Get a quick $2000...just by using your ears.

by Paul Michael on 2 February 2009 6 comments
Photo: MarcusQ

How's your hearing? Think you have the kind of listening skills that would put the CIA to shame? Well, there's a website out there that's ready to put its money where its mouth is. And if you can guess the sound they play, you win $2000 instantly. No catch. No red tape. The money is yours...if you can guess the sound.

MySecretSound is an idea from an Australian firm called Bean Marketing. But although the firm is located in Sydney, anyone can win from anywhere in the world. All you have to do is listen to a simple, five-second sound and figure out what on Earth it is. It sounds like easy money, but I've been trying for months and have yet to bag the prize.

Here's a link to the latest sound. To me, it sounds like something that's scraping ice, and a door opening, but my guesses have all gone nowhere. And that's because the sounds posted are very specific. Past sounds have included:

  • Taking a big water bottle off a storage rack.
  • Placing a ruler into a desk tidy that sits on your desk.
  • Opening an ice dispenser machine door to get ice cubes out.
  • Whacking a floor mat to get the dust out.
  • Getting toothpaste out of a pump pack container.
  • Opening up scissors and cutting through cardboard.
  • Inflating a ball with a foot operated air pump.

Each one of those sounds was guessed  correctly by the way, and the winners pocketed their $2000 just like the site advertised. And the best part is that it costs nothing to play, and you can guess once a day until the sound is correctly identified. Here are some of the FAQs from the site:

  • How will I get my money? All prizes are paid by cheque (check) and sent registered delivery.
  • What happens if someone guesses the secret sound? When someone gets the secret sound right, we’ll just upload a new sound. The standard prize is $2000 per secret sound, however, watch out for promotions where the sound amount may vary. 
  • Can I really win money for guessing the sound? Absolutely! Just get your thinking cap on and try to figure out what the secret sound is. When you reckon you know, just submit a guess and we’ll let you know if you’re correct. The cheque is written the same day you guess it correctly!
  • When do I get my money? If your guess is correct, your prize-winning cheque will be written the same day your guess is confirmed as being correct and posted immediately.
  • How many guesses can I have? You can listen to the sound as often as you wish and then you can guess once per day per registered contestant.
  • How will I know if I’ve won? You will automatically be sent and email and we will be in contact by telephone within 24 hours to confirm the details for your cheque to be posted. All winners will also be posted on the site along with their winning guess. You can check our Winners page here.
  • Can I have a clue for the secret sound? We regularly publish clues for the current secret sound on our homepage. There is a red, scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen. Check here regularly for clues....

I would love to see a Wise Bread reader bag the cash, so find some quiet time, turn up the volume on your speakers and start listening. If you win, let us know. Best of luck.

Additional photo credit: MySecretSound
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Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

Interesting site paul!  I'll try it later.

Guest's picture
Amy

Just listened and it's definitely a strange sensation hearing something so specific without the accompanying video! Thanks for the link!

Guest's picture
daniel

Neat, thanks!

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm trying to figure out how this makes them money. I haven't clicked the link, because honestly, I don't quite trust it. Do you have to sign up for something? Watch ads? Why such a big prize?

Hmm. I didn't realize I was such a cynic.

Paul Michael's picture

It's clearly something designed to bring in traffic daily, and they do have a section for affiliates.

Guest's picture
Guest

I suspect this is not only a marketing technique, but a trial run for a sound labeling system disguised as a game, like Google Image Labeler and the ESP game.