What Sound Does a Clock Make?

Learn what sound does a clock make, and what sound does a clock make when it rings.

Updated: January 31, 2022

When a clock is running - whether it's a mechanical or battery-powered device, you can usually expect to hear the sound "Tick Tock" coming from the second hand as it moves around the clock face.

But is this really the sound a clock makes?

In this article, I'll answer the question, "What sound does a clock make?" and share tons of other information you need to know about clock sounds - including how to write the sound of an alarm clock and how to describe clock sounds in words.

What Does a Clock Sound Like in Words?

Across the globe, people often describe that a clock makes a "Tick Tock" sound.

However, contrary to the saying (and widespread belief) most clocks actually just make a "Tick" sound, rather than a "Tick Tock" noise.

In the modern world, many people find the ticking sound of a clock annoying. That's why you'll often find some clocks and watches that don't make any ticking sound at all - or, if they do, it's very, very quiet.

How Do You Describe the Ticking of a Clock?

To describe the ticking of a clock, most people say it makes a "Tick Tock" sound.

You can also describe a clock as making a "Tick Tick Tick" sound, which can be considered a more accurate description, since many modern clocks don't actually make the "Tock" sound.

However, people across the globe generally recognize and use the description "Tick Tock" to describe the sound a clock makes. Therefore, you should easily be able to get away with saying a clock makes a "Tick Tock" sound without being misunderstood.

What Sound Does a Clock Make When it Rings?

Depending on the type of alarm clock, you can expect to hear different sounds.

The different types of clocks can include:

  • Digital
  • Mechanical or analog
  • Pendulum
  • Cuckoo
  • Battery-powered
  • Online
  • Smartphone

Here are some of the different sounds you can expect some of these clocks to make when they ring:

  • Digital alarm clocks - Usually either make a beeping sound or use the sound of a radio station
  • Mechanical alarm clocks - Usually make a ringing sound made from a small hammer hitting two bells continuously
  • Pendulum alarm clocks - Make a chime sound
  • Cuckoo alarm clocks - Make a cuckoo sound
  • Smartphone alarm clocks - Usually make a range of different sounds that you can choose between

How Do You Write the Sound of an Alarm Clock?

Since different alarm clocks produce different sounds, writing each of the sounds will also be different.

If you're wondering, "How do you write the sound of an alarm clock?", here's a rough guide to the written sounds each type of alarm clock makes:

  • A digital alarm clock - "beep beep beep" or "buzz buzz buzz"
  • A mechanical alarm clock - "brringggg"
  • Cuckoo clock - "cuckoooo cuckcooo"
  • Pendulum - "donggg donggg donggg"

In Summary

Every clock makes a different sound. Some make a very loud ticking noise, while others tick, so quietly it's almost inaudible. If a clock has an alarm, there are even more sounds you can expect to hear - some of which you can customize yourself.

While the possibilities may be endless, you can usually get away with simply describing a clock as making a "Tick Tock" sound and an alarm going "Ring Ring".


Author: Burak Özdemir

My name is Burak, and I used to have difficulties waking up in the morning due to unreliable alarm clocks. Over the past few years, I've dedicated part of my life to finding the best alarm clocks and sharing my knowledge with people through this blog.