top of page


Tips and Tricks for Audio Puzzles

I have discovered after many years of playing audio puzzles that there are many simple and very straightforward ways that can help to solve them and make them less difficult than they need to be. None of these tips guarantees, when followed, that the audio puzzle will be solved and some of these tips will work better for some people than others or indeed might have minimal to no impact at all but all these tips have at some point definitely helped me. How well this advice works or how applicable it is can also depend on the type of audio puzzle being listened to but the tips and advice being given here are worth a try to see if they work because they are all very easily implemented.

An audio puzzle book when it has challenges that are of different levels of difficulty usually starts with the easier ones and then the challenges get progressively more difficult until the last of these challenges is reached which will be the most difficult. Therefore to avoid making a challenge from an audio puzzle book more difficult than it needs to be it is best to do the challenges in the order they are presented and supposed to be done which usually means starting with the easiest challenges when the audiobook has challenges of different levels of difficulty. I would say also for any audio puzzle book it would be best practice to do the challenges in the order they are meant to be done and not skip challenges to avoid missing out on any of them. I would only skip the easy challenges at the beginning of an audio puzzle book if I already have a lot of experience of those challenges and that doing them would be so easy that they would be unenjoyable and/or there would be nothing to gain from doing them. Doing the easier challenges first can give good practice and understanding of solving these challenges especially if there are a lot of these easier challenges before moving on to the more difficult ones. If the audio puzzle book I am attempting has only difficult or moderate to difficult challenges and I am really struggling to solve them then I could try another audiobook with the same puzzles (maybe even with similar puzzles) but which are easier or a lot easier to solve and then come back to the one that I was struggling with. Hopefully, when I do come back to the audio puzzle book that had challenges that were too difficult for me I am then able to solve those I was struggling with as my ability to solve them has improved from doing the audiobook that had these puzzles or similar ones but that was easier to solve.

I prefer to do an audiobook that is either devoted to one type of puzzle or if there is more than one type then each type has or is put in its own chapter or section rather than an audio puzzle book that goes constantly or frequently from one type of puzzle to another. When I am doing an audio puzzle book and this has a lot of puzzles or challenges in a row that are all the same type then this can really help me and maybe is the best way for me to get a clear understanding of what I need to be listening out for and have to do in order solve this type of puzzle. When the audio puzzle book I am listening to has a number of puzzles to have a go at one after the other that are the same type and when I have developed this understanding of what to listen out for and do for this type in order to solve it then this can allow me to get into a very good rhythm of solving this type of puzzle. Getting into a rhythm, in this case, means solving the puzzles quickly and efficiently and that I am not having to think too deeply or really at all about what I have to do when I am solving them as it is now automatic. However, when the audio puzzle book I am listening to has a series of puzzles to do one after the other and the type of them changes frequently and especially randomly then getting into a rhythm can be impossible or very difficult to attain. This is because I am then constantly having to change potentially what I am listening out for and certainly how I go about solving the puzzle every time the type of puzzle changes. This is why I don't particularly like audio puzzle books that are like this in which the type of puzzle is constantly or often changing as it can make solving the puzzles more difficult and can make it a lot more difficult to learn and get good at solving them.

Slowing down the speed at which the audio puzzle is playing to make sure everything has been heard correctly can really help when the narrator is speaking quickly, has an accent or is putting on a voice that makes it tricky to understand what is being said. Slowing down the speed too much (slower than 1/2 speed) though can make it more difficult to understand and can make the puzzle take a lot longer to complete which could make it more boring or a less enjoyable experience. Slowing down the speed at which an audio puzzle is played could be considered cheating and would definitely be cheating with those that have time limits. Some audio puzzles set the task of solving as many puzzles as possible in a certain amount of time and reducing the speed at which they are played would in this case not help with this task being set. Playing an audio puzzle at a slower speed can be a good idea even if there is a time limit or the goal is to solve as many challenges as possible in a set amount of time because it would be too challenging to do otherwise and to practice it until able to do it when played at regular speed. Playing an audio puzzle more slowly can make the challenge being listened to a lot easier to do and solve because the person doing it will then be and feel less rushed which then gives this person more time to think and to think under less stress as the information about the challenge is given to them and as the challenge or question is posed. When there is more time for the listener of an audio puzzle to think about the information of the challenge that they are listening to because the play speed of it has been reduced then this can help the listener to better recognise any important information given and give more time to memorise any important information given. The listener of the audio puzzle will also have more time to work out what the challenge is from the information given and will be asked of them before the challenge is actually posed or explained which can help the listener to solve the challenge more quickly which is helpful when there is a time limit to come up with a solution. There will be more time to come up with an answer when an audio puzzle is played slowly which can be especially useful when the challenge it poses has a lot of information to digest and/or the challenge requires deep thinking and/or a lot to do and/or figure out. Playing at a slower speed can also be especially useful when there is a time limit for coming up with an answer and/or there are a series of challenges to it that are rapid-fire in which one challenge follows the next almost immediately after the previous one with little time to come up with and give an answer. Having more time between the challenges of an audio puzzle because it is being played at a slower speed can allow for the person listening and doing it to take a breather to allow them to recover mentally from the last challenge and to be mentally prepared for the start of the next.

Simply pausing an audio puzzle challenge can help with solving it as this can give the listener more time to think about and process information from it that they have just been given or to think about what they have just been asked to do from it and to come up with an answer. Pausing can be very useful and sometimes necessary when it comes to memorizing information from the challenge that is important to solving it or when it comes to memorizing exactly what is being asked to be done. If a challenge is presenting the listener with a lot of information all at once and especially if the narrator giving this information is speaking quickly as well then listening to all this information whilst trying to take it all in and thinking about what to do with the information being given can be overwhelming and too much. Pausing an audio puzzle challenge at the moments where the person doing it needs extra time to take in the information being given to them from the challenge or extra time to work out what to do with a piece of information being given is common sense and should be done when it would not be breaking the rules of the challenge to do so or when just practising. To not pause at these moments either when it is not breaking any rules of the challenge to do so or when just practising would likely mean still thinking about information that has not been taken in or that is still being thought about what to do with as the rest of the audio puzzle challenge continues to play. Still thinking about a piece of information given from an audio puzzle challenge as the rest of it continues to play could mean being unable to take in or figure out what to do with this information still being thought about due to being distracted being from listening to the challenge that is still playing and also could mean not being able to take in or being able to think about clearly further information given from the challenge. An audio puzzle challenge can consist of a series of tasks that all need to be done and completed in order to solve the challenge and these tasks can sometimes all be proposed at once by declaring them one after the other. By pausing the challenge after each of these individual tasks has been proposed, when it is not cheating to do so or if practising, it can help to ensure all these tasks are heard and understood fully. These tasks could then also be attempted and completed during these pauses that are being taken in between each of the series of tasks being proposed, that is unless all the information has not yet been given to complete the task when pausing the audio puzzle challenge here, and this may make the tasks easier to solve as each one of the tasks can then be solely focussed on. When an audio puzzle challenge has been difficult or a real slog to get through and complete then pausing before attempting the next challenge, that is when there is a next challenge that follows, would be wise as this pause can be used to recover mentally and to be ready for the next challenge. This next challenge shouldn't be attempted until mentally fresh again and the enthusiasm and desire are there to have a go at this next challenge which may mean taking a long pause or even coming back another day to attempt this next challenge. I find that pausing an audio puzzle can be needed so that I can take a break from it when I have spent a long time on it and I have become mentally fatigued and I am struggling to concentrate and think. This break is then used to give my mind a rest so that after the pause/break I am able to continue it mentally fresh and concentrated which I find are qualities that are very helpful to me when it comes to solving an audio puzzle. The length of break I take after pausing an audio puzzle because I have become mentally tired from listening to it and trying to solve it will depend on how mentally tired I feel at the point of pausing it so generally the more mentally fatigued I feel the longer the break I will take. Spending a long time on an audio puzzle in one go without breaks I find is not a good idea as this leads to me not only becoming mentally tired and therefore struggling to solve it but also leads to it becoming an irritating and tedious experience as well. Therefore I try to keep the time I spend doing an audio puzzle continuously in one go without breaks to a maximum of an hour and if I am going to be spending any longer than 1 hour continuously in one go then I will take plenty of breaks to try to avoid mental fatigue and burnout. Getting a bite to eat and something to drink when taking a break from doing an audio puzzle I have found has helped me to quickly recover from the mental fatigue incurred and that can be a good way of getting time to pass quickly during this pause/break.

The length of the break when pausing an audio puzzle challenge should be as long as is needed to do or to resolve the reason for pausing the challenge in the first place and a challenge should be paused as many times as is necessary and paused as soon as it is recognized that is needed. If a challenge is not paused immediately when it is recognised that a pause is required to resolve whatever the issue is that has been encountered then this can lead to thinking about this issue as the challenge continues to play and this becoming a distraction that doesn't allow for full concentration on the challenge that is continuing to play which would impact the ability to solve it. Therefore pausing a challenge and resolving an issue that requires the challenge to be paused as soon as this issue is encountered means the rest of the challenge can be continued to listen to without having this issue on the mind as a potential distraction. It will also mean that the audio puzzle doesn't have to be relistened to with the issue, which should have resulted in the puzzle being paused to resolve it when it was first encountered, resolved so it is no longer a distraction from the point of the puzzle where this issue was first encountered and became a distraction to solving it. An audio puzzle should only really be restarted and played again from a pause when the issue for taking the pause has been resolved and when what was played from the puzzle before it was paused can be remembered clearly. Pausing an audio puzzle would certainly be cheating for some audio puzzle challenges such as those that have time limits so if it would be cheating to pause then it should only be paused during the challenge when just practising it and not when wanting to do it seriously or properly. Most audio puzzle challenges which don't have a time limit for solving the challenge that they pose to the listener can usually be paused without it being classified as cheating unless it specifically states that it shouldn't be paused. It could state that the challenge can't or shouldn't be paused right at the beginning/introduction of the audio puzzle book the challenge belongs to or this could be stated right before or during a particular challenge or group of challenges which is why it is important to listen to all of an audio puzzle book right from the very beginning so important information like this isn't missed. The person doing an audio puzzle should be ready to be able to pause, rewind, replay or turn the volume up immediately in order to be able to deal with whatever issue may occur effectively in which one of these actions needs to be done.

Having the volume too low so that the audio puzzle challenge can't be heard as clearly as it should and needs to be is easily done and can lead to mishearing or not hearing either the information that is being given about the challenge or the actual challenge being asked. This is very easy to fix as the volume just needs to be turned up on the device the challenge is being played on and/or increased on the headphones/speakers it is being listened to through if this option is available to do. However, it is best to ensure the volume is at the correct level from the very start of the challenge as it would be annoying to find out that a lot of time has been wasted solving it because it has been misheard or parts of it not heard at all. Even after setting the volume(s) to the correct setting so that the challenge is loud enough to be heard clearly from the beginning, there may still be a part or parts of it that are tricky to hear for a variety of reasons. These reasons could be the way the narrator is speaking at this point or those parts of the challenge such as speaking quickly or with a funny voice or the reason could be there is another sound that is being played on the challenge at the same time as the narrator is speaking making what the narrator has to say hard to hear. The person listening to the audio puzzle challenge, therefore, has to be ready and prepared to rewind and listen to a part or parts of it again and possibly with the volume put up even higher to catch what has been said for that part or those parts. It is important to rewind an audio puzzle back and listen again, at possibly a louder volume, when the person listening to it is not sure they have heard a part of it correctly, they have not understood what has just been said or they have not taken in something that has been said. To not rewind back in any of these instances, which are instances of the listener having doubts about what has been said or what has been asked of them, could be the difference between them being able to solve the challenge or them being able to solve it well. These instances that can happen with audio puzzle challenges may, when they occur, have to be rewound and replayed multiple times and possibly replayed at a louder volume and/or slower speed for the listener in these instances to clearly hear what has been said or for them to understand what has been said. It could well be that the whole audio puzzle challenge has to be listened to from the beginning again for the part of the challenge that wasn't heard or understood by the listener to make sense to them even after this part has been heard clearly by them when they replayed it. This is because this part of the challenge won't make any sense when heard in isolation and that it needs to be heard in its proper context which is the whole of the audio puzzle challenge it belongs to in order for this part to make sense. If an audio puzzle challenge is very confusing and has not made much sense or not even made any sense at all after having listened to it all the way through for the first time then listening to it again in its entirety will very likely be necessary and may need to be done a few times or as many times as necessary for it to make sense and to be able to solve it. Also if a lot of information given from the audio puzzle challenge has been forgotten after having listened to it all the way through for the first time then it may take repeated listens of the whole challenge for this information to stick in the memory in order for the challenge to be solved. It is easy to forget information from an audio puzzle challenge if a lot of information is given which is why I would recommend writing down and noting information the information that you feel is relevant and crucial to solving the challenge rather than relying on your memory especially if your memory isn't great. The more difficult audio puzzle challenges can be a real struggle to comprehend especially on the first listen which is why it may take several listens of the whole challenge to comprehend it which can be laborious to do when the challenge takes a significant amount of time to listen to. Listening to a whole audio puzzle challenge again can also be necessary when the challenge was attempted but not successfully solved and then this challenge is being reattempted or continued a long time after the last time it was attempted. When a long time has passed since doing or since the last attempt at a particular audio puzzle challenge then the information given from that challenge or what precisely was asked from it can be forgotten even if the person who is reattempting the challenge thinks they have remembered everything from the challenge correctly. Therefore it is important when reattempting or continuing with an audio puzzle challenge from a long time ago to refresh the memory and listen to this challenge in its entirety again even if the person reattempting it thinks they have remembered everything as they may find on relistening they have not. There might not be a need to relisten to a whole challenge again or at all on reattempting it after a long period of time if notes about it were taken from the last time the challenge was attempted and especially if these notes have all the information needed to successfully solve the challenge.

An important piece of advice I would give to help make an audio puzzle easier is to attempt it when there are no or minimal distractions that would hamper you in any way in your ability to successfully solve it and to do it to the best of all your abilities. If something is distracting me from the audio puzzle I am doing then it is usually either visual and/or audible but can also be related to my sense of touch or even a smell. To solve an audio puzzle you will have to be able to hear both clearly and entirely the information given and the question being asked and then process this information and the question being asked and come up with an answer. Distractions can not only just mean that the information being given and the question being asked is not heard or understood either at all or partly but also that answer can't be clearly thought about. When there is a distraction(s) that is disrupting your ability to do and solve an audio puzzle challenge it would be obviously ideal to just get rid of that distraction(s) entirely before carrying on with the challenge but if this is not possible then reducing this distraction(s) if this is possible so that it's minimally distracting, in terms of being able to do the challenge, could be the next best option. If what is distracting you from the challenge can't be got rid of or reduced so that it is no longer distracting or only a little distracting then coming back to the challenge when that distraction(s) isn't there anymore or finding another place to do it where there are no distractions would be better than just carrying on with the distraction(s). Doing an audio puzzle with a distraction(s) can not only mean it is more difficult to solve the challenge being asked or even impossible to solve but also make it a miserable and unenjoyable experience even if the challenge is successfully solved with the distraction(s) and this could make you not want to do that or any audio puzzle in future. Coming back to an audio puzzle and simply picking up where you left off is not always that easy though when you have been interrupted whilst doing it by some sort of distraction(s) and had to stop and come back to it when and/or where there are no distractions. This is because some audio puzzles can give a lot of information before asking the question that is about or related to this information and if you have to come back to one, especially after a long time, you may have forgotten some if not all that information and then have to listen to all that information all over again to be able to successfully answer the question or complete the challenge being posed. It is therefore important before starting an audio puzzle challenge/question to ensure that there will be nothing that will distract from listening to, understanding and thinking about this challenge for at least the entire length of time it will take to listen to the information given about the audio puzzle challenge/question and to hear what the challenge/question actually is. Ideally, it should also be ensured there is nothing to distract for the time it takes to also actually come up with an answer to the challenge/question or to solve it while the information that is given about the challenge/question and what the challenge precisely is can still be remembered clearly. If it is not possible to do an audio puzzle without a distraction(s) as there is no other time and/or place to listen and do it without this distraction(s) then it might be possible with time and practice to filter out or mentally block out this distraction(s) and be able to listen to and solve it with this distraction(s) successfully but this likely will not result in optimal performances.

It is vital to be able to hear an audio puzzle challenge clearly and without distortion so that it can be successfully solved and that the challenge is not more difficult than it is supposed to be. An audio puzzle will be either heard through speakers or through headphones and either can be a good option, even though each of these options has its own advantages over the other, as long as that when the puzzle is played through them that it can be heard clearly and without distortion. My preference is to use in-ear wireless headphones as they cut out background noise well, they don't have wires which can be distracting, I find them comfortable to wear and they allow me to listen to it without anybody else listening to it. These in-ear wireless headphones I have are small in size and light in weight which makes them really easy to carry on me and that is one of the major reasons why I chose them to begin with so that I can carry them with me wherever I go. This then means that these headphones will be available to me for when an ideal time crops up for me to listen to and to do an audio puzzle even though these physical qualities that make these headphones easy to carry also mean they are vulnerable to being lost or damaged. When using headphones to listen to an audio puzzle then it is important that they always go in or cover both ears so that a sound, that could well be crucial or important to the solution, is not missed as sometimes a sound(s) from an audio puzzle will only be played/heard through one of the headphone speakers. I would say, in general, it is better to use headphones for listening to an audio puzzle rather than using speakers because of their superior ability to block out background noise so that you can basically only hear the puzzle when it is playing through them. However, there is quite a big negative when it comes to headphones in contrast to speakers which is that speakers tend to be a lot longer lasting and take a significantly longer time to break down if they do at all whereas headphones in comparison can break down quite quickly leading to them not working properly if at all. This can happen to headphones even when they are looked after carefully and used as they are supposed to which means headphones can often need replacing regularly in order to avoid listening to an audio puzzle with broken headphones that would sound distorted or that would only be heard through one side of the headphones.

Speakers, I would say, when it comes to listening to an audio puzzle should be used in preference to headphones when it is a group activity and especially when the puzzle and the other participants must be heard at the same time which would be difficult if not impossible when using headphones. When listening with speakers then I make sure that they are pointing at me so the sound coming from them is coming directly towards me and that I am close enough to them and/or that the volume is turned up loud enough on them and/or on the device that it is being played on so that I can hear the puzzle clearly. I also ensure nothing is covering up or in front of the speakers that could impact negatively how clearly I can hear the audio puzzle being played through them and I try to ensure there is no other noise nearby that could distract or stop me from hearing the puzzle that is playing through speakers. Listening in either surround sound (preferably using speakers) or particularly 3D audio (preferably using headphones) can make listening to an audio puzzle challenge a very immersive and even a more realistic experience especially if the challenge has been made to be heard and then listened to in surround sound or 3d audio. When a challenge is a more immersive experience then this can engage the listener more which can lead to them having a more enjoyable time and mean they have a higher level and more prolonged concentration and this can all help with the listener's performance in being able to solve the challenge. Individual sounds from an audio puzzle can really stand and pop out more when listened to in surround sound and especially when listened to in 3D audio which may really help to solve it. There are many different types of headphones and speakers but as stated it is most important to choose headphones or speakers, for the purpose of listening to an audio puzzle, which will play the puzzle so that it can be heard clearly and without distortion. After these criteria have been met it is about which headphones or speakers sound best when listened to by the individual using them (which will likely mean plenty of trial and error) and about where they are going to be used to listen to the puzzle. When choosing specifically headphones for listening to an audio puzzle then it is important they are comfortable to wear so they are not distracting from listening to it and to use wireless headphones if find wires distracting. Blocking out background noise is the best reason to choose headphones over speakers for when listening to an audio puzzle and which type of headphones will work best for this will depend on the individual. This is because we all have different shaped ears so this will likely again take plenty of trial and error to find the specific headphones that perform the function of blocking out background noise the best for a particular person. It is essential that the speakers playing the audio puzzle play loud enough so that it can be heard from the distance away that the person is who is listening to it will be from the speakers without it sounding distorted. This may require using large in size speakers or using more speakers to achieve this if the person who is listening to the audio puzzle is far away from the speakers and can't position themselves any closer to them. Another reason for a person to use speakers instead of headphones when listening to an audio puzzle that may help them with solving it is if this person doesn't actually like the feeling of wearing any kind of headphones and therefore using headphones would distract.

There are speakers that are designed to be portable which means they will be small enough for most people to hold in their hands, light enough in weight for most people to hold in their hands for a reasonably long time and are wireless. Using wireless speakers instead of wired ones makes it easy to simply move and play the speakers in another location as they don't have to be plugged into anything to work and moving the speakers to another location might be necessary in order to find a quiet or more comfortable location to be able to hear and/or do an audio puzzle. There are some portable speakers that are even designed to be worn comfortably around the neck as a pendant which makes them really easy to carry on a person so that this person can take it with them easily wherever they go just as a lot of headphones are easy to carry on a person. A portable speaker that is designed to be worn as a pendant or to be worn by clipping onto a person's clothing will be small in size and this may mean that the person listening to it has to be quite close to it so that it plays loud enough for the person to hear it without the sound being distorted which would be important to do if listening to an audio puzzle. When it comes to choosing a wireless speaker(s) for the purpose of listening to an audio puzzle it is important to get one that has a battery that will last at least for several hours (which most wireless speakers do) and that before starting the puzzle that the battery of the wireless speaker(s) has been fully charged or that the battery charge level is not too low. All of this is important because a person listening to an audio puzzle with a wireless speaker(s) doesn't want the battery of the wireless speaker(s) cutting out whilst listening to the puzzle and then having to wait for the battery to charge enough to be able to listen to the rest of it or that this person has to listen to the puzzle that they had been listening to before the battery cutting out interruption from the beginning again to refresh their memory of what they have already listened to. Wireless headphones also operate using rechargeable batteries and as is the case with wireless speakers will need to be before starting to listen to an audio puzzle challenge either fully charged or charged enough so that the battery won't cut out in the middle of listening to it. Wireless headphones can vary a lot in terms of how long the battery will last once fully charged and therefore it is best to choose wireless headphones for the purpose of listening to and doing an audio puzzle that will last for at least several hours. This is because I imagine very few people if any will be doing an audio puzzle in one sitting for longer than this possibly unless they are stuck with nothing else to do such as when on a long plane or car journey.

In summary, it can be very easy to make audio puzzles a lot more difficult than they need or are supposed to be and this especially applies to a person who is new to them. I have tried to give the most useful tips I can for making them easier to solve based on what I have encountered whilst doing them and what has worked effectively for me but also what I think could work well for other people as well who have experience of them but particularly those who are completely new to them. A big part of the fun of doing them or in fact any type of puzzle can be not just solving them but solving them to the best of your ability and these tips that I have shared are meant to help with this aim. Maybe these tips will also give you your own ideas for making audio puzzles easier to solve or even for another type of puzzle as some of these tips can obviously be applied to other types or even puzzles in general as well. The most important tips for making an audio puzzle easier to solve I would say are to be able to hear the one you are doing as clear as possible, don't do one that is above your level of ability even if that means doing an absolute beginner level audio puzzle, plenty of practice and to do it at your own pace.



Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Astonquis Shop Space on

bottom of page