Unsure that the word exists, given our preference for sight to convey abstract information rather than sound, but I was hoping one of you might know?

  • Visualization means imagining a visual experience, rather than having one. Are you asking about imaginary soundscapes? Don't forget, human vision perceives outlines and imposes order on its input, whereas human sound perception does not form images, except perhaps in imagination. – John Lawler May 21 '15 at 21:25
  • I could have sworn the word was auralization, but I can't find that word in any dictionary. – SomethingDark May 21 '15 at 21:37
  • Could you give the context where you plan to use the word? – Barmar May 21 '15 at 22:42
  • Your categories don't seem to match to me. Sight is normally considered a sense, but the sense of sound is hearing, not sound. – curiousdannii May 22 '15 at 0:20
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    @curiosdanny: I think you read "sight" as referring only to the sense of seeing, whereas OP might have meant it in the sense of "a thing seen". So this IS analogous to a sound; i.e. a thing heard. – Brian Hitchcock May 22 '15 at 7:32

Since you are mentioning 'abstract information' I think you might use the word


Sonification is the use of non-speech audio to convey information or perceptualize data.[1] Auditory perception has advantages in temporal, spatial, amplitude, and frequency resolution that open possibilities as an alternative or complement to visualization techniques. (Wikipedia).

This article by Thomas Hermann deals with the definition of 'sonification' and suggests that it should be used as an analogue to 'visualisation':

... we suggest using sonification with the same level of generality as the term visualization is used in visual display.

P.S. SomethingDarks's suggestion helped with finding this word, so thank you. I think auralization is something a bit different, though.



Visualisation is an act of the mind, not a direct result of sensory input. One can easily "visualise" a scene or object based on sound or touch.

  • I think you're probably right, but this could use a psych/neuro ref. – Jason Melançon May 22 '15 at 1:08

I'd suggest sounding out.


I'm thinking we could put the tree in front of the sun, I'm trying to visualise this.

I'm thinking I could talk about his contributions to the company, and then his character as the office joke. I'm trying to sound this out.


Sight is to visualization as sound is to audiation.

Audiation is the foundation of musicianship. It takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present.

Or to put it another way:

Audiation is to sound what visualization is to images.

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