Other sounds on find pleasing include tennis balls going back and forth over a tennis net at Wimbledon, and the crunch of walking on fresh snow. But the study revealed not all sounds are appreciated with one in five having to put up with bin lorries rumbling up and down their street, and another tenth are disturbed by the passing of nearby trains. As a result, a quarter polled wish they lived somewhere quieter, and on average, adults lose two night’s sleep each week due to noise on their street.
The statistics emerged in a study by global smartphone manufacturer Huawei, after it gave a pair of wireless Freebuds 3 earphones to Emma Healey, 31, who lives minutes away from Heathrow Airport – to drown out some of the external noise.
Emma, who lives with her mother Jane and two-year-old daughter Felicity, has resided on Lewin Terrace, one of the noisiest streets in the country and just a stone’s throw from the airport’s Terminal Four, for 28 years.
Every year, some 475,000 “movements” – the industry term for arrivals and departures – take place at Heathrow, with a plane taking off or landing on average every 45 seconds.
The gesture will come as a relief for Emma who said the noise has not only affected her sleep at home but also her social life.
She said: “Even after all this time, I’m not used to the sound. Sometimes I can even hear the planes being filled with fuel – that’s how close they are.
“Christmas is particularly noisy, and you can literally hear an airplane going over every 90 seconds – it’s just become the norm for me.
“In the summer, it gets so hot in the house that we can’t get the windows open.
“Trying to watch TV is particularly impossible, you have to turn it up so loud you don’t enjoy watching TV any more, blaring in your face.”