when you hear yourself chew, is that noise as loud as it is inside your skull ?
December 28, 2010 10:19 AM   Subscribe

when you hear yourself chew, is that noise as loud as it is inside your skull ?

when you hear yourself chew, is that noise as loud as it is inside your skull ?

I work in open cubes at office. The partions are not ceiling high.
Sometimes I hear the sounds of other people clicking mouse or typing in key board.

I wonder if other people could hear me chew a salad. As salad is something you really have to chew before you swallow. I do chew with my mouth closed, but I tend to do it quietly. But STILL I can hear myself. So far I havent had any one talk to me regarding this.

I tried to record with my iphone and play it in my headphone, its not as bad as I think, but the volume control level can throw my test results off.

I dont hear other people chewing their food sound.
I know, please tell me how can stop being so much obsessed about this trivial yet vital fact?
posted by daveg02 to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
No. Nobody can hear you chewing your salad. Unless they're on the autistic spectrum and have unusual abilities of hearing perception.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 10:21 AM on December 28, 2010

I dont hear other people chewing their food

there you go.
posted by changeling at 10:22 AM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]

I was once eating a bag of potato chips in a (very small) class, and asked the professor if I was chewing too loud. He looked at me as if I asked if I was blinking too often. So my guess is "no." I think it may seem so loud by the same principle that bone conduction headphones operate, but I'm no audiologist.
posted by griphus at 10:23 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I work in a quiet office and I can hear people eating carrot sticks, chips/pretzels and apples in their cubes. I can't say I can specifically tell when they're eating salads, but generally I can tell when they're eating crunchy foods. Other coworkers have remarked about hearing people eat, so I don't think I'm the only one who can hear these things.
posted by lbo at 10:27 AM on December 28, 2010

I am hypersensitive to chewing noises, which makes me a lot of fun at the dinner table, and also an expert on this topic. If you're chewing with your mouth closed, that's all you can do and you should enjoy your salad. You're not bothering anyone. Even I, if I see that someone's trying to make an effort not to be loud/gross, am not bothered by this. I'll just thank you for your coworkers: thanks for chewing with your mouth closed. Enjoy your meals!
posted by theredpen at 10:29 AM on December 28, 2010 [6 favorites]

adding to ibo's comment- yes we can sometimes hear these things. but it would be neurotic to care. if you were somehow chewing obnoxiously loud, chances are people would be shooting you dirty looks. if they aren't, stop worrying. if you're chewing with your mouth closed chances are that you're ok.
posted by saraindc at 10:31 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have wondered this too.

Not too long ago, I was talking to a professor while he was eating his salad, and I could hear every crunch from just across the desk from him. You don't have to have superhuman hearing for this, I certainly don't. My hearing is probably below average.
posted by Ashley801 at 10:32 AM on December 28, 2010

yeah, I always thought it was only loud in my head, and then people told me I chew loud. I don't care I guess, just chew loud and proud.
posted by sweetkid at 10:47 AM on December 28, 2010

Well, the chewing is loud to you because it's happening right on the other side of your ears. But to be sure, next time when you're eating salad at your desk, turn on your computer's recorder. After you've finished your salad, listen to the recording. Then you'll know.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:23 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

My office mate occasionally eats apples at his desk. And holy christ is it ever loud. I've never been around a horse eating apples, but I imagine that it sounds pretty similar. You however, I'm pretty sure you're fine. All the crunching sounds are happening when your mouth is closed, and it is just salad. My office mate's habits are to take as large a bite as humanly possible from the apple, and this means there's a big crunching/cracking sound emanating from apple parts outside of his mouth. He also exhales violently through his nose while chewing, which I'm pretty sure you aren't doing. So long as you are being conscientious, and eating with your mouth closed, I'll bet no one can hear you, or at least that you are not loud enough to be bothering people. If you are really, really concerned, then just eat your salad in the kitchen or lunch room.
posted by molecicco at 11:27 AM on December 28, 2010

Is your office friendly? Maybe they'd be up for a light-hearted scientific experiment where everyone goes into one cube and one person goes into the other cube and chews various things. This could be a fun way to kill a bit of time in this week between the holidays while hardly anyone is in the office. SCIENCE!

Also, as a cube dweller, I can tell you that sounds of crinkly wrappers, forks on plates, sneezing, clearing throat, etc are louder than chewing. Most of these are not an issue unless it lasts longer than normal. And it's usually food odors that other cube people get upset about, not small natural noises.
posted by CathyG at 11:27 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

They probably can. I can hear people eat salads. FWIW, the sound makes me want to smack them. Not that I do. But I really want to.

Since you are talking about eating in an office, food smells in an office can be awfully annoying.
posted by fifilaru at 12:17 PM on December 28, 2010

Generally, if you keep your mouth closed, the exterior noise is minimal. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to not keep their mouths closed. Ew.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:32 PM on December 28, 2010

I assume you are neither chewing with your mouth open or making any loud slurping/smacking/slobbering sounds? Most people probably can't hear you at all. And as long as you're not erupting with a frighteningly resonant belch afterwards, as the otherwise rather dainty female receptionist in my office does after every sip of beverage or bite of food, you're pretty much good to go.
posted by elizardbits at 12:47 PM on December 28, 2010

I can hear chewing noises sometimes, but as longer as the chewer is making an effort to keep his mouth closed, I don't mind. It's not that bothersome.

On the other hand... some people, even with their mouths closed, make horrible sounds when they eat. Not a chewing sound, really - it's sort of like they're grumbling at the same time they're chewing, or maybe trying to breathe through their mouths even with their mouths closed. I don't know what it is. Drives me nuts.
posted by Evangeline at 1:02 PM on December 28, 2010

Sound does travel through the human skull, generally emphasizing the lower frequencies. Compare a recording of you eating a salad to the sound you hear when you eat a salad: it is a different sound, most likely louder, that you hear and others cannot.
posted by thatdawnperson at 5:20 PM on December 28, 2010

A friend of mine absolutely hates when people who are chewing make smacking noises with their mouths. This leads to:

Her: "Is that any good?"

Offender: "Yes!"

Her: "Well it sure SOUNDS good!"

which, though I've only been on the receiving end of it twice in the 3 years I've known her, I find very rude. It sounds like you're being asked a genuine polite question and you answer in that spirit only to find out you're being insulted. I'd much rather she just say "hey could you try not to make so much noise while you eat?" At least that's straightforward.

So no, unless someone's said something to you, you're probably not bothering anyone.
posted by IndigoRain at 9:50 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

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