sound Equalizer (EQ)?

All sound produced by a device can be adjusted using a sound equalizer (EQ).

However, bottoming out a frequency on an equalizer is not as good as true audio notching for a few reasons. First, the equalizer can never truly zero out a frequency. The typical maximum sound reduction that can be achieved with a sound equalizer is about -12dB. Second, the equalizer's band width is a bit narrower than the recommended one octave. Finally, only a certain limited number of equalizer frequencies can be manipulated, normally 32Hz, 64Hz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 4000Hz, 8000Hz, and 16,000Hz.

Here is a plot spectrum of white noise without any EQ adjustments nor notching:

Here is one where the EQ was bottomed out at 8ooo Hz:

Compare to formal audio notching at 8000 Hz:


The Windowed Sound Therapy: A New Empirical Approach for an Effective Personalized Treatment of Tinnitus. Int Tinnitus J. 2009;15(1):51-61.

Listening to tailor-made notched music reduces tinnitus loudness and tinnitus-related auditory cortex activity. PNAS. Vol. 107 | No. 3. January 19, 2010

Customized notched music training reduces tinnitus loudness. Communicative & Integrative Biology 3:3, 274-277; May/June 2010

Short and Intense Tailor-Made Notched Music Training against Tinnitus: The Tinnitus Frequency Matters. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24685.

Clinical trial on tonal tinnitus with tailor-made notched music training. BMC Neurol. 2016; 16: 38.

Counteracting tinnitus by acoustic coordinated reset neuromodulation. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience 30 (2012) 137–159.

Notched Sound Alleviates Tinnitus by Reorganization Emotional Center. Front. Hum. Neurosci., 28 January 2022

Notched and Nonnotched Stimuli Are Equally Effective at the Mixing-Point Level in Sound Therapy for Tinnitus Relief.