Auditory illusions are false perceptions of a real sound or outside stimulus. These false perceptions are the equivalent of an optical illusion: the listener hears either sounds which are not present in the stimulus, or sounds that should not be possible given the circumstance on how they were created.  Auditory illusions highlight areas where the human ear and brain, as organic survival tools, differentiate from perfect audio receptors; this shows that it is possible for a human being to hear something that is not there and be able to react to the sound they supposedly heard.
Sounds that are found in words are called embedded sounds, and these sounds are the cause of some auditory illusions. A person's perception of a word can be influenced by the way they see the speaker's mouth move, even if the sound they hear is unchanged. For example, if someone is looking at two people saying "far" and "bar", the word they will hear will be determined by who they look at. If these sounds are played in a loop, the listener will be able to hear different words inside the same sound. People with brain damage can be more susceptible to auditory illusions and they can become more common for that person. 
There are a multitude of examples out in the world of auditory illusions. These are examples of some auditory illusions:
- Binaural beats
- The constant spectrum melody
- Deutsch's scale illusion
- Franssen effect
- Glissando illusion
- Illusory continuity of tones
- Illusory discontinuity
- Hearing a missing fundamental frequency, given other parts of the harmonic series
- Various psychoacoustic tricks of lossy audio compression
- McGurk effect
- Octave illusion/Deutsch's high–low illusion
- Auditory pareidolia: hearing indistinct voices in random noise.
- The Shepard–Risset tone or scale, and the Deutsch tritone paradox
- Speech-to-song illusion
- Yanny or Laurel
According to Purwins, auditory illusions have been used effectively by various composers, e.g. Beethoven (Leonore Overture), Berg (Wozzeck), Krenek (Spiritus Intelligentiae, Sanctus), Ligeti (Études), Violin Concerto, Double Concerto, for flute, oboe and orchestra), Honegger (Pacific 231), and Stahnke (Partota 12).
- Auditory system
- Barber pole – auditory illusions compared to visual illusions
- Diana Deutsch
- Doppler effect – not an illusion, but real physical phenomenon
- Jean-Claude Risset
- Musical acoustics
- Phantom rings
- Pitch circularity
- Sharawadji effect
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- Purwins, Hendrik (2005). Profiles of pitch classes circularity of relative pitch and key-experiments, models, computational music analysis, and perspectives (PDF). pp. 110–120.