Blog November 2014

Do I really sound like that?

Posted On: November 04, 2014

Have you ever heard your voice played back, from a recording, and said to yourself:  'Do I really sound like that?' That's kind of what I said when I first heard my voice over the air; the recording doesn't lie.  The truth-of-the-matter is you're not hearing what people are hearing; as it is when you hear someone else's voice- they're not hearing what you're hearing.

When you speak, what you're hearing are 2 versions of your voice, the normal sound that comes out of your mouth and a 'muffled' version which usually is more 'bassy' sounding.  This is a cruel trick that happens because of the way sound travels to our inner ear.

The sounds we hear everyday create a wave of pressure that moves through the air. Your outer ear “catches” these waves and funnels them into your head through the ear canal. They strike the ear drum, which starts it to vibrate, and those vibrations travel to the inner ear and onto your brain.










The inner ear is also stimulated by vibrations happening inside your body and it's a combination of the inner and outter sounds that make up the sound you hear when you talk.

When you speak, your vocal chords vibrate from your throat, some of that sound gets absorbed and re-transmitted by the bones and tissue in your neck and head. The inner ear responds to these just like any other vibration.  Whenever you speak, your inner ear is stimulated by both the internal vibrations in your bones and tissue and by the sound coming out of your mouth.

The combination of vibrations coming to the inner ear, by two different paths, gives your voice (as you normally hear it) a unique 'bassy' character that other sounds don’t have. In particular, your bones enhance (or amplify) deeper, lower-frequency vibrations which gives your voice a fuller, bassier quality that’s lacking when you hear it on a recording.

So be prepared for the first time you hear your voice (on a recording); you'll probably go into shock over what you hear.

by Rich Brennan