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The latest internet ‘dress’ is yanny vs laurel

A few years ago the internet blew up with What color is this dress? White and gold or blue and black?

Now the question is What do you hear? “Yanny” or “laurel”?

Apparently it depends on what frequencies you hear best.

Personally, I hear “laurel.” Distinctly. Unmistakably.

But on The Talk this afternoon, they played it at different frequencies. At the higher frequency (imagine The Chipmunks) I still heard “laurel.” But at the lower, deeper frequency, I heard “yanny.” On the other hand, some sources say it’s just the opposite, and that people who hear the higher frequencies, usually younger people, hear “yanny.” Whatever, in the original recording, I hear “laurel.”

I tried to find a really short video playing the two sounds, but most were several minutes long. Here’s one of many:

(On general principles I hurriedly dismissed the ones where a girl kept saying “verse” instead of “versus.”)

If you prefer to read the entire explanation, see “The True Story of ‘Yanny’ and ‘Laurel'” on Wired.

POSTSCRIPT: The New York Times has published a slider/tool that lets you hear both words.


    • One article I saw somewhere mentioned that one’s speakers could make the difference. It might have been in the video above. And it occurs to me just now that people can adjust the bass and treble on most speakers, and I usually turn the bass way up and the treble down.


  1. Without the hearing aids, which I use sometimes, I can only hear Yanny,
    I got the War office to listen in, and she has the best hearing of anybody I’ve ever come across, and all she hears is Yanny

    Perhaps sound travels differently up here in the Southern Hemisphere


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