Yanny, Laurel or none: Why we hear different words

Laurel or Yanny? What do you hear

The audio quality isn't great, and Almor believes it can impact if you think it's "yanny" or "laurel".

But they really are mixed together, and partially overlapping, which is what makes it sound different to different listeners, and why it's hard for people to switch their perception.

"What we do know is when you modulate the base of each word you may hear one or the other", said Cavanaugh. But when he got to the office Tuesday morning, he heard "Yanny" on his computer.

Szabo then sent the clip to a friend who created the Instagram poll asking if people heard "Laurel" or "Yanny".

The New York Times posted a tool which allows the user to slide between high and low frequencies, making it easy to turn "laurel" into "Yanny".

Also, he said the clip illustrates that our brains decide what it wants to hear if there is an ambiguous signal like this one.

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Those who want to check on their hearing can follow this link.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, "I'd like to declare something that is just so obvious". Ellen DeGeneres tweeted that everything at her show stopped to see what people heard.

Patricia Keating, a linguistics professor and the director of the phonetics lab at UCLA, said: "It depends on what part [what frequency range] of the signal you attend to". But when he tried the clip again back at his desk, he heard "laurel". Also, younger and smaller ears are more sensitive to the higher frequencies, so they will have a better chance of hearing "Yanny".

Sorry Yanny fans, but the original recording from Vocabulary.com is listed as the pronunciation for the word "Laurel".

Others took the trouble to search and listen to how "laurel" is pronounced in Chinese dictionary You Dao.

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