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How (and Where) to Find the Best Podcast Sound Effects

Mackenzie Scott

Mar 8, 2022

Here’s the thing about producing sound effects (SFX): Even when you have the technical skills and audio software to record and edit the sounds you need, it’s not always feasible to carry out this entire process on your own. 

For example, not all of us have a fully outfitted Foley studio in our backyards or a team of mix engineers to help make our own sound effects.

Fortunately, Soundstripe has curated a library of more than 60,000 studio-grade royalty free sound effects that you can license and download in seconds. This means you can filter through our catalog, find the perfect sounds, and drop them onto your editing timeline without any hassle.  

If you’re looking for high-quality sound effects to use in your podcast, this article will point you in the direction of some great options from our library. 

But first, let’s cover some sound effects basics.


A quick crash course on Foley

Foley work, or sound effects, is foundational to any project that uses audio. To provide some Jeopardy-worthy context, the term “Foley” comes from the 1920s radio sound artist Jack Foley, whose work impacted the way today’s creators approach sound design.  

Even though Foley effects certainly include things like loud explosions and monster noises, it also includes sounds that are far more subtle (i.e., footsteps, a door opening, rainfall, etc.). 

To create sound effects, Foley artists and mix engineers work together in studio environments until they capture the perfect sound. This process can involve using props like a bucket of water, a tub of sand, rope, feathers, and more. 

In the video below, you can see some of the innovative ways that Foley artists create sound effects for films and other projects: 




Sound effects in podcast production

In a medium like film and TV, sound effects are always present and have a major impact on the audience’s viewing experience. But, when it comes to podcasts, is it always essential to use sound effects?

The short answer is “Not always.” Sound effects are storytelling tools that some podcasters choose to use and others don’t. They can serve a practical purpose in your episodes, help you transition between segments, and create a better overall listener experience. 

When done right, podcast sound effects can make your content more compelling to new and subscribed listeners. However, if you layer too many sounds together, you take the risk of distracting rather than engaging your listeners. 

As a best practice, the sound effects you use should always add value to your podcast — not seem like you just stuffed a bunch of random audio clips onto your editing timeline. 

To help you do this seamlessly, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of podcast sound effects. 

SFX for interview and narrative-style podcasts

When it comes to choosing royalty free sound effects for your podcast, remember that this is a subjective process. 

If you have an interview-style podcast, you could take a minimalist approach and use SFX like Tape_Rewind 02 or Promo Pad 95 as a way to transition between segments.

If your podcast is narrative-based, you could use sound effects to pull listeners into the story you’re telling. For instance, if you’re describing a true crime story that took place in a rural town at night, you could use SFX like Night Distant Village Sounds 01 to set the scene.

There are so many ways you can use SFX to improve the quality of your podcasts. You just need to know two things: 1) What sounds you’re looking for, and 2) Where to find the best ones. 

The good news? We can help you out on both fronts.

Here's our top SFX playlists for podcast production

Navigating a catalog of 60,000+ royalty free sound effects doesn’t have to be a daunting task — at least, not when you’re able to narrow down your options to the best ones via SFX playlists. 

While Soundstripe offers a ton of great playlists to choose from, there are five in particular that are especially well-suited for podcast production:

1. The Podcasts playlist

The Podcasts playlist

Listen and license here

Given the name, it’s only right to start off this list with the Podcasts playlist. Whether you’re producing an interview-style or narrative-style podcast, this playlist is a great resource when you need sound effects that are specifically curated for podcasters. 

To give you an idea of what podcast sound effects are included in this playlist, here are a few options you’ll come across: Group Chatting, Map Zoom Out, and Mid Tonal.

2. The Advertising & Marketing playlist

2. The Advertising & Marketing playlist

Listen and license here

From outdoor sounds to social media notifications and glitches, there’s a wide variety of sound effects in the Advertising & Marketing playlist. Not only is this a good source of SFX for your podcast, but you can also use this playlist when creating social media videos to market your show.  

Here are a few of the podcast sound effects you’ll find: Park City Birds Cars 01, Generic Wind Loop Strong, and Applause Medium Audience Front 01.

3. The Social Media playlist

The Social Media playlist

Listen and license here

Similar to the Advertising & Marketing playlist, the Social Media playlist features outdoor sounds like Beach Waves Soft 01 and Generic Wind Loop Cold

Most of the sound effects in this playlist are more tech-focused. For example, you’ll find SFX for keyboard typing, notification popups, swipes, mouse clicks, and more.

4. The Foley playlist

The Foley playlist

Listen and license here

If you’re looking for an even wider variety of podcast sound effects, the Foley playlist is definitely worth checking out next. This playlist is packed with SFX that capture different types of movement like Creaky Door 01, ​​Shoe On Street 01, Rustle Foliage 01, and Forest Run 01.

5. The Backwoods playlist

The Backwoods playlist

Listen and license here

For narrative-style podcasts, the Backwoods playlist is a good source of natural and ambient SFX. If you’re setting a scene and want to create a more immersive listener experience, you could use SFX like ​​Insects Birds 01, Forest Loop Day, and Beach Waves Rumbling Wind 01 to do that. 

How to find more podcast music and sound effects

Our SFX playlists are designed to help you streamline your search for the right sounds and find what you’re looking for as quickly as possible. However, if you didn’t find exactly what you wanted in these featured playlists, there’s another solution.

Within the SFX catalog, you can filter by dozens of categories including Ambience, Elements, and Industry, then choose the most relevant subcategory. For example, if you want to add a rustling sound effect to your podcast, you can filter our catalog by Movement and then Rustling:


best podcast sound effects


This filter function allows you to exclude the sound effects you don’t want and get a curated selection of the sound effects you do want.   

When you sign up for any of our royalty free music plans, you can license an unlimited amount of music and sound effects every month. And because you’ll get a lifetime license, your use of each sound effect is protected forever — even if you decide to unsubscribe later.

To learn more about our plan options, check out our pricing page

Make our SFX your own in post-production

Once you find the sound effects you want to use in your podcast, the next step is to license those sounds and drop them into your preferred audio editing software. 

To make this process easier on you, we’ve made it so that licensing a sound effect or song from Soundstripe is as simple as hitting the download button. Not to mention you also have the freedom to make our SFX your own during post-production. 

For example, you can layer multiple sound effects together, use a snippet of a sound effect, lower the volume, or add extra flair with reverb and echo effects. By manipulating our sound effects in these ways, you’re able to customize a SFX until it’s a perfect fit for your podcast. 

When you have unlimited access to our library, you’re able to experiment with different sound effects and songs until you find the combination that works best for you.

Further reading

Hopefully, this guide will be a useful resource in your search for podcast sound effects. Whether you plan on using SFX sparingly or not, one of the best ways to ensure that you have all the audio content you need is to outsource Foley from a company like Soundstripe. 

If you’re interested in reading more podcast- and audio-related content, these articles from the Soundstripe blog should be right up your alley: