Sound of The Year Awards 2021 – Everything you Need to Know

Sound of the Year Awards 2021 Banner

The Sound of the Year Awards started last year as a way to celebrate everyday sound in all its forms – this is no ordinary awards ceremony.

Presented by The Museum of Sound, and in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and many other partnerships and sponsors, the awards encourage submissions from all around the world.

The awards celebrate sound as its own medium, rather than as a combination with film, music, or video games.

The number of sound enthusiasts is continuing to rise as equipment becomes more affordable, easier to use, and more convenient. As a result, the ability to creatively capture sound is more accessible than ever before.

…the value of good sound, listening, and healthy sonic environments are becoming recognised as a vital part of our lives…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.”

Sound of The Year Awards

For the Sound of the Year Awards 2021, there are no membership requirements or restrictions if you wish submit a sound for consideration. Anyone over the age of 16 can enter, but even with this, there is a classroom-based under 11’s category for even younger budding sound folk.

In 2021, the SOTYA are partnering with like-minded and innovative organisations and institutions for specific categories, to draw focus to the work that is being created in their fields and to help expand the reach of the awards to a wider audience.

Winners will receive a LOM Geofón, and will get to experience an awards ceremony that values a deep appreciation for the creative world of sound practice.

The ceremony takes place in Spring this year, and there is less than a month to go to submit your sounds – so don’t delay!

​Sound of The Year Awards 2021 Judges

Alannah Chance – Reduced Listening

Andrea Zarza – The British Library

Axel Kacoutié – Audio Artist & Poet | The Guardian

Bernie Krause – Wild Sanctuary

Chris Watson – Natural History Sound Recordist

Josephine Lavelle – Forestry England

Lars Ginzel – Film Re-recording Mixer

Poppy Szkiler – Quiet Mark

Rana Eid – db Studios

Tony Gayle – The Audio Cartel

Trevor Cox – Professor of Acoustic Engineering

 Matthew Herbert – Chair of Judges | BBC New Radiophonic Workshop

Prize Sponsorship: LOM

Media Partner: 
Resolution Magazine

Sound of The Year Awards 2021 Categories

Sound of the Year 
A sound that captures 2021

Best Naturally Occurring Soundin 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 Soundin partnership with Advanced Communication Solutions
A sound this year that has caused significant distress

Best Innovation in a Sound Tool or Techniquein 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 Lifein 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 Soundin 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 Soundin 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 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).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *