'Laurel' or 'Yanny' is the new viral controversy driving our ears insane

Posted May 17, 2018

That was the question Wednesday as a short audio clip sparked a social media debate about whether the word being heard is "yanny" or "laurel".

The video below illustrates this pretty well: By slowing down and speeding up the audio (which changes the sound's pitch), you can start to hear the word differently (at least, I did). Some people saw white and gold, and others saw blue and black.

A new clip surfaced online that people haven't been able to agree upon, if it's saying "Yanny" or "Laurel". Listen to the clip below. "However, your brain can't handle both at once, so it picks one and that is the version you hear".

'How does it sound for you!? Various people on social media have taken to doing their own experiments in order to understand how people have heard different things.

One person wrote on Twitter: "I thought I heard Yanny then I heard Laurel now I'm hearing Yanny, my whole life is a lie". Aude Oliva at MIT first created hybrid images composed to two superimposed images, such as a blurred smiling face and an edge-enhanced frowning face, which are filtered for low and high spatial frequencies respectively.

Barnes stated in an email to The Baltimore Sun that #YannyvsLaurel has been a topic of conversation on the city government's Facebook page after she posted an article about "Yanny vs. Laurel" early Wednesday. He also recorded himself saying "Yanny" and "Laurel", for comparison.

Catherine Marino, director of the Audiology and Hearing Aid Center at Main Line Health's Riddle Hospital, agreed that people who are better at hearing lower-pitched sounds may be more likely to hear laurel.

Reminiscent of "the dress" phenomenon of 2015, different people heard different names - and insisted it was their sense that was right.

WebMD: If you hear one or the other, does it indicate hearing damage?

The audio-frequency patterns of both words, when spoken by the researcher, are fairly similar. "If you remove the high frequencies, you hear Laurel".