The Audio Version of the Dress: Yanny or Laurel

The Audio Version of the Dress: Yanny or Laurel

Sam Stone

If you have a Twitter, you probably know what this debate is. Yanny or Laurel recalls the blue/black or white/gold debate of 2015 that sparked chaos in middle schools. But this time it is a four second video.

It personally divide my English class so strongly to the point my teacher ran out with a student’s phone playing the sound and asking other teachers what they heard. Majority of students (sans myself and two others) heard Yanny. All the teachers heard Laurel.

The audio clip comes from the threads of Reddit, and was brought to Twitter by Youtuber Cloe Feldman.

The phenomena can easily be explained but is heavily debated. Chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories, Poppy Crum, sites it being dependent on physiology. Things such as age, gender, even language barriers. Says that they go at different frequencies.

One who is older or has early set hearing damage will hear Laurel as it goes at lower frequencies and those who are younger such as teenagers and young adults will hear Yanny as due to the higher frequencies is another theory. Though this can tie into Crum’s theory.

Brad Story, Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing at The University of Arizona, sites it to be the shape of the sound waves and the poor sound quality. That the harsh and soft and harsh stressing of both names lend them to be similar. That, arguably, those hearing Laurel are right and those hearing Yanny is mishearing the word (but if one presents this in conversation one might find themselves in the midst of an argument).

But this will blow over within the next few weeks, as we know.