The bad news is that not all the applications are termcap-aware. Most small programs feature ‘backslash-a’ characters in the C source code. Those chars become a literal ASCII BEL in the executable binary. Real application don’t usually fall in this category, but be careful of C newcomers who give your their own programs; novice computer-science students are the worst of all.
The only way to shut the loudspeaker for these applications is spekearectomy, or use of the escape sequences by Martin Mares.
A long time ago I made a patch for me. I don’t support it anymore as the escape sequences are there. When I reworked my patch against 1.3.42 to support a configurable tone, I found that 1.3.43 already had it 🙂