Man behind 'Yanny or Laurel' reveals what he actually said

Sarah Carty
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

It’s the great debate that divided the internet last week and now the man who actually recorded the ‘Yanny or Laurel’ clip has revealed what he said.

Jay Aubrey Jones was working as a temp in New York in 2007 when he was asked if he wanted to take part in a Vocabulary.com job, where they were recording about 200,000 words in the English language.

And despite Jay uttering about 36,000 words into the microphone nearly 11 years ago, he still remembers what he said at the time.

“I recorded my batch of words and I thought, well that was that and then years later, here we are with ‘Laurel’ and ‘Yanny’,” Jay said in an interview with Time magazine.


When asked what he hears, Jay said he hears ‘Laurel’ and claims he’s ‘amused’ by the furore over his recording.

Jay also offered his own explanation for why people are hearing either ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’, saying it’s down to the way it was made.

“The recordings played at different frequencies or different speeds, or with the treble taken out or with the bass taken out, it can sound like a different word, but more often than not I hear ‘Laurel’,” he said.

Brad Story, Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing at The University of Arizona, explained to CNN that it’s all down to ow the recording was produced.

“It’s not a very high quality. And that in itself allows there to be some ambiguity already,” he said.

“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.”

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