Just to clarify (since I started the thread):
1. This was not to be a bus basher of a thread, I really don't have any preferences betwen Airbus and Boeing and fly both regularly (I actually miss the oversized oval shaped windows of my USAir F-100s)
2. Those of you who referred to the sound as the "buzz-saw" sound are right on the money - that's the one I mean (couldn't find away to descibe it).
You only hear the sound if you are seated in front of the engines, but it is present on virtually ALL
airbus aircraft. Most particularly present on the A300 and the A319s though from my own experience. But not limited to those.
On a recent flight aboard a VS
A343 the person sitting next to me even asked "what is that strange sound" (the buzz-saw sound) that was heard when the pilot applied full power for takeoff. On another trip aboard a USAir A330-300 I was upfront in Envoy Class sitting next to a woman who was sleeping through taxi and takeoff and when the "buzz-saw" sound began on takeoff she woke up immediately in a panic - thinking there was something wrong with the plane. It's QUITE loud.
Seems you only hear the "buzz-saw" sound on the Airbuses but not the Boeings. When I have heard it on the Boeings, it is usually not very loud and only heard on the few occasions that they are using max power for takeoff.
Could it be the design of the cabins on the Airbuses that lets more noise from the engines in or something?