The man who recorded the ‘Yanny or Laurel’ audio illusion reveals what he actually said

Yanny or Laurel?

The man who recorded the original audio for the ‘Yanny or Laurel’ audio illusion has revealed what he actually said.

Last week, the clip went viral and sparked countless debates as listeners argued over which word is being repeated – including Donald Trump and his White House team.

Originally posted on Reddit, the audio illusion seems to be saying one word over and over again – which word specifically? Nobody knows.


Some listeners are hearing the word ‘Yanny’ repeated while others are hearing ‘Laurel’. Take a listen below and figure out which word you can hear.

Now, Broadway actor and singer Jay Aubrey Jones has revealed that he actually recorded the word ‘laurel’ back in 2007. The word was recorded as a pronunciation exercise for

“I recorded my batch of words and I thought that was that,” he told Time.

“I thought, well, it couldn’t be that huge. Then I heard the recording again online and I realised what a brouhaha this whole thing was.”

He added: “More often than not, I hear laurel. I can hear a slight trace of yanny.”


Speaking to The Guardian, Professor David Alais from the University of Sydney’s school of psychology said the audio illusion is due to the brain because it “flips back and forth between the two interpretations”.

“The Yanny/Laurel sound is meant to be ambiguous because each sound has a similar timing and energy content – so in principle it’s confusable.

“All of this goes to highlight just how much the brain is an active interpreter of sensory input, and thus that the external world is less objective than we like to believe.”

The debate harks back to 2015’s ‘The Dress’, which saw the internet become obsessed with the colour-changing, optical illusion.

The picture depicted a seemingly-colour changing dress – some people saw it as white and gold, while others saw it as blue and black.

Back in 2017, the internet became obsessed with another item of clothing – this time a pink and white or green and grey shoe.

Some users saw the shoe as grey with a green stripe, and others adamant that the shoe is in fact pale pink, with a white stripe down the side.