The psychic ability of clairaudience literally means "clear hearing" and is the gift of hearing spirit. This ability is located in the head area. There are really two main ways that this ability will manifest itself. One is for spirit to come through as a clearly audible voice and this is something that many will hear during the course of their life without realizing what it is - they hear they name called but when they look around nobody is there!
The other form of clairaudience is the ability to hear thoughts that come into our heads from spirit guides, angels, deceased loved ones etc. This is undoubtedly the most common form of clairaudience.
Well known ractitioners such as James Van Praagh, John Edward and Sylvia Browne often appear to be having an ongoing converstaion during a reading and that is literally what they are doing - having a conversation with someone in the spirit world.
Claiaudience is very challenging for a beginner. All the different thoughts and sounds seem to sound similar. As a clairaudient develops his or her skill it becomes easier to be more discerning. It can be very confusing to start with - imagine trying to hold a conversation with a room full of people who are all talking at once! It takes a lot of practice and concentration. There may be the clairaudient's spirit guides, the client's spirit guides, deceased loved ones and even angels and all are clamouring to be heard. It is very easy (even for a practiced clairaudient) to miss a message or part of a message as so much information is coming in at once. Eventually it does get easier to discern all the different voices and make sense of what is going on.
It is probably clear from the explanation above that psychic abilities are not clear cut. They are all interconnected. A clairaudient is talking to the dead which is something that most people consider to be the domain of a medium.
Mental telepathy, which is the ability to pick up thoughts from someone here on earth, is also a form of clairaudience.