masks "muffling sound" 

i've gotten some pushback on my claim that masks don't make people hard to understand.

i do know that deaf and hard of hearing people have trouble understanding people wearing masks because they can't see their lips, and that sucks, but that's not what i'm talking about.

here's a recording of me saying the phrase "testing testing 123" twice, about six feet away from the mic, once wearing a mask and once not.

i can't hear any difference. can you?

dropbox.com/s/5a930bzivqppu9m/

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masks "muffling sound" 

personally i think it's a psychological thing. people feel like the cloth in front of the mouth "should" muffle the sound, so that's how they perceive it.

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masks "muffling sound" 

@Garrison I do think it can make a difference, based on experience. Not always, so maybe it depends on the mask material and construction?

Also, the natural volume of the speaker probably contributes to the situation (if they're already a loud person, they probably project right through the mask without a problem).

masks "muffling sound" 

@stelepami my hearing isn't great, due to years of playing trombone in marching band, but i can't say i've ever noticed a difference. but i could understand if it were a naturally soft-spoken person, though i usually can't hear such folks even without a mask if we're not in a totally quiet environment and i end up having to lean down right next to their face like a weirdo.

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