Why do I hate my recorded voice?

Thijs Donders, 4 Gennaio 2020

If sometimes you ask yourself ,”Why do I hate my recorded voice?”, you’re not alone. This blogpost will explain why the sound of your own recorded voice makes you cringe.

Why do I hate my recorded voice? Explained

When you listen to your own voice on a recording, it usually sounds odd. When you transcribe an interview, for example, you have to listen to your voice for long amounts of time. Sometimes your voice gets so annoying you start wondering how anyone can ever be in the same room as you.

The famous lines by literally everyone: “I hate my recorded voice”. Kind of weird right? Before you listened to a recording of yourself you always thought you had a voice like Morgan Freeman. Unfortunately everybody else hears your voice the same way you hear your voice when listening to a recording. Below we will explain why you hate the sound of your own voice.

So how does this difference arise?

Sound are vibrations that go through the air, when these vibrations vibrate in your eardrum you hear something. This is the way others hear your voice, this is also the way you hear your voice when listening to a recording.

When we talk your vocal cords vibrate, these vibrations also cause your skull to vibrate. The vibrations travel through your skull and into your eardrums, but as the vibrations travel through the skull the tone becomes lower.

If you speak then you hear your voice in two ways: via the air and through your bones. When you transcribe an interview you only hear your voice through the air, the same way everybody hears you.

Why does this irritate me?

Because 99% of the time you hear your voice through your bones and the air you get used to it. This is the way you have heard your voice all of your life. Now that you suddenly hear your voice the same way others hear it, it sounds completely different.

Your brain can not explain this difference properly and that is why you get annoyed by hearing your own voice on a sound recorder.

For a more detailed explanation, watch Rébecca Kleinberger’s talk at TED, “Why you don’t like the sound of your own voice“.

What can I do about this?

So now you know what causes this phenomenon, but what can you actually do about this? Of course it is not very nice that you get irritated to death by your own voice every time you transcribe an interview.

One option is listening to your own voice so much you get used to the sound, but of course it is not really nice to torture yourself with your own voice so much, you finally get used to it.

The second option is having your audio automatically transcribed to text with the help of our transcription software. We automatically convert your speech to text using our transcription software. This means you do not have to listen to your voice as much and you can also save a lot of time. Here’s our #1 tip on How to save time when Transcribing an Interview.

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