15+ Best Royalty Free Sound Effects Websites
You have an edited your video, and now you need to add sound effects for cheap. How?
When it comes to creating an environment for your audience to be drawn into, sounds are just as important as visuals to get buy-in from the audience.
No matter how great the director, actors, camera equipment, and the story is for TV shows and feature films, if you don’t have the best sound possible, all is lost for the finished product.
Sound can be a powerful element in a film. It can engage an audience in a unique world, help tell the story and move the storyline along. Sound can also help create emotion and set the tone of the film. A film’s sound is just as important as the visuals on screen.
The problem with many content creators and filmmakers is that most of us do not have a considerable budget for the best Foley artists in town or deep studio catalogs to pull from to get the best sound effects for their projects. This is where royalty-free sound effects can play a large part in helping you get the right sound effects for your projects at a price you can afford.
What are royalty-free sound effects?
Royalty-free material can help a filmmaker or content creator be able to secure the sound effects they need for their projects without the need to pay royalties or license fees to the artists for each use. What this means is you can use a sound effect or piece of music over and over again without having to pay residuals for it.
So how does a content creator find royalty free sound effects? The great thing about the internet, besides being able to shop for a jar of salsa and an engagement ring on the same website (thanks Amazon), artists can find a huge library of sound effects and music, royalty-free with just the click of the button.
The only problem with the number of royalty-free websites available for artists to choose from is that not all the choices available are created equal in terms of quality.
I have been looking for sound effects during the editing phase of my recently directed short film “Going Home.” Through my search, I have been disappointed with the sound quality and choices from several royalty-free websites that finding a great site is like finding gold.
That’s why I decided to create a list of my favorite websites for a personal reference that I would like to share with all content creators having trouble finding the right royalty free sound effect resources online.
Each Royalty Free Sound Effects Site listed below delivers an overload of genres, audio formats, and unique SFX sounds that can download to help you get the job done. Not only are royalty free sound effects the right option for a finished product to keep you within budget, but you can also use them as temp sounds during an edit that can be replaced later.
Royalty Free Sound Effects Websites
Something to keep in mind with this list I have compiled is it’s a small snapshot of the great Royalty Free Sound Effects Websites out there.
But for websites that have impressive quality, variety, and usefulness, these fit the bill perfectly for any content creator. This list appears in alphabetical order. Let’s jump in.
99 Sound Effects is a free collection of cinematic impacts, braams, earth-shattering subs, and other modern sound effects.
99Sounds is a platform for talented sound designers from around the world to collaborate and promote their work with the audio community.
The sounds hosted on 99Sounds are completely royalty-free. You can use them for music and video production, game development, and any similar creative projects.
Searching the site is very effortlessly for sounds on the website, and the sounds are split into categories to make finding the right noise fairly simple.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out 99Sounds here.
Bring professional depth to your audio projects with sound effects in Adobe Audition. From videos to podcasting, choose from hundreds of royalty-free sound effects that let you bring new tones, moods, or a touch of comedy to your recordings.
Audition is a broad toolset for creating, mixing, editing, and restoring audio content. While you pay for that upfront, Adobe Audition has a comprehensive library that can satisfy most filmmakers’ and content creators’ needs.
If you do decide to upgrade your editing suite to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, the sound effects are now incorporated into Adobe Premiere, which can be easily searched and then added into your editing timeline with ease.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out Adobe Audition here.
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AudioMicro provides the web’s best collection of royalty-free music and sound effects at affordable prices. Our contributors are GRAMMY-winning composers and Oscar-winning sound effects artists, and production houses. No joke.
AudioMicro is a revolutionary collection of royalty-free music and sound effects. Finally, high-quality audio content is available at unbelievable prices with no hidden costs or fees.
Research, Locate, Purchase, and Download stock audio at the most competitive rates available. This site has 440,196 sound effects from Star Trek, Apocalypse Now, Kill Bill, and more.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out AudioMicro here.
The BBC Sound Effects Archive is available for personal, educational, or research purposes. There are over 33,000 clips from across the world from the past 100 years.
These include clips made by the BBC Radiophonic workshop, recordings from the Blitz in London, special effects made for BBC TV and Radio productions, as well as 15,000 recordings from the Natural History Unit archive.
You can explore sounds from every continent – from the college bells ringing in Oxford to a Patagonian waterfall – or listen to a submarine klaxon or the sound of a 1969 Ford Cortina door slamming shut.
As well as browsing and searching through this treasure trove of sounds, you can also make and share your own mixes and soundscapes using the ‘mixer mode’ function. Use the mixer to layer, edit and re-order clips from the archive to create your own sounds.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out BBC Sound Effects here.
Filmstock, which is a one-stop shop for stock media including video effects, stock footage and photos, and royalty-free music and sound effects. You can download and use the resources in both Filmora (version 9.1 or above) and other video editing software like Adobe After Effects.
You may have to explore a little on the website, but there are quite a bit of fantastic sound effects within their back catalog, and they are always accepting suggestions for what they should add next to the extensive catalog.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out Filmstock here.
Freesfx is another of the Royalty Free Sound Effects Websites that provide free sound effects that you can use in any commercial, non-commercial, broadcast multimedia/audiovisual production.
Freesfx offers more than 4,500 individual sound effects files, all fully cataloged, so you can search or browse through our sound effect categories to find what you need. Plus the website is still curating and adding new sounds to the site every month.
More than 850 music tracks in a variety of styles from Comedy to Patriotic.
You can use these free sounds in films, television programs and commercials, radio programs and commercials, public service announcements. You can make money by using these sounds in games or apps; on websites, YouTube, blogs, or podcasts.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out Freesfx here.
Freesound aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, and all sorts of bleeps, … released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse. Freesound provides new and interesting ways of accessing these samples, allowing users to:
- browse the sounds in new ways using keywords, a “sounds-like” type of browsing, and more
- upload and download sounds to and from the database, under the same Creative Commons license
- interact with fellow sound artists!
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out Freesound here.
Looking for Royalty free music and sounds for your games?
GameSounds.xyz is a royalty-free sound effects website site that collects sounds from all over the internet. They search sites from across the globe to collect sound effects that are free to download and ready to use in your next video or audio project.
A new virtual world awaits within each of the website’s high-quality game sounds. Be transported into a retro video game with a bubble laser sound or be your own Game Show host with a wrong answer buzzer sound.
From arcade game sounds to sporting game samples, you’ll be sure to find a free game sound that you’ll want to use. Ready, set, play!
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out GameSounds.xyz here.
Another royalty-free sound effects website for game developers is GDC by Sonniss. Each year the website gives away thousands of dollars worth of sound effects for free in celebration of the Game Developers Conference. Everything is royalty-free and commercially usable. No attribution is required and you can use them on an unlimited number of projects.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out GDC by Sonniss here.
Partners In Rhyme has been delivering royalty-free music online since 1996. The license you receive from us for your one-time fee is truly royalty-free. Unlike most royalty-free music companies we do not require you to submit cue sheets or report to any of the performing rights organizations, no matter how big the project.
While this sound effects website specializes in royalty-free music, it does offer a smaller sound effects page that is always worth checking out, depending on how specific of a sound you need.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out Partners In Rhyme here.
Pond5 exists to create world-class storytellers, and we do so by building the world’s most accessible marketplace of media assets video creators need to tell stories, share knowledge, and inspire audiences.
With 25 million video clips, award-winning tools including patented Visual Search for video, and integrations for all major video-editing software, Pond5 is the go-to video marketplace for filmmakers, media organizations, and marketers worldwide.
Pond5 also has a gigantic library of royalty-free sound FX clips for you to use on your next project. It’s a one-stop-shop for content creators.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out Pond5 here.
SoundField by RØDE
The Largest Collection of Ambisonic Recordings in One Place.
From natural ambiance to urban sprawl – take inspiration from all corners of the globe with this curated selection of high-quality royalty-free ambisonic recordings captured using the ‘SoundField by RØDE’ NT-SF1 ambisonic microphone.
Download B-Format audio files into your DAW and apply the SoundField by RØDE plug-in to experience true ambisonic audio.
With the Ambisonic Sound Library, RØDE has done the hard work for you, capturing hundreds of high-quality ambisonic recordings for you to download, manipulate and use as you please.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out SoundField here.
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SoundBible.com offers free sound clips for download in either wav or mp3 format. We have free and royalty-free sound effects and clips for video editors, movie scores, game designers, and weekend sound warriors. Downloads are free, and upfront with large download buttons to prevent confusion.
The Royalty-Free Sounds section consists of Creative Commons and Public Domain works.
The reason why SoundBible is free is to help teachers, students, faculty, and starving artists be able to find sound effects that otherwise can’t afford the costs. Because Free is way cooler than Fee. That one letter “r” makes a world of difference.
The Royalty Free Sounds can indeed be used for commercial uses. The free sounds can only if they are under the Creative Commons Attribution or Public Domain License.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out SoundBible here.
For a simple royalty free sound effects website, SoundGator is a great choice.
They may not have the huge selection of sound effects that you would get from a paid site, but using the websites search option and researching the category list, you can find mostly anything your need.
You may use the sound effects you download in your films, videos, multimedia projects, presentations, apps, games, and just about any other project – but you are not allowed to sell, license, distribute or post online the sound effects on their own, in any form as standalone sound effects (audio, video or data), even if you modify them.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out SoundGator here.
Download royalty-free sound effects and stock audio with MP3 and WAV clips available from Videvo. Download over 170000 files from the website’s sound FX catalog.
Plus, Videvo offers free stock videos and motion graphics for use in any project. You may use these video clips free of charge, in both personal and commercial productions. Video clips that carry the Creative Commons 3.0 license must be attributed to the original author.
The great thing about Videvo.net is that every video and audio file that you find on Videvo has been cleared for use on YouTube and other video hosting platforms.
Always worth checking out, depending on how specific of a sound you need.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out videvo here.
ZapSplat was founded by Alan McKinney who recorded his first sound effect back in 1998. His library grew so quickly that Alan decided he’d prefer to work supporting new creatives and those starting their careers by offering the majority of his sounds to them for free and set up ZapSplat.com.
Many users who used ZapSplat are students who continue to use and promote the ZapSplat library throughout their careers, bringing our sound effects to a wider audience of hobbyists, students, and professionals alike.
ZapSplat also acquires the distribution rights to some of the best sound libraries available, bringing a range of content and growing our general library into one of the largest online.
For Royalty Free Sound Effects, You can check out Zapsplat here.
If you are a struggling artist looking for sound effects to make your content creations pop, this list of Royalty Free Sound Effects websites will do the trick.
Are there any of your favorite free libraries that are not on this list? Share them with the readers in the comments section below.
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About the author: Trent (IMDB | Youtube) has spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.