EVP’s and the Estep classification system

EVP’s are very important in the field of paranormal research. Some of the greatest evidence ever captured has been through these means. The best thing about EVP research is that it can be done by anyone. Just keep a few things in mind while doing it.

Be mindful of your or others talking. This is quite important as I have heard many EVPs that were obvious background noises. Upon further investigating we were even able to determine who it was and when it was. It can be accidental, of course, but you need to keep things such as that in mind when doing EVP research.

It’s also good to have good computer software to help you isolate the EVP and even do technical work to draw it out, make it louder, or even help determine if it’s someone and not a disembodied voice.

You should also have a good classification system to go by. See below:

The following is the classification system used by The PPS. This same system can be found at the PRISM website. It’s named after the founder of the AA-EVP, the Estep System:

A clear and distinct voice or sound that is universally accepted and undisputed, because it must be understood by anyone with normal hearing and without being told or prompted to what is being said or heard. It can be heard without the use of headphones.


A voice or sound that is distinct and fairly loud. This class of voice is more common and can be heard by most people after being told what to listen for. It is usually audible to experienced persons who have learned the skill of listening to EVP. It can sometimes be heard without the use of headphones.

A faint and whisper-like voice or sound that can barely be heard and is sometimes indecipherable and unintelligible. It may have paranormal characteristics, such as a mechanical sound. Most investigators would apply objectivity and disregard it, but may save it for reference purposes.

The AA-EVP has documented the following characteristics:
* More EVP messages are recorded at night or during stormy weather than during the day or when the weather is clear.
* EVP message length is typically very short, ranging from one word to short sentences.
* The voices involved in EVP messages often exhibit a shift in frequency outside of the normal human voice frequency range.
* Voices may be clearly male or female, old or young, even mechanical or “human” sounding. Some messages are delivered in a singing voice.
* EVP messages are often preceded by a sound that has been described as a “click” or a “thud.”
* Messages are usually in the language of the experimenter, but individual experimenters have received other languages.