This Might Explain Why Our Own Recorded Voices Sound Weird To Us

Back in high school, after hearing me talk in class, some of my teachers suggested I do the G-Block announcements.  Nervously, I got on the school’s PA system during the last period of the day and chatted about some of the school’s upcoming sporting events, and what was for lunch the next day.  Even as I decided to go to college to earn a Bachelor of Science in Radio Scriptwriting and Performance, I didn’t think my voice was something overly special.  I had heard it everyday…and thought it was nothing compared to what my friends and family thought it was.

That’s why I really enjoyed Jonah Engel Bromwich’s New York Times article, “Why Do Our Recorded Voices Sound Weird to Us?”

So, really…what’s the deal here?

After getting help from experts (probably) much smarter than you and I, here are some of the highlights that Jonah discovered:

  • We perceive our own voice in a couple of different ways: through our ear the usual way, and internally: where vibrations travel through our bones, and directly through our inner ears.  The ladder reason makes your voice sound richer and deeper to yourself (thank you, Michigan State University’s Professor William Hartmann: an acoustics and psychoacoustics expert).
  • In the same vein: John J. Rosowski, a Professor at Harvard Medical School, says our cerebrospinal fluid and variations in sound pressure in the ear canal can change the sound of our own voice, too.

I’m not sure if this info will help you too much if you don’t like the sound of your own voice…but at least you now have an explanation.

If anything, my wife fell in love with my voice before she even saw me.  So I have that going for me.

Source: New York Times

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