This video has no sound/audio.

But can it be:

This video has no volume.

Because all the websites use "audio" or "sound" but never "volume".

Thank you:)


4 Answers 4


"Volume" doesn't mean the same as "audio" - it is the degree of loudness. An audio recording or video recording with audio may have different parts that are volumetrically louder or softer than other parts. AV equipment also allows the listener to adjust the volume so that they perceive the audio louder or quieter.

When a recording has audio, you can measure, and adjust the volume. If a recording has no audio, this would mean that no sound is available. If there is no sound, there is no volume to adjust.

It may be technically incorrect to say there is "no volume", as volume in this context is neither the audio itself nor the unit of measurement. It could be compared to saying of the weather that there is "no temperature", when there is always a temperature. However, some people do say "no volume" to mean they cannot hear audio that they expect to be there, for example if watching a television programme but they cannot hear anything. This may be idiomatic use of the term, but it is worth noting that volume is normally measured in decibels, with 0 being the smallest sound a human ear can detect. There is no 'negative' scale (unlike measurements of temperature such as degrees Celcius) and so it seems slightly more reasonable to say "no" volume when it an be measured at, or set to 0. Most volume controls on consumer equipment have their own scale which begins at 1 where 0 is mute (no sound). Some professional audio equipment that measures in decibels shows the infinity symbol instead of 0 to denote that anything below this level is "off the scale" of human hearing.

  • 4
    "No volume" would mean that audio is available, but is not audible for whatever reason. Personally, that's pretty unidiomatic ... it wouldn't mean much to me. Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 18:23
  • @AzorAhai--hehim It makes sense to me, as an Australian. "There's no volume - turn it up!"
    – nick012000
    Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 4:28
  • 2
    @AzorAhai--hehim People do say it. It's technically incorrect, but so are a lot of common expressions. On a technical level, it would be like saying of the weather "there's no temperature", which we don't say - except we do say someone "has a temperature" to mean they have a high one. A lot of idioms just come from non-technical people grappling with technical terms..
    – Astralbee
    Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 10:55
  • 1
    Maybe it's regional, for I too have never heard "there's no volume", and it means nothing to me as well. Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 12:03
  • 1
    @astral hm, I'm not sure that's true (with regards to the origins of idioms), nor do I think "volume" is that technical. Did you change examples? It seems like you mixed weather and fevers. And note I didn't say anything about "correctness," I brought up how idiomatic it was to me. Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 14:10

I think Astral's answer is already great, but I want to add that saying something "has no volume" isn't idiomatic. It would be like saying something has no "degree of loudness," which only really makes sense if you're trying to say that you have no control over it. But you'd say that with, "The video has no volume control." However, this doesn't imply there's no audio at all--only that you can't control the level of that audio.

Note also that a modern video usually has multiple streams of media. There's the visual feed, audio feed, and subtitle feed (and sometimes more). So it makes technical sense to mention specifically which feeds a video is lacking. ie: "This video has no audio/subtitles." or even, in the odd case that it's a youtube video you're using to listen to for music, "This video has no visuals."

  • Your last point (no video) would work better with something that doesn't inherently imply video. e.g. "This .mp4 file has no video track; it's just an audio file". (Many multimedia container formats like .mp4, .mkv, and so on can have an arbitrary mix of 0 or more video, 0 or more audio, 0 or more subtitle tracks.) Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 12:16
  • Though there are a lot of "videos" on youtube where the video track is just a still image and the audio track is a pop song...... Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 21:25

This video has no sound/audio.

But can it be:

This video has no volume.

No it can't.

I have read the other answers. They answer correctly from the point of view of the context you give, i.e. that you want the second sentence to mean the same as the first.

If you hadn't given that context, the second phrase would be almost meaningless. A native speaker would not understand what you intended it to mean.

You could say, "This video has no sound-track" meaning that there is no sound to hear.

You could say, "This video is inaudible" meaning that you should be able to hear it but you can't. Maybe the sound was recorded badly.

You could say, "The volume is too low to hear the video" meaning that there is sound but the equipment needs to be adjusted via the volume control.

You cannot meaningfully say, "This video has no volume."

  • The volume is a control on the media player. If it is set to 0, then there is no volume. But that is not a property of the media. Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 19:46

Volume is an attribute of audio. So, if you have a record player, it might be playing softly or loudly (the volume). But if you don't have a record player then it is meaningless to talk about its volume level.

Imagine you have a kettle. The water inside might be hot or cold. But if you don't have a kettle you wouldn't say "there is no heat", because you need the kettle in the first place to have the heat inside it.

Sometimes I go to web pages which are audio only. I wouldn't say "the video is blank" - there is no video, so it can't be blank (or anything else).

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