Science Explains Why You Sound Better When You Sing in the Shower

Science Explains Why You Sound Better When You Sing in the Shower
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

If you terrify the crowd at karaoke because your rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'" cracks glass, there's hope yet — and it's in your shower. Science has proven once and for all that singing in the shower is fun for a reason: Your voice sounds markedly better thanks to the unique acoustics of that ceramic box. 

Think of your shower as your own personal sound booth. The secret is in the construction. Most showers are made with ceramic tiles, which absorb next to no sound. And unless you're a guest on MTV Cribs, your shower is probably pretty small. When your voice isn't absorbed, it bounces around quite a bit, thanks to the close proximity of the ceramic shower walls. All that back-and-forth adds up, giving your voice more power and volume.

Because showers aren't usually symmetrical cubes, some of those waves travel farther than others. That, along with the fact that ceramic doesn't absorb sound well, gives your singing the effect of being stretched out, or reverberated, meaning your voice "hangs" in the air longer than usual, giving it an embellished, extra-rich sound. 

Reverb also helps to even out your pitch, which is great for those of us who aren't Mariah Carey. Your voice tends to get blurry as it reverberates off many surfaces, so even if you don't quite hit the exact note, it sounds closer than it would outside the shower. 

Adding to their sonic talents, showers even act as resonators, which means they enhance certain frequencies to deepen sound and enhance bass because of their cavity structure.

Think of it like this: If you plucked a string with 100 Hz — which is about average for a bass guitar — it would vibrate 100 times per second. Because your shower's acoustics make your voice's sound waves vibrate at about 100 times per second, your voice sounds deeper and more resonant than it actually is, around 150 Hz, on average. Apparently it really is all about dat bass.

Source: Giphy

So, go take a shower and sing your heart out. Your roommate will thank you for not being an embarrassment at karaoke instead. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Kate Beaudoin

Kate is a staff writer for Mic's music section. With an M.A. in journalism from NYU, she's written for Salon, NewYorkMagazine.com, and RollingStone.com. Kate hails from Montana, but eats pizza like a New Yorker—often and aggressively.

MORE FROM

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.

‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later’ proves sometimes it’s OK to skip the reunion

If you're looking to trim down your Netflix consumption, start by avoiding this pointless sequel series.

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington was open about his pain. That doesn’t make his death less shocking.

“If it wasn’t for music, I’d be dead,” Bennington once said. “One hundred percent.”

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.

‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later’ proves sometimes it’s OK to skip the reunion

If you're looking to trim down your Netflix consumption, start by avoiding this pointless sequel series.

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington was open about his pain. That doesn’t make his death less shocking.

“If it wasn’t for music, I’d be dead,” Bennington once said. “One hundred percent.”