Man who recorded Laurel/Yanny reveals which word he really said

The strangest story to dominate headlines across the globe last week was the Yanny vs Laurel debate.

The story had millions divided as a sole recording proved there isn't just one way of interpreting a single sound.

The clip left Reddit users perplexed.

"I don't know how to explain it bro," said Roland Camry.

Another denounced all Yanny-hearers: "I hear Laurel and everyone is a liar."

Now the American man who recorded the sound has come forward to clarify what he was doing when he records the words.

Broadway actor and singer Jay Aubrey Jones originally produced the clip for in 2007 - the website recorded around 200,000 word sounds in standard English.

Man who recorded Laurel/Yanny reveals which word he really said
Photo credit: Facebook/Jay Aubrey Jones

After finishing the project and contributing around 36,000 words, Mr Jones said he assumed that was the end of it. 

But now, over a decade later, the 64-year-old has said the debate has amused him to no end. 

He told Time that when he first heard the recording had gone viral, he was sure it "couldn't be that huge". 

"Then I heard the recording again online and I realised what a brouhaha this whole thing was," Mr Aubrey told Time. 

While he's confessed to having actually said "Laurel", he can understand why some may have heard something a little different.

"More often than not, I hear Laurel. I can hear a slight trace of Yanny."

The recording went viral when a student found herself hearing Yanny instead of Laurel, the word she was researching. 

The girl then took to social media to see what others could hear and the whole debate went global.

In a short video, Twitter user Dylan Bennett used audio software to remove certain frequencies from the recording. When he took out the high frequencies, the word became much closer to Laurel, but sounded remarkably like Yanny when the bass frequencies were cut.

"Each sound is made up of several frequencies, and those that create Yanny are higher than those for Laurel, cognitive neuroscientist Lars Riecke of Maastricht University told tech site The Verge.

Older people are less likely to hear the higher frequencies, so will likely lean towards Laurel, whilst younger listeners may think they're hearing Yanny.

It could also depend on the speakers being used to listen to the recording. In the original comment thread on Reddit, some listeners reported changing their minds after switching to a different computer.

"I thought it must be a joke," wrote MagickMaggie, who initially heard Yanny. "How could Yeah sound like Lore? How could Annie sound like oral? I switched to my laptop and suddenly, all I could hear was a deep male voice saying, 'Laurel'."