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5 Types Of Whistles And Their Use

5 Types Of Whistles And Their Use

Whistles are indispensable in many activities, such as sports, rescue missions, and communication.

There is a wide range of whistles with different shapes, sizes, and designs – each serving an essential purpose.

Understanding these types of whistles and their respective uses is essential before selecting one type over another when undertaking any activity.

History Of Whistles and Why The Use Decreased

Whistles nowadays aren’t used as much as in the past. Our communication ways improved.

We adapted to less noise from phone conversations and conveniences such as SMS messages. Then, with the rise of social media giants like Facebook, apps like Facebook Messenger were invented. There we can write to each other in real-time, cost-free.

Of course, there are other methods to signal our whereabouts. Emergency call features like SOS calls are integrated into much of the tech we use today, and we can send a signal for help with a few button presses.


With that being said, whistles are still commonly used in some situations. For safety, it is practical because of its size and ease of use.

The police can do their job easier because of the police whistle, mostly to direct traffic and alarm for reinforcements.

We can teach dogs methods we didn’t have the chance to before the invention of the dog whistle.

Referees can alert the players with the help of a sports whistle more efficiently than before.

The whistle is also used widely in music. The pleasant sound it can produce is unique and comforting for our ears. We will describe the five most used and vital types of whistles and their kinds.

1. Safety Whistles 

Safety Whistles

A safety whistle should be sturdy. It needs to do its job well when it’s time to use it in survival situations.

It also needs to be very loud and signal distinct calls that can be heard far away. Commonly, either plastic or metal whistles are used for this purpose.

2. Police Whistles

Police Whistles

Police departments from all over the world used whistles quite often, especially in the 80s. It helped direct traffic, and you could make a call in dangerous situations.

The police whistle back then also made a distinct sound, which was barely bearable by most humans and animals.

As technology progressed, walkie-talkies took the whistle’s place. Police whistles nowadays are still in use, especially in slower developing countries.

3. Dog Whistles

Dog Whistles

In current times, the dog whistle first appeared in a catalog in 1883. A wide variety of materials have been used since then to make them.

The main difference between a dog whistle and other types is that only dogs (and other animals with sharp hearing) can hear the sound emitted from a dog whistle. This is because dogs have way better hearing than humans.

It is impossible to detect the sound of the whistle without a hearing aid for humans.

4. Referee Whistles

Referee Whistles

Sports whistles have been in use for a while now. Today we use either plastic or metal ones. They are easy to use, emitting pleasant sounds. Because they are used only for sports and festival-type activities, there is no need for loud and disturbing signals.

We use the basic sports whistles mostly. For a few years, the popularity of electronic whistles increased in the sports community. Electronic whistles have their advantages and disadvantages.

The plus is that they are multifunctional. For example, you can choose different tone settings on the whistle. Most of them also have a flashlight. If you are willing to pay more, even more accessories exist.

The cons are that it breaks easily in comparison with the classic one. That means that you need to take extra care of it.

Also, most electronic whistles are battery-powered, so you always need some for replacement.

5. Orchestral & Musical Whistles

Orchestral & Musical Whistles

As much as history tells us, ancient cultures first started to use whistles as musical instruments. Back then, the whistles consisted of natural materials.

With creativity and love for music, the whistle instrument steadily improved. Vikings also used whistles when they had their god worship ceremonies. The musical whistle is also a big part of the Irish tradition.

Today we have more types of musical whistles made from different materials. The sound from each whistle design is uniquely pleasant.

Importance Of Whistles

Even if the use of whistles has drastically fallen, they still can be a clutch accessory in today’s world. For safety and survival situations, it is a practical and effective tool.

You can alarm for help and scare away potential threats with a single blow.

Unfortunately, for sports, we still haven’t figured out a better replacement for the whistle, and that is because of the simplicity of the whistle.

As for the future, we are sure the whistle will continuously improve in all aspects of its use. We can’t forget that we can whistle very well with our lips. It can become a fun hobby for the right people.

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