I don’t know about you, but the thought of having to listen to a recording of my own voice is — quite frankly — cringe city.
It always sounds so weird and foreign, and launches me into an existential crisis that takes WEEKS to shake.
OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but it’s definitely troubling when you think about how different it sounds from the voice you hear while you’re speaking.
Bob Feeser, a 28-year-old voice actor, thought it could be fun to give his TikTok followers some insight into how this works through a video demonstration. “I decided to share it one morning because I realized probably not a lot of people know what they actually sound like,” he told BuzzFeed. “Figured it could help an aspiring voice actor learn better control of their code maybe.”
“The voice you’re familiar with is your voice through the reverberation in your skull. You’re hearing a distorted version of your own voice all the time,” Bob says in the video. “What you sound like to other people doesn’t have that extra bit of reverb.” He then lifts his hands to the side of his head, places them in front of his ears, and splays them out like a lizard. Bob claims that if you talk while holding your hands like this, you can hear what you sound like to other people.
I gave this a try, and it really sounded like my voice was coming from an outside source! According to a Scientific American article by Dr. Timothy E. Hullar (an ear, nose, and throat doctor), the voice we hear as we speak is a result of “bone-conducted” sound. Your voice sounds lower and more nasally to you because “the mechanical properties of your head enhance its deeper, lower-frequency vibrations.”
Personally, hearing my voice whilst posing like a bearded lizard made me feel a lot better about myself! It’s way more pleasant than the sound I hear when it’s reverberating through my skull — aka the noise I will have to deal with throughout my entire existence.
“It’s funny, in the comments some people say it helped with their self-esteem because they thought they sounded bad, but then there’s the other side where they laugh at themselves and say it sounded worse,” Bob told BuzzFeed.
Which version of your voice do you prefer? Tell us in the comments below!
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