Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Annoyatron Is Audio Equivalent of Spam

I have perhaps found the most annoying device ever You know how irritating it is when your smoke detector needs new batteries and just beeps every now and then? Like the telltale heart, it drives you slowly bonkers. Now, imagine a gadget that did that intentionally, forever, and it was hidden!


With its thin design and embedded magnet for easy hiding, the Annoy-a-tron can be placed in a variety of locations. Select one of the three sound choices (2 kHz, 12 kHz, or alternating) and push the switch to the on position. Place it in a proper hiding spot and let the “fun” begin.

The Annoy-a-tron generates a short (but very annoying, hence the name) beep every few minutes. Your unsuspecting target will have a hard time ‘timing’ the location of the sound because the beeps will vary in intervals ranging from 2 to 8 minutes. The 2kHz sound is generically annoying enough, but if you really really want to aggravate somebody, select the 12 kHz sound. Trust us. The higher frequency and slight ‘electronic noise’ built into that soundbyte will make a full-grown Admin wonder where his packets are.

They’re $10. Which means for the measly price of $50 you could hide five of those badboys in someone’s office/house/dorm with the pretty much guaranteed result of “most miserable day of their life.” I don’t advise testing them in the vicinity of parrots, unless you would like a living, breathing Annoyatron with no off switch.

When that creationist museum opens, I’m going armed with 10 Annoyatrons and an eye for tight spaces. Mwhahahaha….


  1. #1 STEVE
    December 11, 2006

    I’d definitely take a field trip for that! Where is it again?

  2. #2 Dave
    December 11, 2006

    I used to do this exact same thing in college. There was a guy down the hall that let his alarm go off for hours in the morning without getting up, starting at about 6AM. It drove me nuts, so I designed one of these (mine was much larger, using a bread board) and hid it under his bed. Who knew they were marketable.

  3. #3 ivan
    December 11, 2006

    i guess you will probably choose the 12 Hz option. hope the batteries are long-living.

  4. #4 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    December 12, 2006

    I’ve seen “electronic cricket” kits that were similar, except they had a photosensor. They stop chirping when you turn on the light to find them.

  5. #5 Andrew Venegas
    December 12, 2006

    that’s just mean…

  6. #6 Roy
    December 12, 2006

    I knew it was bound to happen. A few years ago, I found a small device in a magazine that, when that particular page was opened, would play a small sound-bite.
    It was pretty damn annoying, even when I *knew* where it was coming from.
    Amusingly enough, someone’s computer has been beeping off and on all day- I don’t know which computer, and it’s not beeping at any specific time that I can tell. I guess this would be kind of like that.
    The one with the photosensor = brilliant(ly evil).

  7. #7 Andrew Venegas
    December 12, 2006

    …but funny.

  8. #8 L Jewett
    December 29, 2006

    Someone already beat the annoyatron people to the punch.

    A device already exists (and is owned by most people, in fact) that has the annoyatron beat by a mile.

    It’s called a cell phone.

    The only thing more annoying than the cell phone itself is the person sitting next to you at the theater or restaurant using one.

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