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Re: own voice versus recorded voice perception

When you speak, you’re hearing yourself through bone and air-conduction,
but the air-conduction is altered because of the vocalization-induced
acoustic reflex.  Since the middle ear system is stiffened when we talk,
the transmission of low frequencies should be attenuated, and high
frequencies emphasized.  This (along with previous discussion on
bone-conduction hearing) may help to explain why many think their voice
is so low and boomy on recordings, since one's recorded voice does not
induce the the filter of the acoustic reflex.  


Matthew B. Winn
University of MD
Hearing & Speech Sciences
>>> Steve Beet <steve.beet@xxxxxxxx> 04/10/09 6:34 AM >>>

Georg von Bekesy did a lot of work on bone conduction in the late
It included a paper "On the hearing of one's own voice by bone
from JASA if I remember correctly (I have a copy in a box in my loft,
can't get to it at the moment to confirm the details). Others have
sporadically re-visited the topic since then. There's a very brief but
informative description of the phenomenon here:


Steve Beet

-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Hornsby, Benjamin Wade
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2009 1:44 AM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: own voice versus recorded voice perception

Hi All,
This is a bit of an odd request but I've been asked to comment on the
question "Why does one's voice sound different to them when they hear it
played back from a recording? And why do people normally dislike the
of their recorded voice?" 
My own thoughts are that this has to do with the fact that we hear our
voice via a combination of air and bone conducted sound while the
voice would be via air conduction alone. I imagine there are some
differences in the transmission characteristics of sound to the cochlea
the vocal folds via air versus the body that would also affect our
perception of the sound of our voice.
That said, I did a quick search and didn't find any published research
(plenty of speculation similar to mine) discussing this topic and was
some one might point me to some relevant references. Any help is greatly
Take Care,
Ben Hornsby