Abstract This paper describes an experimental investigation of interactions between acoustic waves and a non-uniform steady flow field. Data have been obtained for a resonance tube having a vent at the center in the lateral boundary, an average flow being introduced at the ends. Experiments have been done for both circular and slot vents, over ranges of both frequency and Mach number. According to the one- dimensional linear stability analysis, the interactions between the longitudinal acoustic field and the mean flow in the vicinity of the vent cause a net transfer of acoustic energy from the average flow to the acoustic field. This result has been verified by the experiments reported here. The gain of energy measured is less than that deduced from a one-dimensional analysis.