Alan Rickman, Judi Dench have ‘perfect’ voices, researchers say

Apparently, the key to having the perfect voice is being British.

Researchers in the U.K. have mathematically determined that the perfect voice for men lies somewhere between those of British actors Jeremy Irons and Alan Rickman. (Professor Snape in the "Harry Potter" movies did always have a way with words.) For women, it's somewhere near the voice of James Bond's M, 77-year-old thespian Dame Judi Dench.

A linguist and a sound engineer reportedly worked out their formula based on a combination of tone, speed, frequency, words per minute, and intonation. According to the researchers, the ideal voice should vocalize no more than 164 words per minute and pause for 0.48 seconds between sentences, which should fall rather than rise. (Apparently raising your voice is associated with weakness!)

The results? Slow and steady wins the race.

Jeremy Irons, the 63-year-old star of the Showtime drama "The Borgias," comes close, speaking 200 words per minute and taking 1.2-second pauses between sentences.

Aside from Judi Dench, researchers also gave top marks to U.K. celebrity Mariella Frostrup. The 39-year-old TV presenter, who has denied rumours that she dated George Clooney, allegedly mesmerizes men with her deep, slow, confident words.

No offense to those sweet-sounding celebs, but we have to call foul on these results! Any list of perfect voices that doesn't include Morgan Freeman is obviously flawed.


BBC News - more info on the study, plus you can hear the computer-simulated perfect male and female voices, according to the formula

Whose voice(s) do you consider perfect?