How To Know the Difference Between Hearing and Listening

Some people live with the common misunderstanding that hearing and listening both are the same things or phenomenon. However, it is one of the most commonly made mistakes as there is a big difference between the two sets of physical phenomenon. Hearing is the name of the physical process when something disturbs the atmospheric conditions and that disturbance takes the form of pressure waves, which in time strike the ear drums of a person and are interpreted as a sound by the human ear. Listening on the other hand is different and it expands on hearing. The two are completely different things and upon understanding the full processes, one can only then realize the short sets of differences between the two.


  • 1

    Listening is different to hearing as it can be described as a qualitative process. After hearing to a certain source of sound produced by a thing or a human, the process of listening starts to kick off. Understanding the things that have been said is more commonly known as listening and it is listening when we pay attention to the said things and try to understand the meaning of the sounds.

  • 2

    Listening is a process which develops into one’s practiced abilities with time. It is a process which is not automatic and needs to be practiced with time to gain capabilities in this regard. Hearing on the other hand is a process that is automatic and takes place even if we do not want it to happen. The sound that is audible to one’s hearing range is always heard by the person and he or she cannot avoid it by any means unless one is using a set of sound proofing equipment.

  • 3

    Listening is a process that requires practice and the abilities only enhance if the person gives it proper attention. It is not an automatically occurring phenomenon. One’s listening sense develops with time and practice as it is a conscious process unlike hearing.

  • 4

    Another difference between hearing and listening is that hearing is a bodily element of listening and happens when certain waves of sounds strike our years at a specific frequency that is audible to human ears. Hearing also gives us the capabilities to differentiate between different types of sounds that are produce d by different objects where as listening does not provide us with that clarity as it always follows hearing.

  • 5

    Hearing is a process that is only confined to the approaching of sound where as listening can get the person to seek out what is being said and makes the listener involve and take part in the active debate.

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