The great internet debate: Yanny or Laurel

Tanya Cunningham
May 17, 2018

A odd audio clip has been igniting vigorous debate on the Internet - is the voice on the recording saying, "Yanny" or "Laurel"?

"If you take that ambiguous word then kind of filter out the high frequencies, then you hear a very clear "laurel".

If you cut out the low frequencies with a High Pass Filter then "Laurel" becomes physically inaudible to hear, and you only hear "Yanny".

Do you hear "Laurel" or "Yanny"?

Goetz also says if people listen on different devices they can hear different pitches and notice different sounds.

He played it for his peers, who disagreed over whether the syllables formed "Yanny" or "Laurel".

Whatever you hear, all you need to do is jump on Twitter to see some of the hilarious reactions.


So while the audio clip was made for the word laurel, it would appear Team Yanny has the better hearing.

The sound jumped to prominence when Roland Szabo, an 18-year-old high school student in Lawrenceville, Georgia, posted it on Reddit.

Jody Kreiman, Professor of Head and Neck Surgery and Linguistics at UCLA, said listeners would normally have "semantic context" to interpret what they are hearing. She said she heard laurel.

Nobody can tell if this recording says "Yanny" or "Laurel".

More than one person online yearned for that simpler time in 2015, when no one could decide whether the mother of the bride wore white and gold or blue and black.

The clip picked up steam after a debate erupted on Reddit this week. Let us know in the comments section below. Catherine Marino, an audiologist, Main Line Health said, "Because they're grouped so close together I think the brain is having a hard time distinguishing one or the other".

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