Which voice over is best?

Voice overs are narrations provided by actors that are added to various forms of media. From commercials to animated series, voice overs help bring projects to life and connect with audiences. The voice over industry has seen immense growth in recent years, with increasing demand across many sectors. This article aims to assess the major types of voice acting and provide guidance on which may be most suitable for certain projects and goals.

Narration Voice Overs

Narration voice overs are used to tell a story or provide informative details in a clear and authoritative voice. They are commonly used for documentaries, audiobooks, eLearning courses, and explainer videos. The goal is to inform, educate, or entertain the audience with an engaging narrative [1].

The key characteristics of a good narration voice over are a conversational yet authoritative tone, excellent enunciation and pacing, and the ability to convey the right emotion and emphasis for the story. Good narrators sound natural rather than over-dramatic. They allow the story to take center stage rather than drawing too much attention to their voice.

The main benefits of using a narration voice over are increased clarity and impact for complex topics, improved information retention compared to visuals alone, and enhanced audience engagement. Potential drawbacks are the additional production time and cost required compared to just using on-screen text.

Character Voice Overs

Character voice overs are used to provide voices for fictional characters in animated films, video games, audiobooks, and other media (Graffitti Studio, 2022). According to Graffitti Studio (2022), character voice overs aim to bring animated characters to life by giving them unique and distinctive voices that match their personalities. Character voice actors use different accents, tones, and speech patterns to portray the personas of the characters they are voicing.

Some of the key uses for character voice overs include:

  • Animated films – Giving voices to characters like Disney’s Mickey Mouse or Pixar’s Woody
  • Video games – Voicing characters in games like Mario or Lara Croft
  • Audiobooks – Reading books in character voices, especially children’s books
  • Cartoons – Dubbing popular shows like The Simpsons or Rick & Morty

The main benefits of character voice overs are bringing animated characters to life, enhancing storytelling and entertainment value, and allowing actors to showcase their vocal talents. However, a downside is that bad voice acting can ruin audiences’ connections with characters.

Commercial Voice Overs

Commercial voice overs are used in advertisements for television, radio, online, and other media to promote products, brands, or services. The goals are often to grab attention, be persuasive and memorable, and convince the audience to take a desired action like making a purchase. According to the article “What Is A Voice Over – Explained!” on Speechify, “These often require a persuasive tone to convince listeners to take the action the advertiser wants – usually to buy something.”

Some common uses of commercial voice overs include:

  • TV commercials
  • Radio spots
  • Online video ads
  • Explainer videos
  • Brand videos
  • Video game trailers
  • Mobile app promotions

The pros of using a strong commercial voice over talent are increased brand awareness, memorable messaging, and higher conversion rates. The right voice can connect with the target audience on an emotional level. The cons are that poor or mismatched voice overs can distract from the ad, portray the wrong tone, or turn off viewers.

According to the article “What Is Voice Over?” on mikethomasvo.com, “A quality voice not only demonstrates enthusiasm about your product or service, it personifies your brand identity in a lasting way.”

Political Voice Overs

Political voice overs are a type of narration used in political campaigns and advertisements. The voice over helps convey the candidate’s messaging and platforms to voters in a compelling way. Political voice overs are commonly used in television and radio ads, as well as online videos.

Some of the main uses for political voice overs include introducing the candidate, presenting their policy positions, attacking an opponent’s record or positions, and making emotional appeals to voters. Good political voice over talent can help make complex policy issues more understandable through an authoritative and trustworthy delivery.

The main benefits of using political voice overs are the ability to carefully craft messaging and control how it is conveyed to voters. Professional voice over artists can repeat key phrases and talking points exactly as written. Political ads with voice overs also allow the campaign to maximize use of imagery and video content.

However, some drawbacks are that political voice overs may come across as disingenuous if the writing sounds too scripted. There is also the risk that voters tune out the voice overs if they seem overly negative or aggressive against opponents.

According to https://speechify.com/blog/political-voice-over-ads/, the tone and style of the voice over must fit both the specific ad context and the broader branding for the candidate.

Medical Voice Overs

A medical voice over is a specialized type of narration used for educational and informational content in the medical field (https://kimhandysidesvoiceover.com/medical-narration/). These voice overs transform complex medical terminology and concepts into clear, understandable explanations for patients and healthcare professionals alike. Medical voice overs bring medical scripts to life in a warm and approachable way.

Common uses of medical voice overs include educational videos, medical device tutorials, healthcare facility tours, medical sales presentations, medical animations, eLearning courses, and more. The voice over helps simplify complex ideas and creates an emotional connection between the content and the viewer.

The pros of using a professional medical voice over talent are higher comprehension and retention of the information. An experienced talent understands medical terminology and can convey complex concepts clearly. Using a professional voice also lends credibility. The cons are that quality medical voice over can be more expensive than non-specialized voice over work.

Choosing a Voice Over Type

When choosing a voice over type for a project, there are several key factors to consider:

Budget is a major consideration. Professional voice over artists vary widely in cost depending on experience and demand. Character voices and celebrity impersonator voices tend to be more expensive. You can find affordable voices on crowdsourcing sites but quality may be inconsistent.1

Your project timeline also affects voice selection. If you need fast turnaround, choose a voice over artist who specializes in quick delivery. But allow extra time if you want iconic voices that require booking well in advance.

The target audience is key. For a youth audience, energetic younger voices may be best. To reach seniors, choose an authoritative but gentle voice. When selecting a voice for diverse markets, consider multicultural voices.

Script length must be considered. Voice over artists charge per finished minute or word, so longer scripts cost more. If your budget is tight, a concise script will be more affordable.

Your production needs guide voice choice too. Pick voices with home studios for remote recording. For animation or game voices, select actors with experience in those genres.

By carefully weighing these criteria, you can zero in on the right voice over type for your specific needs and budget.

Hiring Voice Over Talent

Once you’ve determined the type of voice over that best suits your project, the next step is finding and hiring the right talent. Here are some tips for hiring voice actors that fit your needs:

Define the voice you need. Make a list of adjectives describing the ideal voice – warm, friendly, authoritative, etc. This will help guide your search and auditions. As expert Debbie Grattan recommends, “Be as descriptive as possible in communicating vocal qualities that are important for the read” (Grattan).

Look at demos to find potential talent. Many voice actors have samples or demo reels online so you can get a sense of their style and range. Focus on voices that align with your adjectives. The Voice Realm advises listening “to the actor’s demo reel to ensure their voice matches the tone you require.” (The Voice Realm).

Hold auditions to select your favorite. Many experts recommend holding auditions and having talents read your actual script. This allows you to hear how they handle the specific copy and character. Voice actor Pat Fraley notes, “If the copy is well-written, the audition will tell you which voice talent can bring script to life.” (Fraley).

Check references and feedback. Once you’ve narrowed down the field, look into their professional reputation, client feedback and reviews. This helps verify they work well with direction and deliver quality results. Checking references ensures you hire someone reliable and experienced.

Trust your instincts. As Fraley says, “No one knows exactly what you need better than you.” If the audition doesn’t give you goosebumps, keep looking until you find the perfect match.

Voice Over Production

The voice over production process involves several key steps. First, the voice talent will receive the script and audio direction. They will review and prepare the material and may propose edits or ask clarifying questions. Next, the talent will record the voice over in a studio, home booth, or remote location. High-quality audio equipment like microphones, audio interfaces, and Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) allow capturing clear recordings (https://voiceactor.com/articles/digital-audio-workstations-daws-in-voice-over).

After recording, the raw audio files are edited, mixed and processed. This involves adjusting levels, adding effects, removing unwanted sounds, and compiling separate takes into a final file. Some production steps like music and sound effects may also be added. The end goal is a polished, broadcast-ready voice over asset. Throughout the process, there is typically communication between the producer and talent to ensure the desired tone and style are achieved (https://www.voicebooking.com/en/commercial-audio-production).

While the production process varies based on the project specifications, following these fundamental steps allows creating professional voice overs suitable for commercials, narrations, audiobooks and more.


When choosing a voice over for your project, the most important factors to consider are the purpose of the content, your target audience, and selecting the right vocal tone and style to achieve your goals. Narration voice overs are commonly used for audiobooks, documentaries, eLearning modules and more. Character voice overs bring animated content to life. Commercial voice overs sell products and services with a persuasive, trustworthy tone. Political voice overs convey authority and leadership. Medical voice overs provide clear information with empathy.

Once you determine the type of voice over needed, invest time finding experienced talent that best aligns with your vision. Provide direction on the script and vocal delivery during production to capture the essence of your brand or story. With careful planning and execution, you can produce an impactful, high quality voice over that effectively communicates your message to listeners. The right voice will bring your content to life and leave a lasting impression.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *