Why New VO Artists Cringe At The Sound Of Their Recorded Voice

Hey, there!

So, truth be told, the title of this article should be:

“Why Everyone Cringes At The Sound Of Their Recorded Voice”…

…but it’s something that comes up in my classes a lot.

Especially in the Mastering Microphone Technique and Auditioning with Audacity classes. I talk about exactly why we hate the sound of our voice when we hear it played back.

And now, the explanation I’ve been giving for years has been corroborated by no less an exalted authority than Business Insider.

And they even created a quick video showing you why! Here it is:

(there’s an ad at the beginning – nothing I can do about that)


If you’ve ever been in my class and witnessed me explaining this penomenon, you can confirm for the world in the comments below, that, aside from me using the word convection for what BI is calling “air conduction”, and simply conduction for what BI calls “bone conduction”, they follow my explanation to a T.

The good news? You get used to it.

And I encourage you in class to not only enjoy your voice, but to fall in love with it, like any craftsperson falls in love with their favorite hammer, paint brush or software.


The more you get comfortable with your own voice, the more you can mine it for subtle nuances, new characterizations and better and more accurate storytelling.

And the best way to do that, and help yourself out in countless other ways, is to use a great pair of headphones or earbuds. It’s a must.

And I’m happy to help you get over your own cringing, should you need a little coaching.

So, don’t cringe. Enjoy your voice – because it’s awesome. I guarantee it.

I know – that’s easy for me to say. But what do you say? What was it like the first time you heard your own recorded voice? And has that changed? Let me know in the comments below.

Hope this helps!



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. My voice has been an issue of maaaaaajor contention and ambivalence throughout my life. I have listened to myself and I dislike certain aspects of my voice but not my voice as a whole. I feel I lack control of my voice and as such lack the ability to make it sound the way I want it to sound to other people. When I have heard my voice recorded I have disliked the nasally sound to it, the higher pitch to it, and the lack of smoothness which makes people think I am soooo much younger than I am. Contrary to this, though, people tend to like my voice and say it is pleasant or bubbly and it definitely easily conveys emotion plus it is memorable. People remember my voice even after years. I have taught myself to put a little more oomph in it when I want to sound more professional but I need help with control. Having more control would help me sound more my age when I want to and counter what happens when I am stressed, speaking another language, excited etc., which causes my voice to get even higher-pitched than normal which makes me cringe hard cause I know my voice is normally pretty high-pitched. I do have some affinity for accents what with the mix of accents in my family so I think that is of value along with the emotionality and memorability of my voice to help me be a successful VO artist. I would really love to be able to control the way my voice sounds to others because that has an huuuuge impact on how you are perceived which in turn has a huuuge impact on earning potential and career. I really can not wait to get started.