It's Time To Settle The Yanny vs. Laurel Debate

It's Time To Settle The Yanny vs. Laurel Debate

It started with a tweet from Cloe Feldman asking users whether they heard the word "Laurel" or "Yanny" in a three-second audio clip.

We were discussing this in the KHQ Newsroom too and it seems like everyone is split. The cryptic audio has gone viral this week and Jason Smith and Mike Harmon have chose to get to the bottom of this.

"If you take that ambiguous word then kind of filter out the high frequencies, then you hear a very clear "laurel". Similarly, this polarizing audio clip sounds like "yanny" to some and "laurel" to others.

The discrepancy in what people hear comes down to a few different possibilities, none of which sort it out for certain.

The internet will always birth new viral content, but most (remember Pen-Apple-Pineapple Pen?) are just media flotsam to enjoy and forget about. So what do you hear?

Pristine studio headphones will give you a Laurel, while a tinny 2015-era cell phone is probably going to give you Yanny.

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"I hear Laurel and everyone is a liar".

"The language that we produce is actually really complex, and I think it's good for people to think about that and to realize how complex language is".

Laurel or Yanny? Yanny or Laurel?

Dr. Wolfe says hair cells in our inner ear also contribute to the sounds being heard.

It could also depend on the speakers being used to listen to the recording. Someone with mild hearing damage (from earphones, working in loud environments or just from aging) will be more likely to hear "Laurel".

"I have no idea why some listeners attend more to the lower frequency range while others attend more to the higher frequency range", she added.

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