Have you ever wondered why your own voice sounds so much worse when you hear a recording of yourself? Most of us are quite possibly repulsed by our own voice that we hear in a video or audio recording. But is that your true voice? It absolutely isn’t. There’s a logical explanation for why your voice sounds a lot different to you when you talk as opposed to what you hear in a recording. We’ll cover that later in this article but let’s walk you through how you can hear your own voice in its most accurate form.
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How To Hear The Most Accurate Form Of Your Voice
According to the classical composer Samuel Barber, two file folders and hold them in front of your ears so that they are sticking outwards. You can substitute folders with magazines or even multiples sheets of paper if you do not have file folders. Sound is altered or heightened by multiple external factors such as humidity, temperature, the thickness of carpet in the room, various furniture pieces, number of people around you, etc.
So, when you hold file folders next to your ears pointing outwards, the sound created by you is released in front of you instead of the sides. Now, say a sentence and try to grasp the difference between the sound you just heard and what you usually hear when you talk. It might be tough to get used to the obvious difference but that’s exactly what you sound like to others as it’s the most accurate form of your voice. Just like you, many people are not fond of their real voice simply because it isn’t what they’re used to, and not because it’s actually bad. So you should continue the “file-placement” experiment till you start to embrace your true voice.
Why Don’t We Like Our Own Voice On A Recording?
There’s a popular term called “voice confrontation” which portrays the repulsion towards your own voice when you hear it on a recording. So, if you think you’re the only one who hates their voice on a sound clip, you’ll be surprised at how common it is for people to feel so. But there’s a logical explanation for this.
There are two ways sound is transferred to our ears. It’s internally transferred through our bones and it’s externally transmitted by air conduction. The former isn’t incorporated in the latter’s vocal sound. So, when you hear your own voice in a sound clip, the lower frequencies of the internal bone-transferred sound are left out thereby, creating a different sound that is higher. But to put it simply, we are not fond of our recorded voice because we are not accustomed to hearing it when we talk.
While we have a tough time getting used to our true voice you need to remember that others are not repulsed by your voice the way you are. This is because they are habituated to hearing that. To them, it doesn’t sound oddly more high-pitched than it’s supposed to like it does to you. So if you’re evaluating your “cartoon-like” voice after trying out the above experiment, you need to be aware that others do not evaluate you the same way at all. Also, if they tried this experiment to hear their true voice, they won’t be fond of it either. You don’t hate all your friends and family voices, do you? So, it’s all about subjective perception when it comes to the sound created when you speak.
Proof That Not Liking Your Own Voice Is Purely Psychological
In 2013, there was a study held on the perception of voice attractiveness where the participants were asked to rate the level of attractiveness of various voice clips. What they were unaware of is that their own voice was mixed in these voice samples secretly. In this case, many of them gave higher ratings to their own voice when they did not recognize it was in the mixed sample. This shows the expectancy explanation that if they would have known and recognized their own voice in those sound clips, they would have rated it much lower.
However, there’s much more to this expectancy explanation. It obviously sounds different from what you hear when you speak but you can also obtain distinctive aspects of your personality and state of mind when you hear your voice on a recording. These may include hints of sadness, anger, confusion, anxiety level, etc. So when you hear them in your recorded voice, you’re subjected to an amount of expected new information that you’re not used to when you hear your own voice while speaking. This creates a disruption and a hostile response to your true voice.
Therefore, a lack of bone-conducted sound and unexpected personality aspects makes you hate your truest form of voice. But the good thing is, just like you, most probably everybody has this discomfort reaction to hearing their own voice on a recording so you’re surely not alone.
Now that you know that the voice that you hear in recordings isn’t exactly what your voice sounds like, you’ll most likely not shudder at the thought of it. It’s about not being used to hearing your true voice all the time due to the added low frequencies created from the internal sound transmission through your ear bone. As it’s canceled in a voice recording, you hear exactly what you sound like to others.
With that being said, you should learn to embrace your true voice. For that, you can always try what we covered on how to hear your own voice any time you’re displeased after hearing your voice in a sound clip. If not, you can simply ignore trying that out and simply stick to hearing your own version of your voice as you speak.