Auditory distortion

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An auditory distortion can be described as the experience of perceived alterations in how audible noises present and structure themselves.

These distortions can manifest in many styles, but commonly take the form of echoes or murmurs which rise in the wake of each sound and are accompanied by fluctuating changes in pitch. This can intensify up to the point where sounds are consistently followed by a continuous reverberation, often rendering the original sound completely unrecognizable. However, it often quickly resets to base level and starts over if the source of noise is stopped or changed.

The experience of this effect can be broken down into three distinct levels of intensity. These are described and documented below:

  1. Mild - At the lowest level, auditory distortions consist of subtle and spontaneous reverberation, echo effects, and changes in pitch to noises within the external environment. They are fleeting in their manifestation, underwhelming in their intensity, and easy to ignore.
  2. Distinct - At this level, auditory distortions consist of distinctly noticeable, spontaneous echo effects and changes in pitch attributed to noises within the external environment. Thy are long and drawn out in their manifestation and loud enough to become difficult to ignore.
  3. All-encompassing - At the highest level, auditory distortions become constant in their manifestation and impossible to ignore. The complexity of the resulting alterations quickly renders the original sound as unintelligible.

Auditory distortions are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as auditory hallucinations, auditory suppression, and auditory enhancement. They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of dissociatives such as ketamine, PCP, and DXM.


The audio clip above demonstrates how it may sound to listen to a lecture while undergoing the experience of level 3 auditory distortions.

This audio clip denotes level 3 audio distortions in a forest setting.

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:

See also