10 best sound libraries to find great sound effects

Sound libraries can be enormous timesavers for audio professionals and amateur sound designers alike. While it can be fun to create your own sounds, creating hundreds if not thousands of individual sounds for a single project is simply not realistic in most cases. 

Thankfully, hundreds of royalty-free sound libraries are available that give you access to high-quality sounds for nearly any application. These will save you tons of time, and if they don’t fit perfectly, most of them can be manipulated until you get the desired effect. 

While there are tons of sound libraries to choose from, we’ve collected 10 of our favorites that you can use to find amazing sounds for your next project. 

1. Metamorphosis

If you’re looking for tasty sound texture, Metamorphosis is a sound library that you need. Each sound is incredibly high-quality, which gives you space to manipulate it until it fits your soundscape perfectly. 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: All of the sounds in Metamorphosis were recorded at 348kHz, making them some of the highest-quality sounds available. Not only that, the sounds are unique and cover a wide variety of textures, so you don’t have to worry about your project sounding just like thousands of others. 
  • Price Range: $190 to purchase the entire collection 

2. 99Sounds

99Sounds does the most when it comes to providing a high-quality, royalty-free sound library that covers everything from handclaps to electromagnetic hums and whines. Best of all, every sound is 100% free. 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: 99Sounds was created with indie designers in mind and sought to give people access to the sounds they need without breaking the bank.       
  • Price Range: Free 

3. SoundBible

SoundBible is another free sound effect library that includes an impressive amount of royalty-free sounds available to download for free. Sound recordings are available in wav files or mp3 format. 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: This is an excellent resource for anyone just getting started in sound design who wants access to royalty-free sounds without hefty licensing fees.
  • Price Range: Free

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4. Wings by Bonson

Bonson has created several different sound effect libraries that are focused mainly on unique creature sounds, so they’re always worth checking out if you’re working on a film or game featuring animals. Wings is their library that includes a vast array of flying animal sounds, from tiny fairy flits to the beat of a dragon wing. 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: Realistic wing sounds are difficult to come by, so this is an excellent resource for the sound editor who wants hyper-realistic flying creature sounds for their next project.     
  • Price Range: Entire collection starts at $99 for 96kHz sounds. 

5. Adobe Audition Sound Effects

An Adobe Creative Cloud subscription includes Adobe’s sound effect library, which contains sounds for nearly every project, from footsteps to cartoon sounds. 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: Not only are these sounds free and broadcast-quality, you can access them directly from Audition or Premiere Pro, making them great for those moments where you need a quick sound insert.    
  • Price Range: Free 

6. AudioMicro

AudioMicro is a library chock-full of sounds from your favorite blockbuster films, including Kill Bill and Apocalypse Now. If you’re looking to emulate the sound styles of some of the great cinema foley artists and sound designers, this library is perfect for you. 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: All sfx are incredibly high quality and work perfectly for film and game projects.   
  • Price Range: As low as $5 for individual sounds.  

7. Freesound

The description is in the name: Freesound provides a vast library of free royalty-free sound samples that can be used for nearly limitless applications. The catch is that the site can be a bit tricky to navigate, and not all sounds are cinema-quality, but for novice designers or designers on a budget, this is a fantastic resource. 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: There are over 500k sounds currently available in the library, so if you have the time to comb through them, you’re more than likely to find several gems.  
  • Price Range: Free

8. RØDE Ambisonic Library 

Ready to dip your toes into immersive 360 degree sound? RØDE has made its entire royalty-free ambisonic sound library available for free. Ambisonic recordings are designed to perfectly replicate the location of a sound in relation to the listener, which makes them great for VR experience design. 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: Ambisonic microphones can be costly, so this library allows you to sample high-quality ambisonic sounds and begin learning how to manipulate them without up-front investment. 
  • Price Range: Free

9. Epidemic Sound

Epidemic is most well-known for its royalty-free music library specifically designed to cater to YouTubers and other new media content creation, however, they have also developed a sizeable sound effect library that spans over 90,000 high-quality sound effects.   

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: Epidemic works on a subscription model, so for a monthly fee, you get access to their entire library of music and sound effects. This is great for designers who are working on a budget and want to quickly access a lot of tracks and effects without worrying about racking up a huge bill.  
  • Price Range: Starts at $15 per month for a Personal account with limited clearances, $49 per month for a Commercial account which includes licenses for digital ads, and more.

10. SoundStorm

This is one of the priciest investments on our list, but for a good reason. SoundStorm is an Academy Award-winning sound design studio whose credits include Tomb Raider, The Fast and the Furious, Elf, and many more. They have compiled more than 50,000 royalty-free, cinema-quality sound effects into this library 

  • Why Sound Professionals Love It: This library has pretty much everything, and it was compiled by some of the best sound artists in the business, making it an outstanding resource for film projects and beyond. 
  • Price Range: $3000 for a hard drive containing the whole library. 

No matter your budget or needs, there’s a sound library that can help you create the perfect soundscape. 

If you’re looking for a better way to bring your sound team closer together and collaborate more efficiently from a distance, check out Evercast. We believe real-time collaboration is the key to unlocking your best ideas, and better collaboration starts with software that works with your team, not against it. Learn more about plans and pricing.

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