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Best Royalty Free Sound Effects for Podcasts

Jourdan Aldredge

May 22, 2024

When you think about it, the art of podcasting really isn’t that hard. All you need to get started is a microphone and an audio recorder, and while it might not be the highest quality to start, you have those available with most smartphones or laptops these days.

Other than recording tools, most podcasts really only need a minimal amount of editing. Of course, once you launch a podcast and build a bit of a following, you might want to invest more in making your audio sound better, as well as improving the quality, pacing, and flow of your podcasts.

And that’s where audio editing and sound design will come into the equation. That’s because the differences between iPhone-recorded first-time podcasts and big industry professionals with millions of subscribers really come down to subtle improvements.

One of the main ways in which high-end podcasts stand out is with sound effects. Let’s take a look deeper into how sound effects can give your podcasts that extra level of quality, as well as provide some hand-selected royalty free sound effects for your podcasts.

10 top royalty free sound effects for Podcasts

Now, before we dive into more details about how to use sound effects for your podcasts—and what royalty free means—let’s quickly give you some great sound effects for your podcasts here at the start.

Keep in mind, these are just some hand-picked royalty free sound effects that we feel would be great to use in a podcast. They could be part of your intros or outros or used to bring your stories or interviews to life. We’ll give you more tips later, but it is up to you.

So, to get you started, here are some of our top picks for the best royalty free sound effects for podcasts.

  1. Group Chatting

Description: Medium-sized crowd having a conversation in a restaurant.

  1. Laugh Applause

Description: Mixed crowd laughing and applauding.

  1. Boo Short

Description: Crowd noisily catcalling. Single boos.

  1. Human Ghost Drone 01

Description: Drone with human ghost voices.

  1. Playground 01

Description: Playground. Children playing and screaming in German.

  1. Heavy Waves 01

Description: Heavy, noisy, crashing waves.

  1. City Train Passing

Description: Ambience in city commercial zone. Train passing by and forklift moving around in the background.

  1. Happy Bright Rise 02

Description: Short musical jolly rising.

  1. Promo Pad 89

Description: Small promo pad, TV click on, white noise static, and TV turn off.

  1. Medium Mechanical Rattle And Lock Sequence 01

Description: Short metallic rattle with multiple deep clicks.

These are just some of our top selections, though. If you’d like to delve through thousands more, visit our full royalty free sound effects library. Or just keep reading this article, as we’ll give you more playlist options below as well.

How to use sound effects in podcasts

Person at desk with microphone and headphones, searching for the best royalty free sound effects

As we mentioned above, using sound effects for your podcasts can be a great way to instantly up your production value, as well as better entice your listeners to really feel like they’re more immersed in your story or interview.

If you don’t believe us, just listen to some of your favorite podcasts, and you might be surprised to hear how many of them regularly use sound effects for different purposes. You’re, of course, open to experimenting with using sound effects wherever you might like in your podcasts, but here are some areas and uses many podcasters have found work best for their podcasts.

  • Intros and outros
  • Ad reads and promo bumpers
  • To help set the scene for stories or longer conversations
  • To illustrate sounds discussed in the podcast
  • For dramatic effect to build suspense or deliver an emotional payoff

In general, if your podcast is more narrative and storytelling-based, sound effects should absolutely be a part of your podcasting process today. However, even if you’re producing a more conversational or informational podcast, adding sound effects at key moments to help illustrate and emphasize different elements of your conversation is also a nice touch.

What are royalty free sound effects?

Microphone and computer monitor, set up for recording the best royalty free sound effects for podcasts

Now, we need to pause here as we’ve mentioned the term “royalty free” a few times in this article, so we should probably help explain what this term means in case you’re not familiar with it. Royalty free sound effects (or music, for that matter) have to do with copyrights—which you might know more about than you’d think.

Basically, you need to know that all music and sound effects have natural copyrights associated with them. These copyrights protect both their composition and recording. If you’re using any music or sound effects without proper licensing, you could be liable to have your content or podcasts taken down—or worse.

By far, the best way to find and use music and sound effects in your podcasts easily, legally, and affordably is to utilize royalty free music licensing platforms like Soundstripe. With single song or SFX purchase options or subscription plans that unlock thousands of tracks and effects, Soundtripe can legally and easily use tons of audio assets for your podcasts across all the different platforms and channels out there.

If you’re curious to learn even more about how copyrights work for music and sound effects alike, here’s a great primer on what royalty free music is (and is not).

Our top sound effects playlists for podcasts

Alright, since we’ve now covered what you need to know about royalty free sound effects and how to use them for your podcasts, let’s get back to getting you some quality royalty free sound effects for you to use in your podcasts. 

Again, remember that these are curated playlists featuring some of the best SFX for you to use in your podcasts however you wish—there are no right or wrong answers here.

Working 9-5

Description: Workplace ambiance. This playlist is a pure symphony of synergy.

City Life

Description: Experience the hustle and bustle of city life with these sounds

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Description: Traveling sounds of various passenger vehicles


Description: Audio recordings of animal wildlife from around the world


Description: Cheers, boos, and crowd noise atmosphere. Hooray!


Description: Movement of various textures to add an extra layer of believability to your project.

Sound Design Clips

Description: Cinematic sound effects, pre-arranged into powerful sequences, you can cut your footage to

If you still want to review more sound effects and playlists, check out these additional royalty free sound effect playlists here.

Tips for using royalty free sound effects in your podcasts

Microphones and sound board for recording sound effects for podcasts

In case we haven’t mentioned it enough before, the art of podcasting really isn’t that hard to break into. No major gatekeepers are keeping you from launching your dream podcast today. But, with that being said, finding enough success to sustain your podcast beyond a passing hobby will require you to knuckle down and find creative ways to help your podcast stand out.

Of course, your content will be the best way to help you find a niche and develop an audience. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t try to hammer this home for you: adding sound effects to your podcast will absolutely help you improve your audio quality.

In addition to the ways mentioned above, here are some additional tips for how to use royalty free sound effects in your podcast.

  • Look for sound effects that reflect your podcast’s style and theme
  • Push emotional cues with sound effects
  • Don’t be afraid to get your audience to laugh
  • Your intro is the most important part of your podcast; make it as quality as possible
  • Find the right audio levels for your sound effects

The key here is to find (and use) the right sound effects in your podcasts that make the most sense to you. If you feel they’ll add to your audience’s listening experience, give these SFX a shot.