'Yanny Vs. Laurel' Debate: How To Hear It Both Ways

Rosalie Gross
May 17, 2018

"I think maybe it creates something our brains aren't used to and so we interpret it differently", said Marino.

I think that the way the word was pronounced or recorded, it just happens to contain all of the frequencies for both words. To his ear, this was definitely a recording of the word "laurel". Everyone is listening to the clip and revealing whether they hear the word Laurel or the word Yanny.

"Most likely the original recording was 'Laurel, '" he said. The dictionary site hasn't revealed the man's identity, but said he was one of several trained singers enlisted to record hundreds of thousands of pronunciations, based on the rules of the worldwide phonetic alphabet.

While the internet is split on the decision, Marshmello hears "Yanny" and Chrissy Tiegan hears "Laurel".

Some speculated online that the age of the listener might determine what was heard, while others changed the pitch to alter results.

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"There really isn't a true reality, there is only our perceptual reality", Crum said. It can also be the psychological properties of our hearing system. You'll hear that all-too-familiar sound.

Looking at the spectrogram, it seems to be somewhere between "Yanny" and "Laurel", so in a way, it is an ambiguous sound. If you filter out the low frequencies, then you hear "yanny", said Almor.

Some say it's "laurel; others say it's "yanny".

A straw poll carried out among staff in AFP's Washington bureau counted 17 for Yanny, and 14 for Laurel. So how did we get here?

"You have categories of sounds in your head", he said. It could be useful information as many people probably spent a good part of their last 24 hours either looking for your own hearing to be tested or suggesting that others do. Jake Cavanaugh, says what you hear depends on a few different factors.

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