Why Do We Like Deep Voices?

Why Do We Like Deep Voices?

The history and sociology of deep voices.

A deep voice has long been associated with authority.  Having evolved from a more patriarchal society in the early days of broadcast media when it was common for men to smoke cigarettes, the classic old-school announcer or deep voice narrator was born.  Voiceover style evolved from an age prior to the advent of broadcasting when people gathered in theaters or around a stump to witness all forms of oration. That fill-the-room style required considerable downsizing when placed in front of a microphone, but the gravel of the deep, male voice remained.

Over the decades, that “smoked down,” deep-voiced sound has been incrementally replaced by a much lighter sound, including more equal representation of female voices.  Today’s voices may be chosen because they are interesting in their own right, and not just because they are deep sounding.

But even with this diversification of style, the deep-voiced announcer still holds a place in the landscape of broadcast media, especially movie-trailer and promotional voiceovers.