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Why your voice sounds so terrible on tape

Here's what my voice sounds like in my head: deep, resonant, commanding. It's the kind of voice built for issuing orders in high-pressure situations. It's the kind of voice you would want to hear on a plane when you're taking fire, or in a building when the zombies figure out how to work the door.

That is not how my voice actually sounds, as I'm reminded every time I have to transcribe an interview.

There's a reason your voice sounds so much better in your head than it does when you listen to it on tape. When you hear your voice in your head, the sound is traveling through bone. When you hear it on tape, the sound is traveling through air. And voices sound much better through bone than through air. Greg Foot explains the science in this three-minute video.

The punchline here is a bit of a bummer: to the rest of the world, your voice sounds like it does on tape, not in your head. But at least now you know why.

(Via I Fucking Love Science)

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