An earcon is a brief, characteristic, harmonized, and structured sound representing a specific event or conveys other information. These are common features of computer operating systems and applications, ranging from a simple beep to indicate an error to modern operating systems’ customizable sound schemes that indicate startup, shutdown, and other events.

An earcon is audio identical to an icon that we hear all day while performing out tasks to increase the usability of the system or device that we are using. For example, the sound we hear when emptying our computer trash bin or the beeps we hear when pressing keys on our touchscreen mobile while typing a message.