The inferior colliculus occupies a central position in ascending and descending auditory pathways. A substantial proportion of its neurons are GABAergic, and these neurons contribute to intracollicular circuits as well as to extrinsic projections to numerous targets. A variety of types of evidence - morphology, physiology, molecular markers - indicate that the GABAergic cells can be divided into at least four subtypes that serve different functions. However, there has yet to emerge a unified scheme for distinguishing these subtypes. The present review discusses these criteria and, where possible, relates the different properties. In contrast to GABAergic cells in cerebral cortex, where subtypes are much more thoroughly characterized, those in the inferior colliculus contribute substantially to numerous long range extrinsic projections. At present, the best characterized subtype is a GABAergic cell with a large soma, dense perisomatic synaptic inputs and a large axon that provides rapid auditory input to the thalamus. This large GABAergic subtype projects to additional targets, and other subtypes also project to the thalamus. The eventual characterization of these subtypes can be expected to reveal multiple functions of these inhibitory cells and the many circuits to which they contribute. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.