Difference Between Hearing and Listening

Did you ever imagined that why we used to forget maximum things which we hear from our ears. But at the same time when we listen to some thing we hardly forget that.

Okay so that is the topic on which you will get detailed knowledge in the succeeding paragraphs but in brief. So, first thing first lets see the definitions of both the terms.

Difference Between Hearing and Listening


It is a natural phenomenon in which our ears picks up sound and process the sound as voice, music or anything which produces sound. In hearing our ear exposed to various sounds either intentionally or un-intentionally.

So, by large we do not have choice to hear a particular important thing while neglecting the un important one. In hearing hardly the active involvement of our brain needed. So we can say that the act of hearing is rather simple and basic.


In listening we used to hear some sound with our ears and at the same time we also process those things in our brain. So, in this case two out of 5 senses are working simultaneously. Listening only can be done if we hear something with concentration.

We can also say that listening is an act in which we pay attention to sound; to hear something with thoughtful attention. It is also a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding.


Now lets see the key differences between Hearing and Listening in tabular format.

Key Differences Between Hearing and Listening

It is an ability. So everyone with good ear are having this ability.Whereas It is a skill. So one need to attend this skill.
It is a phenomenon which simply happensWhereas here its needs learning skills for listening.
We can say that it is just receipt of message through ears.On the other hand listening is interpretation of message which was received through ears.
Hearing is a passive processWhereas listening is an active process that needs constant attention.
It does not requires understandingListening requires understanding
Human beings can hear many things concurrently (cars, barking, TV in another room, people chatting)Human beings can only listen to one thing at a time. Since it requires concentration.
One more important point is that it is a Physiological ability.Whereas Listening is a Psychological ability need to be developed by oneself.

We hope that we have covered all major differences between Hearing and Listening. If you have more doubt you can shoot the questions in comment section.

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