Naked Science Forum

General Science => General Science => Topic started by: thedoc on 26/09/2012 12:43:51

Title: Why does my voice sound different in my head?
Post by: thedoc on 26/09/2012 12:43:51
To whom this may concern:

Sorry to continue trolling you with questions, but I was wondering why my voice always sounds so different on a recorded device then how I think I sound. Everyone seems to have that experience where they think "do I really sound like that?" Do we hear are own voices differently that how we sound to others?

I hope this makes sense.

Science on,


Asked by Lisa Valleroy-Djang

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[chapter podcast=4106 track=12.09.23/Naked_Scientists_Show_12.09.23_10834.mp3](  ...or Listen to the Answer[/chapter] or [download as MP3] (

Title: Re: Why does my voice sound different in my head?
Post by: bizerl on 19/07/2012 07:38:43
When we speak, part of the sound we hear comes from the sound of our voices reaching our ears, but part of it is also internal resonances through our skull, which can stimulate the cochlea directly, and this changes the frequency response slightly.

There is also some resonance in our ear canal. You can get an idea of this if you block your ears and speak, although the effect is exaggerated by the blocking of the ear canal.

This becomes a problem when we fit hearing aids because if someone has good low-frequency hearing, blocking their ear canal with a mould makes their own voice intolerable to them. It's called the occlusion effect. (

That's why I'm always disappointed to find out that my voice isn't manly and full of dulcet tones, but rather whiny and nasally and horrible!