Here’s Why You Cringe When You Hear Your Own Voice On Recordings

Here's Why You Cringe When You Hear Your Own Voice On Recordings

It’s not uncommon for people to dislike the way their voice sounds when they listen to it back. Here’s why, according to experts from University College London. First things first: you hear your voice back entirely differently to how other people hear it. When you hear people talking, sound waves travel through the air and into your ears, vibrating your ear drums. Your brain then turns those vibrations into sound.

On the flip side, when you’re the one talking, your vocal cords and airways also vibrate. That means that you receive two sources of sound: the sound waves that travel into your ears from your own voice, as well as vocal cord vibrations. Martin Birchall, professor of laryngology at UCL explains: “When we talk, it’s like everyone hears the sound through speakers, but we’re hearing it through a cave complex inside our own heads. The sound is going around our sinuses, all the empty spaces in our heads and the middle part of our ears, which changes the way we hear sounds compared to what other people hear.”

So, when you listen to your own voice, it’s a combination of both sounds combined – yet when you’re listening to a recording, you’re only listening to the external stimulus through your ear drums, and you’re totally not used to it – which makes you dislike it.

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