Updated: Apr 10, 2019
These best websites to download free sound effects are great if you’re looking to get royalty-free SFX at no cost. There are many websites out there that offer free sounds for you to download but many can be under not-so-appealing creative commons licenses, requiring attribution for every single sound or even restricting use in commercial projects.
To stay away from any legal trouble, your best bet is to grab some of the public domain sound effects from the following list of legit sources to build up your sound library. These are the best websites to get CC0 sounds for your film or video game, without paying anything and without requiring crediting the author in most cases.
Disclaimer: Please make sure to read the license for each product/sound you download.
Full of samples, loops, and even music, this website is a great place to look for content. For sound design, music production, or even as stand-alone assets, this is probably the first place you should look to pick up some high-quality SFX. With it being an archive of sounds uploaded by many people, you'll get a unique take on even the most basic of sounds. I don't think absolutely everything is CC0 so give everything a check-over for the creative commons icon (just to be sure).
Don’t forget to check out their forums too. There you will find plenty of discussions ranging from attribution help to requesting specific sounds and even sharing what you made using sounds from the website.
A collective of experienced sound designers and field recordists, this website filters out all of the unprofessional sounds you may not be interested in. With it being exclusive to bundles of sounds, you'll get sounds quicker, without having to click download (let alone search) for each individual SFX. High-quality and well worth your time.
An outstanding database, full of high-quality samples. The samples are clean and ready to use, ranging from machines and interfaces to ambiance recordings and even music. All royalty-free and no attribution is required (though it's definitely welcome).
Zach King has a background in Filmmaking but has a robust archive of royalty-free sounds on this website. With his talent focused on production as a whole, he has a perspective set aside from what someone strictly involved with audio might have. These are definitely worth grabbing and don't require attribution (but would be a noble thing to do!).
The following two websites are focused on paid sounds to include in video games but still have a decent amount of free content uploaded by various publishers. Don't let the game engine scare you, these sounds can be used in any project (including film) and in any game engine.
With even one of the previous websites in this roundup, you should have more than enough free sounds to start (and even finish) your project with. If there's a website that wasn't included in the list, drop it in the comments below to help us all out. If it's legit, it might even be added to the list!
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed