'Yanny' or 'laurel'? It depends on your speakers

Brenda Watkins
May 17, 2018

That filtering "takes away the entire perception of hearing the word "Yanny" and all you get is the word 'Laurel, '" he says.

It's also worth noting that people are expecting to hear either "Yanny" or "Laurel", which makes it more likely that they actually will hear one of those words and not something else.

"It's an interesting auditory illusion, if you will", McCreery said.

He noticed similarities in the features of these words, which you can see below.

I have no idea how anyone else can hear anything but "Laurel" - even when I heard a change in the bass level provided by another tweet.

Think of it like dinner at a busy restaurant, McCreery said. But should you pick up an interesting conversation a few tables over, you can switch your auditory attention that direction.

Next, listen to this clip, which is no longer noisy.

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I, however, continue to hear "Laurel".

McCreery said it's likely because the different devices - computers, phones and headphones - produce different ranges of frequencies.

Does age or health matter in terms of how you hear the clip?

"There's a little high frequency difference between the two so if you have maybe better hearing for high frequencies you would probably tend to hear Yanni where if you had high frequency loss, mild or moderate, you may hear Laurel" said Healy.

Some internet dwellers have said the clip originated on vocabulary.com for the definition of laurel.

Intrigued, Szabo sent it to a friend who posted the clip on Instagram and created a poll that quickly went viral, triggering a mass debate that has spread internationally.

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