Do you hear laurel or yanny? The audio clip that’s dividing the internet

Do you hear laurel or yanny? The audio clip that’s dividing the internet
Do you hear laurel or yanny? The audio clip that’s dividing the internet

Laurel or Yanny?

That’s the question that’s dividing millions of people around the world, thanks to a bizarre audio clip that can be heard two ways.

Listen to the clip below and judge for yourself:

Many have called it the aural equivalent of ‘The Dress’, the optical illusion that went viral three years ago after people couldn’t decide whether a garment was purple or grey.

The Laurel/Yanny audio clip was shared widely after being posted on Reddit, and has since sparked a debate over which word the voice is saying.

So why is the clip so divisive?

Talking to the New York Times, Dr. Jody Kreiman, a principal investigator at the voice perception laboratory at the University of California, suggested that “the acoustic patterns for the utterance are midway between those for the two words.”

“The energy concentrations for Ya are similar to those for La,” she said. “N is similar to r; I is close to l.”

Others have suggested that the audio quality is a factor, and if you listen to it on your phone or laptop, you’ll hear different words.

However, the most convincing explanation we’ve seen comes from Dylan Bennett, a tech expert on Twitter, who has managed to isolate higher and lower frequencies of the clip to show how that can influence what you hear:

We tried the audio clip in the office today.

Result? Two of us heard ‘Laurel’ and two heard ‘Yanny’.