In this work acoustic emission (AE) is used as experimental evidence of the progressive nature of grain crushing. Stress controlled high pressure oedometric compression test are carried out on 1.2 mm monodisperse samples of glass beads. It was observed that the granular assembly starts to experience particle breakage at a vertical stress of about 25MPa. When this yield pressure is exceeded the glass beads start to break emitting loud impulsive sound and the vertical displacement increases rapidly. The load was increased beyond the yield stress and at each increment while the vertical stress remained constant the sample continued to emit sound. The emission of sound at a constant vertical stress indicates that crushing is a progressive failure mechanism; once the first crushing event occurs, the structure starts to rearrange causing other crushing events to occur and additional settlement. In particular, two signal processing algorithms are used on the samples of the acoustic signal to obtain two additional metrics of the crushing evolution. The first is the cumulative energy versus time. The second is the number of crushing events versus time, which is based on the automatic detection of the peaks of the sound signal envelope. There is a clear correlation between the cumulative acoustic energy emitted and the observed sample displacement. Using laser scanning, the evolution of the particle size distribution and particle shape are measured in detail so that a link between the acoustic data and the crushing intensity is established. The crushing intensity was controlled using materials with different strengths.