After a successful inaugural year, The Sound of the Year Awards return. A celebration of everyday sound in all its forms, the awards are presented by The Museum of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and others. Submissions are accepted and encouraged from around the world. Anyone over the age of 16 can enter and there is a new classroom-based under 11’s category this year.


The awards aim to highlight the rapidly-growing international community of sound professionals and enthusiasts as the value of good sound, listening, and healthy sonic environments are becoming recognised as a vital part of our lives. Whilst there are many awards shows for the moving image, we think the time is right to acknowledge and support those working hard to build and share their expertise in moving audio as we enter this new age of sound.


In 2021, the SOTYA are partnering with like-minded and innovative organisations and institutions for specific categories, to draw focus to the work being created in their fields and to help expand the reach of the awards to a wider audience. The winners of all the over 16 categories will receive a Geofóna unique geophone microphone, courtesy of LOM.


Prize Sponsorship: LOM

Media Partner: Resolution Magazine



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Sound of the Year 

A sound that captures 2021






Best Naturally Occurring Sound
in partnership with Forestry England

A sound that occurs without human input and was captured in the last 12 months






Disappearing Sound 
in partnership with The British Library 

A sound that is unlikely to be heard in the future, but that is worth saving






Best Designed Individual Sound 
in partnership with Krotos

An excellent individual sound created or recorded for a TV show, film, game, or other media, that was released in the last 12 months






Most Unpleasant Sound
in partnership with Advanced Communication Solutions

A sound this year that has caused significant distress






Best Innovation in a Sound Tool or Technique
in partnership with Music Tech Fest

An award for a tool or piece of technology that has impressed this year, and has made working with sound result in a greater experience. Made or released in 2021.






Best Sound Innovation In Everyday Life
in partnership with Quiet Mark

Recognising a new technology, appliance or technique made public in the last year, that has improved how the sound of something is experienced in everyday life






Composed With Sound
in partnership with Soundgas

An award to celebrate a composition that has been made predominantly using recorded sound rather than musical or electronic instruments






Best Imagined Sound
in partnership with the Southbank Centre's National Poetry Library

An award for someone who can describe a compelling sound that doesn’t exist yet







Best Classroom Soundscape (Under 11’s Category)
in partnership with Sound and Music's Minute Of Listening

Inviting classes of children to imitate, using their voices, bodies, and materials around them, an audio recording that is hosted on a SOTYA collection on the Minute of Listening website. These classroom soundscapes can be recorded by their teachers and submitted to this category.

View and listen to the Minute of Listening Sound of the Year Awards Collection here. Featuring recordings from Jana Winderen, the winner of our Best Field Sound Recordist 2020. 



All submissions must have been recorded, heard, created, or released between 1st Jan - 31st Dec 2021. 

You can make as many submissions as you like. Please fill in one form per entry. 

You can nominate yourself, your team, or someone else in the relevant categories. You should always credit the sound recordist, artist, or creator where known.

It is mandatory to submit an audio file recording with each submission, other than ‘Best Imaginary Sound’ which is a written submission.

If the recording you are submitting is longer than 5 minutes in length, please send in a 5 minute section for the judges to listen to.

The deadline for submissions is 28th February 2022, 18:00hrs (UK-Time).

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