However, they report that age isn't the only reason that the audio may be heard differently by different people.
All around the internet, the puzzling audio clip is being called magic and stirring a buzz similar to the color debate sparked by a dress photo back in 2015. "Yanny" can clearly be heard when the pitch is lowered, and "Laurel" can be heard when the pitch is raised.
Give it a listen.
Whatever you hear, all you need to do is jump on Twitter to see some of the hilarious reactions.
A straw poll carried out among staff in AFP's Washington bureau counted 17 for Yanny, and 14 for Laurel. The "ya" and "la" sounds that start the two words are similar and so are the ending sounds, he said. "If you lose the high frequencies, the illusion goes away".
Authorities bust drug smuggling ring, operation flew into CLT airport
The defendants also acted as "look-outs" or engage in counter-surveillance to undermine police, court documents said. Worth International Airport, FBI officials said at a press conference in Texas on Tuesday.
That clip was then shared across social media like wildfire, creating heated debates between those who think it's "Laurel" and those who think it's "Yanny'".
When he took the bass out, he says he still hears "Laurel".
For Kraus, the Northwestern professor who runs a laboratory on the biology of how humans process sound, it matters little how people interpret this single word in a poor-quality, idiosyncratic recording.
"But not only that, the brains themselves can be wired very differently to interpret speech", he says. That's letting them hear "Laurel" loud and clear. Amid the background noise, you're able to focus on what your dining partner is saying. It's crucial, she adds, to "use your experience with sound and what you know about it to fill in the gaps".