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The first time you hear a recording of your speaking voice is usually a strange experience. The most common reaction is one of shock and dismay. “Do I sound like that? Since when has my voice been so high pitched?” You’ve heard your own voice for your entire life, and its sound is a given. So, why doesn’t a recording of your voice sound like what you hear in your head?
The answer corresponds directly to the different paths that sound takes in getting to your inner ear. The majority of sound is heard as vibrations traveling through air until they reach our ears. When you speak, vibrations travel to your ears not only from the air surrounding your head, but also through the bones in your head, such as your jawbone. How you perceive your own voice is a combination of these two pathways, which, thanks to the resonances in your head, is often deeper sounding than a recording of your voice.
When you do hear your recorded voice, on your outgoing voicemail message, in voice-over work, or from an interview, you are hearing your voice just as vibrations traveling through the air. And yes, you really sound like that.