The brain-tingling world of ASMR collides with science fiction


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I experience ASMR and it’s wonderful. To me it’s like giving your brain a massage or a soothing warm bath. However I think the triggers for this experience are different for everyone. Having a haircut does do it for me but these videos don’t. To allow the onset of ASMR reliably for myself, I listen to Tibetton singing bowls or tabla music. Or even a real heavy drum solo by John Bonham et al. Personally I find spoken words to kill the effect. Anyway I’d love some actual research to be done.


I tried a few of those videos and got nothing - and I find whispering annoying. Then I found one with various metal objects, and the socket wrench ratcheting in particular was surprisingly pleasant.


Is there a term for people who experience rage while listening to ASMR videos…

No seriously, I listened to that “Departure” video for maybe 15 seconds and I couldn’t take it. Kind of like manybellsdown mentioned above, I find the non verbal ones to be neutral at best for me…but whispering, no - JUST NO.

Crinkling a mylar “chip” bag…I swear I’ll crawl though these series of tubes and slap that shit out of your hand…

But I realize why it is, at least for me. I can’t tolerate the “clicking” and overly emphasized air sounds. Really it is more the mid to low grade mics everyone on youtube uses do nothing to help this. I feel if someone used a studio mic setup it’d cut out the harsh clicking noise with certain constants (like T), or the overly breathy issue. Hell, maybe she does have a nice setup, either way just NO, NO, NO.

I do however experience the whole tingling euphoric feeling if someone uses electric trimmers on my neck or gives a really good head massage. I think it’s more physical for me than auditory.


The main reaction I get is wanting to sample the audio and drown it in reverb and add some low drones.

Oddly enough, an MP3 of this talk is my relaxation jam that I regularly listen to whilst getting my teeth cleaned.



I was just about to post about misophonia. I experience this as well. I’d love to know if there’s a correlation between these ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ audio experiences in an individual.

Yeah, the non-verbal ones work best on me. I find even the whispered voice is too distracting. Music, rustling, scratching and crinkling are all very effective.

The problem seems to be that the vast majority of videos are verbal.

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I think I get the ASMR tingling feeling, again not while listening to these videos, but in videos of people explaining things in a quiet voice especially when they pause to think about something or focus their attention on something. If they are lecturing off a script or from memory, no feeling. If they are thinking and talking at the same time, I get it. It almost seems to me that I can feel them thinking but I am pretty sure it is just a lot of non-verbal clues like body posture and tones of voice. Bob Ross doesn’t do it most times. I think he had done so many paintings he did not really need to think anymore. For example, when this guy explains the Crwth i get the tingles:


ASMR has a lot of different triggers. For spoken-word for me, accent plays a large role. I trigger on some music like Rei Harakami (RIP).

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These are AMSRtists posting for a particular niche who triggers on whispers, soft-voices, there are a few sites were folks talk about other triggers they have like particular music pieces or artists, or physical things like haircuts.

The metal-objects thing sounds neat. Do you have a link?


I think it might have been this one:

There’s also one with a typewriter that I find very soothing.

All the artifacts you’re complaining about are actually sort of the point. For me at least, those sounds and similar mic sounds (see: Bob Ross) are one of the most reliable ASMR triggers out there.

I have misophonia with high frequency noises, which I think is related to CAPD (I’m on the spectrum). I tend to hear tiny high frequency noises (and some very low frequencies) painfully loudly. It’s not hyperacusis. I suffer mild panic from it, so I always carry earplugs. It’s much worse when I’m tired.

Thank Satan for the extinction of CRTs, that’s all I can say.


This sound is the closest thing I’ve had to ASMR:

Oooh that old video game music does give me a tingle. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia or what.

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My friends and I would lie around with someone tasked at keeping the car running at top speed as long as possible for the buzz. I think it’s the harmony.