Is that what I really sound like?

I am sure that all of us at some time or another have made a video or a recording for a project or some other reason. And I would say that probably everyone hates the sound of their own voice. Maybe there are a few exceptions like James Earl Jones or the guy from the Dos Equis commercials. This made me very curious as to why this is. It seems very unlikely that every person on earth just has an annoying voice, and with that explanation then everyone would hate everyone else’s voice as well as their own. I decided to try and find out the answer because it just seemed odd to me that something like this occurs.

According to Kate Goldbaum when we hear something, the icicles in our ear vibrate against the ear drum which allows us to hear. However the ossicles also vibrate even more when we talk, so this causes the sound that we hear to be interfered with a little bit, and will make our voice sound lower and a little bit different. Also because our ear drum is very close to our mouths, we will hear the sound very loudly which can also affect how we perceive the sound. When we hear our voice on a recording we do not have any of this interference happening, which allows us to hear what we truly sound like. Now this gives an explanation for why our voice sounds different when we hear a recording, but it doesn’t give a good answer as to why the sound is unappealing to us. Kate Goldbaum believes it is most likely because it is unfamiliar. We are used to hearing ourselves not on a recording, so we have an idea of what our voice sounds like. However when we hear a recording of ourselves it is not what we think we sound like, so this could cause us to dislike it.

Image result for why does my voice sound weird

Unfortunately I was unable to find any experiments pertaining to this topic. If I was to do an experiment on this, I would want to try and find out how different our recorded voice is compared to what we think our voice sounds like. In order to do this I would get a large sample of people so the results will be more definitive. Then one by on I would have people listen to recordings of various people and they would tell me who’s voice it is. I would have recordings from family members, famous people, and of course of themselves. It would be interesting to see if people are able to still identify their voice, or if their perception of their voice is too different then the recording to identify themselves. If I had to guess I would say that most people would not be able to identify their own voice.

It seems pretty apparent that our voice sounds different in recordings because their is no interference. Our voice gets muttered by vibrations when we are speaking, but this does not happen with a recording, so the two sound different. And we can not know for sure why we don’t like the sound of our voice, but a good possible explanation seems to be that we are unfamiliar with the sound. It is not the sound we are expecting, and therefore do not like it because it catches us off guard. All in all this is a peculiar topic, but it seems like we have a decent understanding of what is occurring.



5 thoughts on “Is that what I really sound like?

  1. jnb5450

    Your blog caught my eye right away because I’ve actually always wondered why everyone hates hearing their own voices, whether it’s in a video or a recording, but they are not phased by anyone else’s. I can definitely relate. I agree with the part where you say you think that it could be because we are not used to hearing it come from somewhere else and we are caught off guard. What if it was an effect where since other people around us say they hate their voice, we convince ourselves that we hate hearing ours too, and become self conscious of it. This is a really interesting topic. I found this website that tells us why we really hate hearing ourselves:

  2. Jen Malespina

    This was a great topic to post about because I’ve always cringed when hearing my own voice on a recording and I’ve always thought that it was just me. I never knew that we actually hear ourselves differently when we are talking. You should check out this article which goes in detail on this topic as well:

  3. Devon Green

    I found this article so interesting to read because i always ask myself this question. I know I sound different in my head then how I do to everyone else and I always wonder why. It makes me wonder that time old question, if I look the same to others as how I see myself in the mirror. this link gives an interesting discussion if we really see ourselves the same as others see us.

  4. William Dever

    I can definitely relate to this topic. I always had to ask my friends if that is what my voice really sounded like after listening to my own recordings. I don’t think my voice is annoying and it has to do more with what Kate said about being unfamiliar with how your voice really sounds. This post from the Washington Post also accredits hating your voice because it is unfamiliar. Our body likes being familiar with things, so when we find out that our perception of our voice was wrong the whole time it can cause a mixed reaction.

Leave a Reply