Life News/Trending

The Simple Scientific Reason You HATE the Sound of Your Own Recorded Voice

I have yet to meet a single person who loves to hear him or herself speak in an audio recording or video. Whether it’s in one’s voicemail greeting or a recorded presentation to a large audience, the sound of one’s own voice is akin to that of nails scratching down a chalkboard.


Ever wonder why this is? Well, the answer is pretty simple, and it all lies in the differences between how you hear yourself when you speak and when you listen to a recording of yourself speaking.

When you hear yourself speaking in real time, that sound travels first through the bone structure of your skull and then out of your mouth to the air. When this happens, the sound that reaches your cochlea, or the part of the inner ear that responds to sound vibrations, is deeper because your bones enhance the bass of your voice, giving you a false sense of what your voice really sounds like to other people.

But when you hear yourself speak on audio? The part of the equation involving your bone structure is eliminated, making the voice you hear on the recording sound different (and likely higher in pitch). That’s because the sound only travels through the air, not through both your bones and the air, and that distinct bass you’ve come to recognize as your regular voice is removed.

So to answer your question, yes, you really do sound like that. Weird, right?

Except it’s not weird to anyone else but you because the way you sound in a recording is almost exactly the same way you sound to other people all the time. And that means for them, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

I don’t know whether that’s comforting or horrifying, but there it is.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to either A) figure out ways to avoid ever having to hear my recorded voice again, or B) listen to 24 straight hours of it so it’s no longer uncomfortable for me to endure. (But if we’re being honest, I’m probably just gonna stick with A.)

Sources: BBC and Scientific American