A new portable digital sound emitter (DSE) for normal and interactive playback of sound signals in the field and in the laboratory is described together with two examples of applications of the DSE in interactive field experiments. The DSE may be loaded with a broad spectrum of digitized sounds, e.g. artificial signals or natural animal vocalisations, and it is controlled via the keyboard of a portable PC running a dedicated program. This program, which can be tailored to support a vast number of different demands, enables the experimenter to start and stop the analog output from the DSE at any time and to choose freely between the available sounds and playback modes. The use of the DSE for interactive playback experiments therefore is only limited by the ability of the operator to perceive the vocalisations of the participating animal and to operate the keyboard of the PC.