Same Voice, Different Sound

We all hate the sound of our own voices. When you record your voice and and then play the sound back, you often often discover that the voice on the recorder sounds much different than the voice you are accustomed to hearing. The reasoning for this has to do with the path or paths sound takes to reach the ear drum. When listening to someone else speak, air conduction brings the sound through the auditory canal and to the ear drum. The same thing occurs when a person hears their own voice, however, the sound traveling through the air is combined with sound traveling through the bone and flesh inside of your head.

You may notice that your voice sounds higher when recorded. This is because the flesh inside of the head transmits lower frequencies better than higher frequencies, meaning that people hear their own voices as lower than they actually are when speaking. When people hear a recording of themselves, this inner sound is lost so the air conducted sound is the only sound reaching their ear drum.

Here is a great video from SciShow on this topic:

Additional Resources:

Image credit (thumbnail): By Morten Bisgaard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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