Why We Hear Our Own Voices Differently, and the Real Reason May Surprise You

year ago

We hear our own voice one way, and then when we hear it on a recording, it sounds completely different than in our head. This is one of those awkward moments that we’ve all experienced.

It turns out that the reason for this is pretty simple. When we hear our voice on a recording, the sound waves emerging from the speakers travel to our ears through the air, and we hear our voice the way other people hear us speak.

But when we hear our voice when we’re actually speaking, we hear it in two different ways, externally and internally. First, you hear the sound that comes out of your mouth (the one that other people hear), and at the same time, you hear the sound that comes from the vibrations produced by our vocal cords, which travel through your head. The bones in our skulls tend to enhance the lower-frequency vibrations, and that’s why our voices sound lower to us than it really is.

If you want to hear how your voice really sounds, make a recording of it, or alternatively, just cover up your left ear and speak. And don’t worry if you find that it sounds weird or funny, because other people are used to hearing it this way!

Please note: This article was updated in November 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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