The phenomenon of telephone voice

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 4:37 AM GMT

    You've heard it before. You may even do it yourself. What is with the strange changes in the way people speak when they are on the phone :lolicon_confused.gif When I hear people get business calls or they get a call from a significant other they always go from what is clearly their normal speaking voice to some odd variation. I think my favorite is when the gf or bf calls and they start talking in that soft sweet lullaby tone HAHAHA.

    In my opinion its one of the funniest things to be around for. Why do we as humans do this? Why the night and day transformation? I cant say that it annoys me or bothers me, I just think its funny.



    Do you switch it up?

    P.S. As far as couples go have you noticed that most of the married folk talk to each other like normal after that honeymoon phase lol?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 5:30 AM GMT
    Yes. The Life Force drains out of me when I have to speak in "customer service" voice. One day I'm going to snap and go all Sam Kennison on a customer. It may be worth it.

    Really, I've been thinking that it should be possible to build a CS-Translator device. This would be a black box that plugs in between the telephone and the wall jack. It will translate plain english phrases (e.g. READ THE F**&&ING INSTRUCTIONS YOU STUPID B%##$!) into smarmy Customer Service Speak (e.g. "Why yes ma'am, I'd be happy to talk you through that.") Now if only there were a way to regain the wasted time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 5:40 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidYes. The Life Force drains out of me when I have to speak in "customer service" voice. One day I'm going to snap and go all Sam Kennison on a customer. It may be worth it.

    Really, I've been thinking that it should be possible to build a CS-Translator device. This would be a black box that plugs in between the telephone and the wall jack. It will translate plain english phrases (e.g. READ THE F**&&ING INSTRUCTIONS YOU STUPID B%##$!) into smarmy Customer Service Speak (e.g. "Why yes ma'am, I'd be happy to talk you through that.") Now if only there were a way to regain the wasted time.


    HAHAHA I have to do all that customer service crap at my job at school. Have u ever caught yourself speaking in customer service voice when someone random asks you for directions or something lol
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 7:59 AM GMT
    My brother does that! It is hilarious to hear him, as he tries to sound all smart and important! lol But I don't rag on him as I'm sure he feels bad enough when he hangs up the phone.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 8:43 AM GMT
    I have a feeling it's strangely related to the Lombard Reflex.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 1:17 PM GMT
    Actually the fact is that because the telephone tends to hollow out our voices as the sound absorption level is at different density.

    To clarify

    When we talk to each other, the sound wave decibels are partially absorbed and muffled by out cartilages and bone hence we would be very familiar as well use to hearing our friends tone of voice.
    However when speaking through a phone, the level of tone and pitch changes because logically, the phone doesn't have the same 'matter' as we do. So from the receiver end, the voices comes out funny if we talk naturally.

    So most people adjust and adapt the way they speak on the telephone.

    Example:

    I tend to sound like a nerdy girl on the phone (blech) and I've been unintentionally been called a woman on several occasions. :S

    A few years back I consciously made a new effort to deepen my voice when I'm on the phone...Now people think that they are usually talking to my dad rather than me or miss!! LOL
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 3:17 PM GMT
    hauptstimme saidI have a feeling it's strangely related to the Lombard Reflex.


    Carole, or Julie?icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 3:51 PM GMT
    Fivealive saidActually the fact is that because the telephone tends to hollow out our voices as the sound absorption level is at different density.

    To clarify

    When we talk to each other, the sound wave decibels are partially absorbed and muffled by out cartilages and bone hence we would be very familiar as well use to hearing our friends tone of voice.
    However when speaking through a phone, the level of tone and pitch changes because logically, the phone doesn't have the same 'matter' as we do. So from the receiver end, the voices comes out funny if we talk naturally.

    So most people adjust and adapt the way they speak on the telephone.

    Example:

    I tend to sound like a nerdy girl on the phone (blech) and I've been unintentionally been called a woman on several occasions. :S

    A few years back I consciously made a new effort to deepen my voice when I'm on the phone...Now people think that they are usually talking to my dad rather than me or miss!! LOL


    before this gets out of hand....
    The explanation above is completely obscured.

    Telephones are expected to be linear. None of the companies report the impedance of the mic nor the receiver. It's actually really hard to determine the impedance.

    Expecting they are linear....

    The transfer function of the head and torso play a role in sound transmission from the source to the cochlea. On the phone we lose these functions. High frequencies are attenuated. However...

    The pinna (cartilage) attenuates lower Hz. All those notches create standing waves to knock out high frequencies. It's an impedance matcher/ but also a mismatcher.

    The ear canal gives gain to high Hz because of its length as a closed tubed system. So, the middle ear is transfer sound pressure levels (SPL) to the cochlea via a three boned system and an enclosed capsule. It gives a shitload of gain in the 1000-3000 Hz region. This is why we hear the best at this region.

    -It's psychological; not physical.
    -decibel=not a unit of measure
    -Sound cannot be absorbed; it is reflected

    It's a psychoacoustical property that humans do; such as the Lombard Reflex.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 8:30 PM GMT
    I do the telephone voice when I'm speaking with service people I'm trying to get to cooperate. No nonsense and to the point, professional, yet not exactly threatening, just enough to let them know I'm a person to be respected, who knows his way around and gets his way. I'd never use that voice with my friends who know me in person -- they'd just laugh.

    I also have my radio voice. Which has its own subsets: news, music DJ, interview, commentary.

    But then my college degrees include Speech, Broadcasting, and Theatre, and how to use your voice is critical to all of them. My very wise late mother taught me something very important as a child, that people will judge you more by how well you speak at first meeting, before they even know how much money, influence & actual power you really have.

    If you sound in charge, you will be in charge. That little saying was as much responsible for my successful military career as anything I actually ever did.

    When you sound impressive, you will be assumed to be impressive, no matter what other talents you may actually have. And so my mother insisted I develop a strong vocabulary, and learn good diction and other speaking skills, despite my initial shy & insecure manner. The advice my parents gave me has never failed me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 8:49 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI do the telephone voice when I'm speaking with service people I'm trying to get to cooperate. No nonsense and to the point, professional, yet not exactly threatening, just enough to let them know I'm a person to be respected, who knows his way around and gets his way. I'd never use that voice with my friends who know me in person -- they'd just laugh.

    I also have my radio voice. Which has its own subsets: news, music DJ, interview, commentary.

    But then my college degrees include Speech, Broadcasting, and Theatre, and how to use your voice is critical to all of them. My very wise late mother taught me something very important as a child, that people will judge you more by how well you speak at first meeting, before they even know how much money, influence & actual power you really have.

    If you sound in charge, you will be in charge. That little saying was as much responsible for my successful military career as anything I actually ever did.

    When you sound impressive, you will be assumed to be impressive, no matter what other talents you may actually have. And so my mother insisted I develop a strong vocabulary, and learn good diction and other speaking skills, despite my initial shy & insecure manner. The advice my parents gave me has never failed me.


    This reminds me of an episode of 30 Rock where Matt Damon, who plays an airline pilot, says "you walk briskly with a pilot's uniform you can go pretty much anywhere. I've been upstairs in the White House while the Obamas were sleeping."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 9:07 PM GMT
    My sister was like that. Sounded sweet and innocent and then turned into uber bitch whenever she talked to people.


    Sometimes I play with mine and turn into a game show host in a deep voice.
    "Hi and thank you for calling Trevor. This is him, may I ask who is speaking!?"
    And then other times I'm like, "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 9:12 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI do the telephone voice when I'm speaking with service people I'm trying to get to cooperate. No nonsense and to the point, professional, yet not exactly threatening, just enough to let them know I'm a person to be respected, who knows his way around and gets his way. I'd never use that voice with my friends who know me in person -- they'd just laugh.

    I also have my radio voice. Which has its own subsets: news, music DJ, interview, commentary.

    But then my college degrees include Speech, Broadcasting, and Theatre, and how to use your voice is critical to all of them. My very wise late mother taught me something very important as a child, that people will judge you more by how well you speak at first meeting, before they even know how much money, influence & actual power you really have.

    If you sound in charge, you will be in charge. That little saying was as much responsible for my successful military career as anything I actually ever did.

    When you sound impressive, you will be assumed to be impressive, no matter what other talents you may actually have. And so my mother insisted I develop a strong vocabulary, and learn good diction and other speaking skills, despite my initial shy & insecure manner. The advice my parents gave me has never failed me.


    That is great advice your parents gave. Reading Oprah's unofficial biography you learn that so much of her success was built on the way she spoke.

    I deepen my voice when I talk to strangers; my ex called it my straight voice lol.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 9:28 PM GMT
    Humans have a tendency to regress in their speech as their comfort level goes up with whomever they are speaking with. It's partly sexual behavior, and partly, just plain behavior. It's been studied, and, it's "normal."

    Most landlines rolloff at around 3khz. Cellphones have even less audio fidelity. Some VOIP service increases the fidelity, but, in general, cell phones have horrible audio response, with landlines being noticeably better, but, still, rolling off well below the 50hz to 15khz most folks can hear.

    Both cell phones and land line phones have "sidetone." That's you hearing yourself. In digital technologies, there's also echo cancellors, because of packet propagation delays. If you've ever talked to someone on a cell phone in the same room, you're sure to have noticed that digital propagation delay.

    If sidetone is poor, folks have a tendency to speak more loudly. Some folks have much better diction and enunciation on the phone. That makes good sense, as you should speak to be heard, and, understood.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 9:28 PM GMT
    The telephone voice is as old as the telephone itself. I am sure most people subconsciously compensate for the lack of visual cues. Add to that the fact the telephone is not a high fidelity instrument. The result? The telephone voice.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 9:56 PM GMT
    ShinyToyTrev saidMy sister was like that. Sounded sweet and innocent and then turned into uber bitch whenever she talked to people.

    Not sure if you're relating that to what I wrote above. But I only do uber bitch as a last desperate resort, if that's all the person opposing me understands.

    Rather, I try to come across as friendly condescending. My tone alerts them that I'm a person of standing, but that I'm willing to be friendly and complimentary if they'll treat me well. Truth is I really want to like people, but I know I have to establish these conditions in many types of exchanges, or else I may be treated poorly and taken advantage of.

    And in fact, my partner & I are the kind of people who do tell the bosses, in person or in writing, when we are well-treated & receive excellent service from their employees. We even send them gifts for treating us especially well.

    As a consequence, we're received like Hollywood celebrities at most of the regular places we go. Poor as church mice, but better connected than many millionaires, we understand the power of good PR.

    Yet bottom line, beyond all the calculated scheming & planning, remains the fact we just like people. I don't think our tactics would yield results if people didn't really believe us, that we really want to like them.

    The message I try to carry in my voice is: like us, and you will be glad. Screw us, and you will regret it. And get to know us, and we'll be great friends.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 9:58 PM GMT
    No. I'd quote you above me guy if I were referencing. I have that much decency, even if I'm going to be a dick about something. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 11:04 PM GMT
    Phone voice is about maximizing the convo quality for greatest affect/results. We all do it. You don't call customer service and throw a tirade because the person on the other end will just reduce or limit the desired outcome. Same thing with personal calls; It is easy to talk over someone when on the phone because you don't have the visual cues to start and stop. So whether it is a love one or a stranger we are taught to be courteous.

    …but yeah there will be those times when you’ll be a prick.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 11:15 PM GMT
    The max that we 'hear' is 20k Hz. That is the function of the cochlea; no other organ. 10-20k Hz is attenuated by the ossicles because of mass. We don't hear these frequencies as easily.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 13, 2010 11:41 PM GMT
    I'm not sure this issue is about frequency ranges of telephones, which I know are limited, but about the tone & attitude a person projects. No matter how their frequency range may be clipped.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2010 2:35 AM GMT
    hauptstimme saidThe max that we 'hear' is 20k Hz. That is the function of the cochlea; no other organ. 10-20k Hz is attenuated by the ossicles because of mass. We don't hear these frequencies as easily.



    Most folks nowadays don't hear all the way out to 20khz because of exposure to loud noise, etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2010 2:55 AM GMT
    Guilty , i sound different when i do the announcements to the passengers before take off , or landing ......icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 14, 2010 4:47 AM GMT
    chuckystud said
    hauptstimme saidThe max that we 'hear' is 20k Hz. That is the function of the cochlea; no other organ. 10-20k Hz is attenuated by the ossicles because of mass. We don't hear these frequencies as easily.



    Most folks nowadays don't hear all the way out to 20khz because of exposure to loud noise, etc.


    I would be willing to make a bet on this comment? I don't believe it.