Laurel or Yanny? What we heard from the experts


If you've been on social media, you've probably seen the Yanny vs. Laurel audio file that's dividing the internet.

We were discussing this in the KHQ Newsroom too and it seems like everyone is split.

"If you have a low quality of recording, it's not surprising some people would confuse the second and third resonances flipped around, and hear Yanny instead of Laurel".

So what exactly is going on?

Some people went as far as adjusting audio levels to try to get to the bottom of it, with some pointing out it could have to do with whether you can hear high frequencies.

As people continue to dispute whether they hear "Laurel" or "Yanny", Tucker said he is excited that people are talking about sound in general.

"When you say the word "yanny" and "laurel", the waveform looks very similar for the first band of energy resonance".

Another commenter also heard "luo rou" (escargot) and "ya mi" (charades) - more the former - and explained: "If you imagine it to sound thicker, you'll hear luo rou".

Roshini Nair
Roshini Nair

Wolfe thinks those that hear Yanny may have younger ears compared to those hearing Laurel.

Ben Tucker said the Reddit post is set up so people are forced to pick one of the two options.

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

Especially if they heard the word played at either a slower speed or a faster speed.

Circulating elsewhere on the internet was the line: "Man Calls Girlfriend "Yanny" During Sex, Swears He Said "Laurel".

Depending on where you listen from, you might hear both.

"When you initially hear that name", says Dr. Spankovich, "it is hard for you to then try to focus and hear the other name being voiced".

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