Describe your voice

There are some interesting industry standards when trying to describe your voice, they are often broken down into voice quality and voice characteristics


Of course there is no right or wrong style of voice, there is always a project out there for all voice types. So, if you were to try and assess your own voice, how would you describe it using the options below – of course you can use more than 1 option at once although you might want to reconsider if you’ve chosen ‘Tight’ and ‘Relaxed’…

Voice quality

Brassy Breathy Clear Deep Fruity Gentle Gravelly Light Melodious Metallic Nasal Quavering Reedy Sharp Silky Smokey Staccato Strong Tight Warm



Amused Assured Authoritative Avuncular Cheerful Direct Earthy Engaging Enthusiastic Expansive Friendly Laidback Natural Precise Relaxed Serious Sincere Sympathetic Vulnerable Whimsical


Whilst doing this, you are going to have had to listen to your own voice for a while – something most people absolutely hate doing – you may think VO’s love it, but I can assure you there are plenty out there who hate the sound of their own voice too – an industry kick in the proverbial teeth if you will. This actually is a recognised ailment, named voice confrontation – but why, on the whole, are we happy to hear others voices, and yet when we hear the recorded version of our own we die a little inside? The answer is down to the way our bones transmit the sound of our own voice, as they transmit the deeper, richer tones of our voice. Of course when we hear the recorded sound we do not hear these different tones, and as a result what we hear is so dramatically different to what we expect, that this confusion in our brains causes us to dislike it!

What’s more, a complete explanation can be found in a series of scientific studies.

Through their experiments, the late psychologists Phil Holzemann and Clyde Rousey concluded in 1966 that voice confrontation arises not only from a difference in expected frequency, but also a striking revelation that occurs upon the realisation of all that your voice conveys. Not on ly does it sound different than you expect; through what are called “extra-linguistic cues”, it reveals aspects of your personality that you can only fully perceive upon hearing it from a recording. These include aspects such as your anxiety level, indecision, sadness, anger, and so on.

To quote them, “The disruption and defensive experience are a response to a sudden confrontation with expressive qualities in the voice which the subject had not intended to express and which, until that moment, [s]he was not aware [s]he had expressed.”

About Babble

We love voices and we love what we do. Since we opened our doors in 2007, bringing fresh talent to an ever-expanding industry, we’ve supplied voiceover artists to clients  across the world, on commercials, animation, video games… you name it, one of our VOs has done it. Why should you choose us? With over 30 years experience across the commercial and production industry, we’d like to think we know our stuff, and will use that knowledge to make your life easier. We listen to your casting, production and budgetary needs and supply you with the best voice for the job. Babble – top talent, sounding great.

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Phil Seys