To counter some of the criticism I’ve seen about the new audio, I’d like to express my gratitude. I understand why people are a little put off by the different pronunciations, but it is exactly this exposure to variations on the ways to pronounce words that I appreciate.
Also, the Self-Study Userscript by rfindley is pretty amazing, check it out if you aren’t already using it. When I do a self-study quiz, the audio is randomized between the new and alternative audio files (not sure if these are older audio files or additional ones the script is resourcing from somewhere else).
If you don’t like the new audio files, I think you’ll be able to find some relief using the self-study script where you can still hear more vanilla pronunciations. At the same time, please keep an open mind, 皆さん！It can only be helping your education to be exposed to new and different ways to speak/listen to Japanese.
As I’m writing this, I just saw this post about yet another change to the audio. I’M ALL FOR IT! The more the merrier!
Wishing y’all the best on your language journeys!