The BBC is letting you download more than 16,000 free sound effect samples

BBC sound effects archive

The BBC has thrown open the doors to its archives and made over 16,000 sound effect samples available to download free. The BBC's decades of TV and radio programming means you can find an audio sample for almost anything – whether it's a Formula One car, ambient noise recorded at a music festival, or an excited puppy.

The samples are BBC copyright, but are available to  “personal, educational or research purposes” under a RemArc license. You can't use them commercially, and you must credit the BBC (with a link to the archive, ideally).

Sounds good to us

The samples are available to download in WAV format, and you can check their length and preview them in your browser before downloading. The database is searchable too, so you won't have to spend hours hunting for the right clip – unless you want to.

The site is currently in beta and is under heavy load at the moment, so have patience while the full page loads. It's well worth the wait.

If you need audio you can use commercially, MusicRadar has 64,197 royalty-free music samples available to download free, including loops, hits and multisamples. All the site asks is that you don't redistribute them.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)