Why Recordings of Your Voice Sound so Weird


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. 


Urggghh! My voice is so weird. I sound really nice in my head but it's so ROUGH to everyone else. My friend told me about this and I thought it was a lie. Just another thing to add to my list of things why people don't like me.

Well, I wanna start singing and my voice sounds way higher when record myself talking/singing. But if i'm hitting the right notes in my head then will I be hitting the right notes in real life to other people? Because if I think i sound like the original, will I actually sound like the original? This, to me, is quite scary because I want to start a career in music and if my voice sounds higher in recordings and in real life i will have to sing lower pitched. Won't I?

Actually, when I recorded my voice today, it sounded much deeper than I hear when i'm talking in real life. So it doesn't sound higher pitched to me through recording, but instead deeper. So this is rather confusing to me. All I know is that now I have an insecurity about my voice and will probably never ever make videos with me talking. Sad but true.

I've recorded my voice several times before and each time, I was with someone. Their comment would usually be "Your voice sounds so much higher than usual here" and "You sound like a 9-year-old girl". To me, and to everyone else actually, my voice is somewhat low and monotone. So I'm not so sure that only I can hear a low voice and everyone can hear this nasally female 5 year old Craig Tucker of my voice?

I want to make my voice sound weird and funny

Perhaps this is why Bob Dylan when he was very young got going singing, he didn't realize his nasalness and having said that,

we are all so blessed to have him in our lives, he is by far the most talented and gifted song lyricist EVER.

That explains a lot! Thanks so much for this post.

I still remember the first time I heard my own voice on recording. It was so weird! I called brother and my cousins and started playing with our uncle cassettes recorder/player we were just kids. after I grew up I liked music and have singed live a couple times and now that I grew up sounds the same all the time! the magic is gone! haha!