Your strange voice on a recording

Your strange voice on a recording

Many people feel uncomfortable when they hear their own voice in audio recordings.

Your voice sounds deeper and richer when you speak but thinner and higher on recordings. The reason for the variance is this:

  • When listening to a recording of your voice, the sound travels through the air and into your ears.
  • When you speak, some sound travels through the air, but much of the sound is internally conducted through your skull bones and boosts the lower frequencies.
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Your voice on a recording really is a new voice. Because your voice is an integral part of self-identity, the mismatch between the voice you know and the voice you hear can be disturbing. You realise other people know your voice as something else.

Researchers found that patients with voice problems tended to rate the quality of their recorded voice more negatively than clinicians. If your inner self is criticising your voice on a recording device, you're probably judging yourself too harshly.

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