If you’ve ever heard your voice played back from a recording, you’ll be familiar with how awkward it is - suddenly everything you say sounds higher and more nasal and just wrong, and you're left questioning: "Do I really sound like that?"
Unfortunately, yes, as Hank Green explains in the latest episode of the SciShow. But that doesn't mean that your voice sounds bad in real life, it’s just that you’re so used to hearing it in your head, where it sounds deeper and more resonant.
This is because when we talk, we’re not only hearing the sound that comes out of our mouths, travels through the air and hits our inner ears, but also the sound that bounces around in our own, fleshy heads before hitting our inner ear. And all of this bone and muscle in our heads is better at transmitting low frequency vibrations rather than higher tones, so we end up hearing ourselves with a lower voice than we have in real life.
But there is good news - just because your real voice sounds weird to you, that doesn't mean it's actually bad. As Robbie Gonzalez from io9 explains, there's research to suggest that other people prefer your recorded voice to the one in your head.
Watch the latest episode above to find out more about what you sound like to other people. And spare a thought for Hank and all those other YouTubers who have to listen to their voices played back every. single. day as part of their job. As if hearing your own voicemail message wasn't bad enough...