Phones have revolutionized communication in many ways – not only do they allow us to reach out to people on the other side of the globe in a matter of seconds, but they also help us retain some shred of privacy while we relay a message in our own words. So, whether you’re looking to play a prank or trying to communicate with someone without revealing your identity, you’ll want to change your voice to an unrecognizable degree. Can you do that without an app?

To change your voice during a phone call without an app, first, analyze the way you normally sound and work from that. You can then try several techniques, such as changing your accent, using helium, keeping your chin tucked in, speaking near a running fan, and keeping your nose closed.

If you want to learn more about some of the best, most convincing ways to change your voice during a phone call without using an app, make sure to keep reading. Below, I’ll go over each of the techniques mentioned above, along with some additional tips to make the whole ordeal quicker, easier on your cords, and, ultimately, more convincing.

1. Analyze How You Typically Sound

I know you’re waiting to dive right into the techniques that can help you change your voice; however, as you’ll soon see, there are plenty of approaches you can take, and the one that’ll work best for you will solely depend on the way you speak in your day-to-day life.

So, if you’re simply trying to play a prank and plan to reveal your identity at the end of the call, you can skip this step and move on to choosing your preferred voice-concealing technique from the list below. However, if you’re serious about altering your voice to an unrecognizable degree, taking some time to analyze your natural tone, volume, and pitch might be essential.

To do this, simply record yourself talking on your computer, laptop, or phone, and listen carefully to the recording to make out the qualities that make the voice unique – those are the ones you’ll want to conceal. Is your voice nasal or raspy? High-pitched or low-pitched? Determining these qualities will help you find a technique that entirely cancels them out.

Moreover, you’ll want to take note of your most-commonly words and speech rate. Do you use words like “um,” “literally,” and “like” often? If so, they might be a dead giveaway that it’s you on the other end of the line, even if your voice is changed. Do you speak fast or slow? Sometimes simply altering your pace can take you a long way.

This whole process shouldn’t take a lot of time. The recording itself shouldn’t be longer than five minutes, especially if you plan on keeping the phone call short. It’s best to recount a story as you would to a friend in a recording – don’t just read a paragraph from a book out loud – you want to listen to how your day-to-day conversation sounds like. Then, keep the above points in mind to determine the most recognizable qualities of your voice, so you can work off of those.

One last tip is that throughout this whole ordeal (practicing and the actual conversation), you’ll want to stay hydrated. Continuously speaking in a voice that doesn’t come naturally to you can put a strain on your throat, so make sure to take a sip of water every now and then.

2. Change Your Accent

Changing your accent is one of the best ways to alter your voice, and the best thing is that the whole process doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-consuming as it may seem. For example, by clicking this link, you can find a 12-minute video on how to quickly learn to do a British accent.

If the phone call is short enough, you can learn how to convey your message in another accent in no time.

Another great way to change your voice drastically is to speak in another language. While this tip might not be applicable to all cases, if it is in yours, I believe it might be your best bet to conceal your identity without sounding cartoonish. Studies have already found that speaking a foreign language strains your vocal cords to the degree that it changes your voice altogether.

3. Inhale Helium

Though it may seem a bit silly at first, inhaling helium is arguably the only surefire way to make your voice unrecognizable without an app. Therefore, if it’s essential to keep yourself unidentifiable, it might be time to invest in a couple of helium balloons.

Make sure to do one or two test runs first to check how your voice sounds and to time how long it takes before you start becoming recognizable again. From that point on, all you have to do is pick up the phone and make the call while making sure to inhale helium every five or ten seconds, depending on how long its effect lasts on you.

However, keep in mind that while a few helium inhales aren’t likely to cause any harm, the gas can quickly turn dangerous or even lethal in larger quantities, so only use this technique if you plan to keep the phone call short.

4. Keep Your Chin Tucked Into Your Chest

This technique is considerably safer but, unfortunately, not as effective. Still, if you manage to keep your chin tucked into your chest just right, you’ll be amazed at just how much this simple movement can change the pitch and frequency of your voice.

If, during your voice analysis, you found that your voice is high-pitched, this is the perfect strategy for you. It allows you to speak in a lower, raspier tone that you wouldn’t be able to achieve otherwise.

When you put your chin on your chest, your voice naturally comes out textured and gravelly, which is bound to throw off the person at the other end of the line. To alter your voice, even more, you can also play with the positioning of your mouth, teeth, and tongue.

For example, combining the chin-tucking technique with keeping your teeth clamped as you talk can make it near-impossible for your voice to be recognized. Keep in mind that the same goes for every method mentioned on this list – combining two or three of them will give you the best chance of concealing your identity.

5. Speak Near a Running Fan

This is another technique that, while by itself, might not get you the results you want, can work wonders when coupled with other strategies. Speaking near a running fan will give your voice a chopped, robotic quality. While the tone itself might remain the same, the strange nature of your speech is often enough to throw most people off.

For the best results, try to also muffle your voice when you use this technique. To do so, keep your hand, or better yet, a soft cloth over the phone to muffle any sharp sounds that might give your identity away.

If you’re playing a prank, coupling these techniques is guaranteed to leave your target confused. However, keep in mind that if you’re serious about making your voice entirely unrecognizable, this might not be the best approach.

6. Keep Your Nose Closed

If you’ve never tried this technique before as a kid, you’ll be surprised at just how much it can change the tone, pitch, and overall sound of your voice. Regardless of our normal speaking voices, we all sound eerily similar when we talk with our noses closed.

Although the technique might feel a bit silly or childish, it’s one of the easiest to carry out and works impressively well, so it’s a win-win in my books. To achieve that whiny, nasal sound, all you have to do is keep your nostrils closed using your hands or a (soft!) clamp of some sort. As you start talking, you won’t even be able to recognize yourself.

7. Use Your Device’s Text-to-Speech Software

If you’re set on not using any technological help in your quest to make your voice unrecognizable, it’s best to stick to the approaches listed above. However, if, for some reason, only apps are off-limits, you can turn to your device’s text-to-speech software instead.

Many devices, especially laptops and PCs (both Apple and Windows), are equipped with text-to-speech software. This feature allows you to type in a text of your choice, and an automatic voice will read it out loud.

So, while the thoughts are yours, the voice will be entirely unrecognizable. The downside to this approach, however, is that you must be a fast typer to use it successfully. You can prepare some scripted responses and play them right after the person on the other line responds.

Still, if they happen to say something that catches you off-guard, you’ll have to type as you go; and you’ll want to type fast enough so that the automated voice doesn’t sound suspicious.

Last Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to disguise your voice during a phone call, even if you can’t or simply don’t want to use a voice-changing app. However, be prepared to get creative and spend some extra time and effort on the project, as the slightest slip-up can quickly reveal your true identity.

See also: How to Get Revenge on Your Neighbor

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