Find free sound effects on the Internet it is not difficult. A simple Google search will return many results. However, it is not uncommon for us to have to dive in a sea full of paid sites, with very limited licenses or that require you to register before downloading anything.
With this in mind, here is a selection of 10 websites where you can find sound effects to download for free and work with them with total freedom. To develop it, I have taken into account that the effects are free and that they can be used without licensing problems, although there are some places where the permissions are not specified or are somewhat diffuse.
And I have also counted on something important: that no need to register to download, which then we end up filling up with accounts that we use only once and which we lose track of. Well, there is an exception, but I have put it at the end of the whole.
Free sound effects
Although it does not have a large selection, on this site we can quickly find the most common effects classified into 16 categories. They are in MP3 format and the sound quality is uneven: I have tried to download some effects and had to 24kbps and 56kbps. Of course, since the list of effects is relatively small, you can quickly see it and decide if there is what you need. The download is from the same list of effects. Your license is not specified.
Link | Sound effects
Contains more sounds than the previous page, although their description refers only to their classification, which consists of 19 categories. It does not have a player to listen to before downloading. All effects are in format 128 kbps MP3. The hard part here is finding the effect you need. The download is from the same list of effects. All effects can be used with total freedom.
Link | Sound FX
A site in English with 30 categories and a wide selection (1980 audios say they have so far). Each category is divided into several pages and each one shows a list of the effects. To be able to hear or download them, we have to enter a individual page for each effect. The files are in WAV format and, as for the license, there is only one disclaimer that specifies that the effects have not been created by the author of the web, but compiled from different sources of free distribution.
Link | GRsites
This is the free download section of a paid audio website. It has nine categories with two or more subcategories. The audios are in 128 kbps MP3. The download is from the download link, with no option to listen to them. Regarding the license, the files can be used without problems for personal or educational use. To use them in commercial projects, they ask contact them.
Link | The Recordist
PacDV free sound effects
This is the section of the site of a company that makes documentaries and promotional videos. Contains 10 categories, each with one large amount of audios. Effects can be use freely, except to sell them or put them for download on another site. The audios are in MP3 to different qualities, between 96 and 128 kbps.
Link | PacDV free sound effects
Again, another page that sells audios but with a free section that has 24 categories, although with little effect on each. However, the audios are in High quality MP3: 320 kbps. Even if nothing is specified for free downloads, it can be assumed that the same license applies as for paid ones: you can do whatever you want with them.
Link | SFX Source
A free sound effect finder. Minimalism like Google on the cover, inside it is practically the same. We do not know where it gets the sounds from, but on the page about the service it says that it does so through its vast database. Oh, and that all the themes are royalty free. You have option to listen before downloading and the download is direct from results page. The audios are in WAV format.
Link | Soungle
Partners In Rhyme
It is a site whose activity is to sell royalty-free music and audio effects. Its free audio section is divided into three main categories according to the license: obtained from other websites, royalty free and under public domain. Each has its own subcategories. The offer is relatively wide and well classified. Each sound has its own individual page to listen to and download. They are in WAV format.
Link | Partners In Rhyme
Flash Kit is a resource site for Flash. Its sound effects section is very wide. It has 15 categories with several subcategories each. There are a large number of files and we can listen to the audios from its subcategory or from its individual page. Downloads are offered at Wav, MP3 and Flashtrack.
Link | Flash Kit
The Freesound Project
I had made it a point not to review any site that involved registration. However, I can’t put aside this huge collaborative database of audio snippets, effects, samples, etc. under Creative Commons license. The files are in different formats (AIFF, OGG, Wav) but I think that all in high quality. The amount of audios is impressive and there is no doubt that there you will find what you need. Of course, to download them, I already say that registration is required, although this is gratuitous.
Link | The Freesound Project