Voice Over Tones and Adjectives
When trying to describe the tone of your voice over demo, it is not always easy to come up with the appropriate term. Listed here is a (non-exhaustive) selection of terms, grouped by trait or quality. There is a more general term, and numerous synonyms next to it.
Feel free to use the general or synonym for your descriptions, but keep in mind that when you are creating demos you want to offer a wider selection of tones, and avoid having too many in just one tone.
Please note that these groupings are based on general associations and there may be overlapping meanings or different interpretations of the words.
- Positive Emotions: Happy, Joyful, Excited, Enthusiastic
- Negative Emotions: Angry, Sad, Frightened, Depressed
- Calming: Calming, Soothing, Relaxing, Tranquil
- Expressive: Animated, Engaging, Energetic, Dynamic
- Intense: Intense, Powerful, Passionate, Overwhelming
- Inspiring: Inspirational, Motivating, Uplifting, Encouraging
- Confused: Confused, Baffled, Perplexed, Bewildered
- Passionate: Passionate, Fervent, Zealous, Fiery
- Empathetic: Empathetic, Compassionate, Understanding, Sympathetic
- Smooth: Smooth, Silky, Mellow, Velvety
- Rough: Raspy, Gravelly, Gritty, Husky
- Melodic: Lyrical, Musical, Singing, Harmonious
- Harsh: Harsh, Grating, Discordant, Strident
- Nasal: Nasal, Twangy, Pinched, Resonant
- Commanding: Commanding, Authoritative, Powerful, Domineering
- Relaxed: Relaxed, Easygoing, Laid-back, Unhurried
- Energetic: Energetic, Dynamic, Vigorous, Spirited
- Whimsical: Whimsical, Playful, Fanciful, Imaginative
- Confident: Confident, Assured, Self-assured, Bold
- Friendly: Friendly, Sociable, Outgoing, Approachable
- Eccentric: Eccentric, Quirky, Offbeat, Unconventional
- Caring: Caring, Compassionate, Nurturing, Supportive
- Sarcastic: Sarcastic, Snarky, Ironic, Cynical
- Humble: Humble, Modest, Unassuming, Down-to-earth
- Intelligent: Intelligent, Intellectual, Wise, Knowledgeable
- Playful: Playful, Mischievous, Lighthearted, Whimsical
- Ambitious: Ambitious, Driven, Goal-oriented, Determined
- Charismatic: Charismatic, Magnetic, Charming, Captivating
- Genuine: Genuine, Authentic, Sincere, Real
- Annoying: Annoying, Irritating, Pestering, Troublesome
- Heroic: Brave, Courageous, Gallant, Heroic, Valiant
- Villainous: Villainous, Evil, Sinister, Malevolent
- Comedic: Funny, Amusing, Humorous, Witty
- Authoritative: Assertive, Authoritative, Commanding, Powerful, Dominant
- Mysterious: Mysterious, Enigmatic, Intriguing, Cryptic
- Relatable: Approachable, Relatable, Down-to-earth, Everyman, Humble
- Eccentric: Eccentric, Quirky, Offbeat, Unique
- Wise: Wise, Sage, Knowledgeable, Enlightened
- Supportive: Supportive, Encouraging, Nurturing, Caring
- Deceptive: Deceptive, Cunning, Manipulative, Sly
Specific voice over marketplace tones
Each voice over marketplace handles the list of possible voice over tones differently. Some only allow you to categorize your demos using a small subset of tones, while others allow you to categorize them with a (seemingly) endless list.
Voquent offers a rather concise list of tones to describe the demos and reels you upload or can search for. Here is the current list used by Voquent.
- Angry: Frustrated, Distant, Menacing
- Authoritative: Confident, Experienced, Powerful
- Comedic: Absurd, Cynical, Parody
- Conversational: Approachable, Friendly, Sincere
- Eloquent: Precise, Refined, Sophisticated
- Enticing: Intimate, Seductive, Tempting
- Inspiring: Courageous, Encouraging, Passionate
- Nurturing: Caring, Compassionate, Sympathetic
- Playful: Cheerful, Friendly, Lighthearted
- Sad: Hurt, Isolated, Sensitive
- Scared: Nervous, Overwhelmed, Vulnerable
- Unorthodox: Alien, Mysterious, Peculiar
Voices allows you to describe your tone using over 200 different terms, many of which are direct synonyms of each other.
Fiverr allows you to add up to three custom tags per gig gallery item. When entering the tag, it will offer suggestions as you type and you can select what was offered, but it will also allow you to type something that was not in their pre-defined list, including multi-word descriptive tags.
Bunny Studio uses a similar list of tones, however, they provide a multi-layered approach to describing the tone.
The vocal pitch refers to the dominant frequency of the delivery, and its adjectives vary based on the perceived gender of the speaker.
|Low Pitch||Male (115-151 Hz)|
Female (98-125 Hz)
|High Pitch||Male (152-178 Hz)|
Female (189-225 Hz)
Very close to the concept of loudness, the intensity also describes the attitude during the presentation.
The adjectives for smoothness refer to the delivery having an even, connected tone, with no jarring breaks, and no strain.
These adjectives refer to the perceived age of the voice talent, and not the actual age of the voice talent.
|Child||5-12 years old|
|Teenager||13-17 years old|
|Young adult||18-34 years old|
|Middle aged||35-54 years old|
|Senior||55 and above|
Closely related to the language being spoken, the accent describes the regional vocal qualities of the speaker. I won’t list the numerous accents possible, however it can be either described by the country, territorial region, ethnic group, etc.
This is somewhat of a catch-all collection of adjectives that describe the mood or vibe of the audio.
|Warm||Affable, Amiable, Welcoming|
|Light-hearted||Cheerful, Fruity, Breezy, Melodious|