55 Words to Describe Someone’s Voice

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Voice actors are always looking for accurate descriptors to describe their voices. “J” from Writing Help on Tumblr, gathered this list for describing a voice.

  • adenoidal (adj): if someone’s voice is adenoidal, some of the sound seems to come through their nose
  • appealing (adj): an appealing look/voice shows that you want help, approval, or agreement
  • breathy (adj): with loud breathing noises
  • brittle (adj): if you speak in a brittle voice, you sound as if you are about to cry
  • croaky (adj): if someone’s voice sounds croaky, they speak in a low, rough voice that sounds as if they have a sore throat
  • dead (adj): if someone’s eyes or voice are dead, they feel or show no emotion
  • disembodied (adj): a disembodied voice comes from someone who you cannot see
  • flat (adj): spoken in a voice that does not go up and down; this word is often used for describing the speech of people from a particular region
  • fruity (adj): a fruity voice or laugh is deep and strong in a pleasant way
  • grating (adj): a grating voice, laugh, or sound is unpleasant and annoying
  • gravelly (adj): a gravelly voice sounds low and rough
  • gruff (adj): this voice has a rough, low sound
  • guttural (adj): a guttural sound is deep and made at the back of your throat
  • high-pitched (adj): true to its name, a high-pitched voice or sound is very high
  • hoarse (adj): someone who is hoarse, or has a hoarse voice, speaks in a low, rough voice, usually because their throat is sore
  • honeyed (adj): honeyed words or a honeyed voice sound very nice, but you cannot trust the person who is speaking
  • husky (adj): a husky voice is deep and sounds hoarse (as if you have a sore throat), often in an attractive way
  • low (adj): a low voice is quiet and difficult to hear; also used for describing a deep voice that has a long wavelength
  • matter-of-fact (adj): usually used if the person speaking knows what they are talking about (or absolutely think they know what they are talking about)
  • modulated (adj): a modulated voice is controlled and pleasant to listen to
  • monotonous (adj): this kind of voice is boring and unpleasant due to the fact that it does not change in loudness or become higher/lower
  • nasal (adj): someone with a nasal voice sounds as if they are speaking through their nose
  • orotund (adj): an orotund voice is loud and clear
  • penetrating (adj): a penetrating voice is so high or loud that it makes you slightly uncomfortable
  • plummy (adj): a plummy voice or way of speaking is considered to be typical of an English person of a high social class; this word shows that you dislike people who speak like this
  • quietly (adj): in a soft, quiet voice
  • raucous (adj): a raucous voice or noise is loud and sounds rough
  • ringing (adj): a ringing voice is very loud and clear
  • rough (adj): a rough voice is not soft and is unpleasant to listen to
  • shrill (adj): a shrill voice is very loud, high, and unpleasant
  • silvery (adj): this voice is clear, light, and pleasant
  • singsong (adj): if you speak in a singsong voice, your voice rises and falls in a musical way
  • small (adj): a small voice is quiet
  • smoky (adj): a smoky voice is sexually attractive in a slightly mysterious way
  • softly spoken (adj): someone who is softly spoken has a quiet, gentle voice
  • soft-spoken (adj): speaking or said in a quiet, gentle voice
  • sotto voce (adj, adv): in a very quiet voice
  • stentorian (adj): a stentorian voice sounds very loud and severe
  • strangled (adj): a strangled sound is one that someone stops before they finish making it
  • strident (adj): this voice is loud and unpleasant
  • taut (adj): used about something such as a voice that shows someone is nervous or angry
  • thick (adj): if your voice is thick with an emotion, it sounds less clear than usual because of the emotion
  • thickly (adv): with a low voice that comes mostly from your throat
  • thin (adj): a thin voice or sound is high and unpleasant to listen to
  • throaty (adj): a throaty sound is low and seems to come from deep in your throat
  • tight (adj): shows that you are nervous or annoyed
  • toneless (adj): does not express any emotion
  • tremulous (adj): if your voice is tremulous, it is not steady; for example, because you are afraid or excited
  • wheezy (adj): a wheezy noise sounds as if it is made by someone who has difficulty breathing
  • wobbly (adj): if your voice is wobbly, it goes up and down, usually because you are frightened, not confident, or are going to cry
  • booming (adj): very loud and attention-getting
  • quavering (adv): if your voice quavers, it is not steady because you are feeling nervous or afraid
  • a voice like a foghorn: very loud voice
  • in an undertone: using a quiet voice so that someone cannot hear you
  • someone’s dulcet tones: the sound of someone’s voice as they speak

Double Divas 2 Toronto

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Double Diva’s East Meets West VO Adventure Workshop is one of the best steps I could take on my voiceover journey. Do not pass up the opportunity to work with Debbie Munro and Elley-Ray Hennessey.  These two Canadian voiceover powerhouses will keep you on your toes the entire weekend and pull out of you talents you never thought you had.  They generously shared information on marketing, branding, agents, unions, vocal exercises, monologue and dialogue work, narration and advanced character techniques, and many other tricks of the trade. The atmosphere was comfortable and relaxed and everyone felt free to play. Their critiques were spot on. Deb and Elley-Ray also invited a panel of experts from various aspects of our business. All-in-all, not a moment wasted. Seriously! West Coast or East Coast – catch these ladies in action. You won’t regret it.

A Special Colleague

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Male Voice Talent Peter K. O'Connell and Female Voice Talent Leslie Diamond

I had the most amazing evening. I attended the 7th Annual RAF Freelance Creative Expo at the Museum of Art in Rochester, NY. This was my first time in attendance; I wasn’t sure what to expect. I slowly made my way around the room, meeting each exhibitor, learning about their craft, exchanging business conversation and cards, when – surprise! Peter K. O’Connell of audio’connell Voice Over Talent had a wonderful table display of all things audio’connell. I was thrilled to see Peter in my “backyard” – he is one of Western New York’s super voice talents. After exchanging an “It’s great to see you!” hug, Peter invited me to share his exhibit and talk voice acting with fellow attendees. Peter is a consummate professional and a genuine people person. He took the time to learn something about each person he met, and then shared how professional voice acting could make their work even better. He introduced me to everyone who stopped at the table and shared each conversation. What fun! Peter radiates the kind of fundamental decency and generosity that has a name in Yiddish – he’s a mensch. Thank you, Peter.