Actually, there’s nothing to debate. For two reasons.
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) May 15, 2018
First, what you hear is a product of many variables — whether you’re “primed” to hear one word or the other, the shape of your ear canals, maybe even your age or where you live. As with the Great Dress Debate of 2015, your mind is coping with ambiguity in the stimulus by “filling in the gaps.” The ambiguity with the dress was the lighting: Was it black and blue in clear light or white and gold in twilight or bluish light? Here you’ve got poor quality audio so your brain’s doing the best it can to interpret.
The quality of your speakers matters too. Reading through the yanny/laurel thinkpieces online this morning, the point is made repeatedly that “yanny” and “laurel” are each seemingly “there” but at different frequencies. Use a type of speaker that’s better at reproducing one of those frequencies and you’re more apt to hear that word.
Depending on where you listen from, you might hear both. For example, you may hear “Laurel” while listening on laptop speakers, but “Yanny” when playing the clip through your smartphone’s built-in speaker…
The best headphones have a flat frequency response, and don’t filter the sound, he says. But the cheaper the headphone, earbud or computer speaker, “the less reliable the quality of the audio.” As a result, “your brain makes all kinds of predictions” about what it thinks you’re hearing, he said…
“Any speaker that can replicate enough ‘low end’ or ‘bass’ — you will most likely hear Laurel. But any speaker that doesn’t reproduce lots of low end (smaller size speakers in general) you will most probably hear Yanny.”
A would-be demonstration:
you can hear both when you adjust the bass levels: pic.twitter.com/22boppUJS1
— Earth Vessel Quotes (@earthvessquotes) May 15, 2018
Second, it’s obviously saying “yanny” and anyone who disagrees is human garbage. How the hell do you hear an “L” or “R” in there? For cripes sake. For the sake of the gene pool, now that we know who and where the “laurel” people are, they should be expurgated. Canada will probably take you. They’re weird too.