In another ‘Yanny or Laurel’-style debate, microwave sound divides the internet.


In another ‘Yanny or Laurel’-style debate, microwave sound divides the internet.

Which is better: black and blue or white and gold? Which do you prefer: Laurel or Yanny? This time, the internet has been divided by a microwave alert.

On May 25, TikTok user @noelbigdeal posted a perplexing video to his account, which received 3.7 million views and over 700,000 likes in just one day. Noel Doherty and a friend are seen debating whether the microwave’s bell-style alert goes up or down at the final note in the clip.

Doherty believes it will go down, while his friend believes it will go up.

Viewers of the TikTok video, like the two friends, have been unable to make a firm decision. More than 66,000 people have commented on the video, with guesses ranging from up to down to a combination of the two.

Some have speculated that the microwave actually plays two notes at once, one octave apart, with the listener picking up on whichever one they are looking for.

Singer-songwriter Charlie Puth, who regularly posts videos on his TikTok account showing how his songs are made—exploring everything from choir singers to remixes and fake instruments—has provided some clarity to social media users.

“Could Charlie Puth please confirm?” enquired one comment on Doherty’s microwave video, which received over 3,000 likes.

TikTok inquired, and he answered. Puth used the earlier clip in a “stitch” video, duetting with the microwave alert on his piano.


as it turns out, my microwave is extremely controversial

♬ original sound – Noel Big deal

“It goes down, and then up,” he says as he plays, explaining that the first tone goes down, while the following one goes up. Puth’s explanation seems to have made sense for many, with his video gaining over 800,000 likes and 5.5 million views—more than the original clip.

In response to Puth’s video, one user who claims to own the same microwave wrote: “It goes down twice, and up the last time. It’s not even a debate, that’s just how the microwave works.”


#stitch with @noelbigdeal On the low C sharp there is an 8k frequency illusion that makes it sound higher than it is….

♬ original sound – Charlie Puth. This is a brief summary.


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