Science Explains Why You Don't Like The Way You Sound On A Recording

Yes, you really do sound like that.

When people hear themselves on recordings — whether in voicemails or a video — a common complaint is, "Do I really sound like that?" With as technologically advanced as recording equipment has become, shouldn't recordings be pretty faithful to how a person actually sounds? Generally speaking, the answer is yes.

Many people think their voices sound deeper and, well, sexier, in their heads. On a recording, however, the voice always sounds higher pitched, which can be upsetting. But why does this happen? 

The biggest reason that people sound different when they're talking versus when they're on a recording is because sound waves travel through the bones of the skull differently than they do through the air. This makes a drastic difference in the way a person sounds to themselves and how they sound to others or on a recording. Because we're most used to hearing ourselves while we're actively speaking, that's the version that we largely prefer.

Host Craig Benzine tackles this question in the most recent Mental Floss video and covers this topic in greater detail:


(Header image via iStockphoto)


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